Posts tagged ‘client’

November 10, 2018

Clients join volunteers in fellowship


Clients join volunteers in fellowship
After “Investment Saturday,“ we have a sit-down family meal, with our homeless young adults and volunteers joining in. It is really fun to watch the community come together in fellowship.

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November 6, 2018

Success Story – Jacob


One street youth’s journey: from client to missionary
It was the kind of simple, one-on-one conversation I pray for – the missionary and the homeless, aimless wanderer. A message of forgiveness and hope through Jesus Christ vs. a cacophony of swirling alternatives: Hinduism, Buddhism …Satanism?

We rarely learn how these conversations turn out, but this time we did.The answer came in a Facebook post:

“My name is Jacob. I’m 25 years old now. About four years ago I was homeless in Austin, Texas, and I used to come around your organization. I am working towards my own street-based ministry here in Asheville, N.C. I’m hoping that we can somehow network and bring the vision that Christ has given to us, and watch it grow all over America.

“My testimony is very powerful, and now I am giving up all that has held me back from God. I hear His voice more clearly every day, and today He has me contacting you. I am looking forward to just listening to your wisdom about where to start, to build a stronger foundation that somebody can look upon, agree upon, and hopefully support.

“I believe that a lot of what I do will also benefit you, because I believe in what you do. I believe in Christ Almighty and the Father that has sent Him.”

I replied that I remembered Jacob and had a photo of him sitting on the tailgate of my pickup, playing his guitar. He responded:
 “I also remember a time when we sat together talking about spirituality and you were so sold on Christ Our God, and I could not commit to anything. I thought, is it Krishna, is it Hindu, is it Buddhism, is it Satanism? Should I live evil? Is everything just turned around to trick me? I felt so confused.

“I understand now. I knew you had the eternal wisdom but, sleeping on the streets with all of these people in other beliefs and religions, I couldn’t commit my life to one thing. Now it is a different story.I am again so GRATEFUL to finally know the truth. God opened my heart and let me live as one in peace of the greater vision that is Christ Almighty.”

My conversation with Jacob is where the many Street Youth Ministry “events” – the meals, clothing closet, cold-weather gear distribution, Movie Night, Turkey Grab, computer time, peer counseling, etc. – are designed to lead.

We see 500 homeless young adults per year. That’s 5,000 in the 10 years we’re operated. Wow! We know that one in 10 young adults in the United States experiences homelessness at some time between ages 18 and 25. That’s hard to believe, but it’s a recent statistic and one we think is accurate.

We cannot reach them all, but they all deserve people in their lives who care. We are looking for our proven methods to be replicated and/or improved upon all over the country. We plan on taking our ministry model to San Antonio this January, but we know our clients can carry the gospel to more locations and people than we ever will reach.

We look forward to hearing from more and more “Jacobs” in the future. It’s already a small handful. We can’t wait!

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October 12, 2018

‘If it weren’t for SYM, I’d be lost!’



‘If it weren’t for SYM, 
I’d be lost!’

Taylor’s story resembled those of so many SYM clients. After aging out of foster homes, she joined a carnival, became hooked on drugs and eventually became homeless, ultimately finding her way to SYM and hope! Last month, she mentioned us on Facebook and created a fund-raiser.
Facebook post: July 3, 2018
Title: It’s a hard transition process — Thanks for the support

“Most of you know my story. All I have to say now is that it takes a while for someone to transition from homeless to housed. I’m experiencing this now.

“I didn’t think it would be hard, I post like I’m doing great, but I’m learning how to save money, how to pay my rent, how to do everything I should already know. So if it’s taking me a while to meet up with you, or go out to lunch, I’m sorry. But this is hard for me. I’m in the transition process.

“If it weren’t for The Street Youth Ministry, Lifeworks, or LINC Austin I would be lost. Thank you all for helping me!!!” 

Why this matters …
Changes like what Taylor is experiencing don’t happen overnight. This prayer team has prayed for her more than 100 times. We are overjoyed at the changes she has been making and pray that her plans continue to grow. This is what YOU help do at SYM!

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June 20, 2017

‘Faces of the Transient Lifestyle’


‘Faces of the Transient Lifestyle’
The black-and-white portraits of these street youth — (left to right) “Blue,” “Lauren” and “Otter Pig” — were photographed in Austin between 2014 and 2016 by Michael Joseph, who since 2011 has photographed train riders and hitchhikers he calls “a loosely knit tribe of travelers” living transient lifestyles nationwide.

A series of Joseph’s black-and-white portraits of these travelers — titled “Lost and Found” — is now on view at Daniel Cooney Fine Art in New York City. Street Youth Ministry has served some of these individuals specifically — and lots of them generally. We invite you to learn more about Joseph’s work, using the link below.

Go to the exhibition's web page

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January 27, 2015

What Should We Celebrate?


We asked one of our work-from-home volunteers to talk with some of our recovering clients and write an article for the newsletter.

Alexander Kao, from New York, volunteers remotely for Street Youth Ministry (SYM). Here is what Alex shared on the subject of celebration, as seen through the eyes of SYM clients.

One might argue that the greatest celebration of all time will occur when Jesus comes back for a second time. But, I would propose that we need to celebrate small things just as much. The greatest celebration might be when a child got straight A’s. Or, when a baby was born. Or, when a child read his first book.

We could consider celebrating more than what might be considered normal. You have a dad? Celebrate by thanking God. Have a penny? Wear clothes? Celebrate! It is great to celebrate the Advent. However, do not forget that you can celebrate almost everything in life with zeal.

What can other people celebrate? I interviewed David Doyle, a recovering client from SYM, and he has a lot that he can celebrate.  David was homeless. He was living in squats (abandoned sites), the woods, and under bridges for about 5 years. Working with social workers, he got his GED. Then he got a job. Because of what happened to him, he found housing. He applied for financial aid and was accepted to community college. (Supporters of SYM helped provide college textbooks for David.)

Congrats David! We are proud of you.

David did well, making straight A’s. He applied to UT and was accepted.  Now, he has completed at least 111 hours in college towards his degree in Physics!

David can celebrate the positive things that have happened in his life. He’s worked hard to accomplish a lot. However, he can also celebrate the negative things that have happened in his life. He can even celebrate that he was homeless! It’s part of his life and his story.

What’s in your life, your story, that needs to be celebrated?

Blog post author, Alex, is a member of our work-from-home Action Team. You can join the Street Youth Ministry action team at sign-up.StreetYouthMinistry.org. You can view items needed to be done at http://ift.tt/1ciKkKw.

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October 2, 2014

The Sex Talk – Part II


This is the continuation and end of previous blog post.

Then he broke out in big, gasping sobs. He collapsed into the back of the truck on a pile of sweaters and jackets. I consoled him and asked if we could talk. He agreed and the older gent left us.

The client stared at me, hard in silence. And then he told me that his father had died. And he had never grieved. I gently explored this a bit. Then he changed his story and said he was a big screw-up and had been lying to me about being happy and OK. I helped him think that through and recognize that some of his progress was real and some of it–well, he might have been kidding himself about some of it. After exploring a bit of his options and plans, we agreed to call it a day.

“He once again looked at me in silence, piercing me with his eyes as if to see inside me for some reason.”

But I returned again to his obvious grief, I asked once more, what had caused him breakdown? He once again looked at me in silence, piercing me with his eyes as if to see inside me for some reason. Then he finally said, “My dad never gave me the sex talk. I miss him very much.” I was so honored and amazed. We briefly talked about his fond memories of his father and how he carries him in his heart even now.

http://ift.tt/1ufQatA 9/1/2007


I will never cease to be surprised by street youth. Here you have a tough guy who’s had sex, done drugs, lives on the street, and perhaps dealt with all sorts of things that I can’t imagine. And he is brought to his knees about his internal feelings about how good he wants sex to be, how much he desires to be guided by his father, and how much he wants good things in his life. It’s such a privilege to serve him and each and every one of them.

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September 21, 2014

Retiring From Traveling Life


We got this note from a young woman we served off and on for a year or two. She is “retiring” now from the traveling life. Her story is typical and we are delighted to share it. A few things were changed because she’s a private person, but agreed to share her story to inspire others to act, to do the same, or to find their own path:

Thank you for the help with the letter of referral! I got an address. And I got myself all set up with a job, housing, and supportive people around me. And now all I have to do do is maintain it. 

I LIVE SOMEWHERE!!!!!!!!!!!! 

I was on and off the streets for six years. The last two have been *solid on*, but a new day is starting. I’ve also come back to Christianity, and I am feeling stronger now than ever. I went from being raised Christian, to seeing its fallacies and leaving the church, to coming back around and piddling in it, to now being fully devoted–every single day. Every day, every day, every day!

When I left the church, I started to despise Christians after all I’d been through with them. I mostly hated the infighting between denominations, but I also hated their beliefs too. But you know what??? When you’re down and out on the streets, with nobody helping–nobody but the Christians (and the Krishnas too), … it makes a difference. And it got my attention. So I’m back.

BLESSINGS!! And thank you for your LOVE and KINDNESS and PATIENCE and UNDERSTANDING. God works through you and the church!




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August 17, 2014

Revising Psalm 22 To Be From The Street


One of my tasks is to present the Gospel so that clients can understand it’s relevance to their lives. And one of the tools I use is rewording the Bible to street language and street situations. 

The other day, I gave our Bible study group the task of rewriting Psalm 22. It’s a “go to” Psalm for me in ministry. It teaches us how to pray in utter despair and yet still love God.

Here is one client’s complete rewrite of Psalm 22, verse by verse:

My God, my God, why have You left me? My cry is distant from all hope.
O my God, I Scream by day, Do you not hear me? And by night my voice is no softer.

Yet You are holy, O’ You who’s home is the songs of my homeland.
In You our fathers held their faith; Their Faith was rewarded.
To You they called and were answered. In You they appointed their Hopes & Fears and were not led to shame.
But I am not our fathers, A misfit I am hated by all aware of my presence.
All who see me turn blind their eye as they turn up their nose;
They point and stare, They shake their head in judgment, saying,
“Why don’t you get a job?” Or they say, “I have nothing for you! You Drunk! You Addict!”

Yet You are the one who put me in this world; You watched as I was raised by these Beasts you call Men. Under your watch I was cast from my house; Even then you were my God.
Meet me here. I see my end; I am alone. There is none at my side.

I am Surrounded By dirty cops; K-9 Unit ensures I have no escape.
They open wide their mouth at me, As a ravening and a barking wolf.
I am beaten like a sack, And all my bones are out of joint;
My veins are like fire; They Burn and are blackened.
I’m burnt out, I have lost my voice; And You leave me to rot.

For dogs have surrounded me; A church of hypocrites has circled me; They call me sinner.
I can count all my flaws. They point out every fault they can imagine;
They call dibs on my gear, And they flip coins for what I have in my pockets.

But You, O Lord, do not be distant; O’ You my friend, quick to help.
Save me from myself, Save me from the Dollar Almighty.
Save me from the hunger that bids me good morning; By my end I am saved from my means.
I will tell my Homies about you; I will praise You in Public.
You who love the Lord, sing to Him; All you in the church, do right by him,
be amazed all of you in your universities.
For He is not ashamed of me; Nor has He ignored me; But when I scream He hears me.
God is my only reason for joy; I shall promise to those who love him.
The poor will eat and be satisfied; Those who search for Him will praise the Lord.
Let your heart live forever!

All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord,
And the governings will sing to him.
For the kingdom is the Lord’­s. And He governs the world.
All the wealth of the earth will eat and worship,
All the filthy will bow before Him, Even he who can’t save himself.

The small will be Soldiers; the Lord will be told of the Next generation.
They will come and Declare “He is Justified!” To our children, “It is Finished!”.

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August 14, 2014

A Note From A Client


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