Posts tagged ‘clients’

December 5, 2018

Merry Christmas


We thrive because our identity is deeply rooted in God’s calling to serve street-dependent young adults, and because we are clear about what we do and what we don’t do. We want to see our clients become more stable and more sober, to reconnect with God and find a faith home! — Terry
We strive to be known
as trusted, inspiring, empowering and fresh!
This is the 40th time I’ve written this quarterly newsletter. Our first was December 2008! Over the years, more than 5,000 clients have helped us learn exactly who God shaped us to be.
I was speaking with Bam this past week. I knew him 15 years ago when I first started volunteering with homeless young adults. “I didn’t know what to do about you,” he recalled. “You just showed up. And you didn’t go away like so many other people in my life.” Bam now manages 11 local fast food restaurants. “It took me about a year to decide to trust you,” he said. “You would just come alongside and get involved. But you always wanted to help.”

I couldn’t have been more surprised when Bam called me up many years ago to share that he had become a Christian, let go of his anger issues and ended his criminal and drug involvement. I am very proud of him. As I showed him around the Drop-in this past week, he remarked, “It’s so easy here to see what you care about. You care about us.”

Over the 10 years, I have struggled with identity, personally and as a ministry. We thrive, I think, because that identity is deeply rooted in God’s calling to serve street-dependent young adults, and because we are clear about what we do and what we don’t do. We want to see our clients become more stable and more sober, to reconnect with God and find a faith home.

I was chatting on Facebook with another client this week. Justine was no more than 18 when we served her a few years ago. She loved drugs and was highly unpredictable. She traveled around but would come visit us, sometimes a few days and sometimes a few months. She participated in our outreach, our Bible study, our prayer time, as well as just hanging out and talking. “I’m sober now,” she wrote me. “I had to straighten up for my child … a beautiful baby girl 9 months old. I just wanted to let you know.” She continued, “Things are about to fall apart. I’ve separated from my husband, but we’re working on it. I live with my brother and go to church. I’ll make it.” So now we are praying for her.

We’re real, relevant and fun. These three things provide a unique way of helping, letting clients know why we care, and letting them know we believe in them.

I had a tough conversation this week with Marty. He got into two fights inside our space this past week, and he broke some things. “So what was going on with you?” I asked. He pointed the finger at others but then asked, “So, can I come in now?” I shook my head. “I’ll be happy to get you anything you need and bring it out here, but until you can own some responsibility for what happened, I’ll have to say no.” He left angry. He’s got a mega-chip on his shoulder from a pretty rough upbringing. He’s up and down with drugs. But he wants better and he tells us about it. We know he’ll get there. We’re praying for the chance to continue our discussion. We know he can turn into a Bam or a Justine in time, discovering his own story of healing and restoration.

We will be trustworthy for Marty. It means being tough at times but consistent. We will be inspiring. We know he can overcome all of this with help from God. We will be empowering. We won’t tell him what he needs but will wait patiently and support him as he finds his way. And we will continue to find new and fresh ways to engage with Marty so that the conversation continues.

In ten years we have grown to become a great team doing amazing things. We have four wonderful associate missionaries and Drop-in workers dedicated to being present for our clients. We have two interns. We have 275 supporters. We have hundreds more volunteers, a thousand prayer warriors, and many thousands of readers and followers. Thank you for being a part of this ministry for Bam and Justine and Marty! I pray you have a very joyous and meaningful Christmas!
Terry Cole

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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 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 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 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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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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September 14, 2016

Latest Monthly Goals! July 15 – August 15


Each month, our clients make awesome progress that we celebrate!

We pray for our clients in four important areas: stability, sobriety, reconnecting with God, and finding a faith home.


Join us in celebrating these:

————————————————————

Stability 
Jobs obtained — One got a new job at El Mercado. Another at a car wash. Another at Popeye’s. One at at H2O. One client no longer on the streets has a job as a janitor at UT and is the elected labor representative. Three more additional clients are working at new places. Another client no longer on the streets has a new job at Hoodz steam cleaning restaurant vent hoods. One client no longer on the streets just passed is real estate exam and is a new broker! One client no longer on the streets has a job at a concrete company. One client was hired by the Downtown Alliance. Another is is working at a restaurant on the Drag, and one got a job at Fry’s Electronics. Finally, one has a new job at the UT Co-op Please join us in praying they can keep their jobs. It’s not easy!



Jobs maintained — One client is still working at Barlotta; Another is still working as a secretary at Centex. Job maintenance takes work!


Housing — 18 clients are celebrating new housing this month! Awesome work, folks!


Education — One client is attending GED classes, another is still in culinary school and one has started school at ACC, majoring in law enforcement. Education is such a door opener!


Family reconciliation — One client has reunited with her birth mother, another is getting back into his daughter’s life and one is returning home. Re-forming adult family relationships is hard work!


Benefits— Three clients are celebrating government benefits, and one newly pregnant client is seeking WIC support. A little help can go a long ways!


Transportation — Two clients are celebrating getting dependable cars. Getting reliable transportation frees one to work outside bus routes and schedules!


Misc. — One client is pregnant and spent the full month off the streets!  Less street months means much better outcomes!

Sobriety 



Milestones — 12 clients are celebrating sobriety milestones this month. It’s always a daily choice!

Reconnection with God 



One client wants to serve Street Youth Ministry someday. One client confessed to an ongoing sin. Another client is celebrating his new belief in Jesus. Faith is such a great resource!

Finding a Faith Home 



One client is actively looking for a church home, and another is attending a Bible study at his church. We are our clients’ church-on-training-wheels, and we love it when they find their own communities to call home!

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September 8, 2016

Mascot at large!


Unconditional Love!



The Street Youth Ministry personality seen most often in the photographs we take is not the lead missionary, Terry Cole. It’s Rosie, Terry’s counseling dog, who seems to know exactly when to find her way into the frame before a shutter release is pushed. She provides untold comfort and companionship to clients and volunteers alike.

When Terry started the ministry, he studied a book on fundraising. There was literally a chapter in the book called “Don’t Buy a Dog.” It was about not intentionally increasing your cost of living when raising support. Lol!

About that time, Terry’s daughter chose a dog breed that would be perfect for the household. Non-allergenic, small, non-shedding, hardy, friendly. But Terry said, “No way. Now is not the time to buy a dog!” 
Within a couple weeks, we found ourselves on a family vacation together and riding one of those little tourist trains. The ride owner had two dogs that loved to ride with passengers and one of them hopped into Terry’s lap. Low and behold it was the type selected by Terry’s daughter. After the ride, the whole family was musing over this “coincidence” when the ride owner came up and said, “We have puppies for sale.” The whole family was shouting, “Please, please, please!” Terry kept to his mantra, “Now is not the time to buy a dog. And who buys a dog on vacation, anyway?”
A few days later on the trip, Terry called a family meeting. He shared that if the family would chip in to pay the purchase price, Terry would raise the funds for the medical bills for shots, spaying, etc. Everyone was quickly in accord and we cut short our trip to go pick up our sweet Rosie! Here she is on her ride home from Arkansas!

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June 25, 2015

Client Achievements






We love watching our clients succeed! They must want it and they do the work. One summed it all up the other day in prayer time: “Lord, help me to want to help myself get off the streets!”

We know we cannot fix any of their problems, but we know someone who can (Jesus)! We provide encouragement, hope, and lots of love.

In the last 30 days, here are some of our praises for goals accomplished: 38 stability goals, 10 sobriety goals, and 2 faith goals! Wow!

  • Two clients cleared legal problems. Unfortunately, even simple tickets for camping or side-walk sitting can turn into disasters once you’re working or housed.
  • We had four clients finish up semesters in education at ACC and UT! We are so proud of them! We provide textbooks for clients willing to do with work of seeking financial aid, enrolling, and choosing classes. And we are willing to provide tutoring on Wednesday nights for any client student.
  • We’re delighted that two clients have entered case management with organizations off the Drag. It can be so helpful to have a case manager helping to hold you accountable. We do case management “lite” for all our clients but love it when they also take up referrals to other agencies that help.
  • One client got his ID. We’re so sorry that IDs are so hard to get in Texas for homeless people. We pray for a more just solution over time.
  • One client has gotten transportation. So many of the jobs are not reachable by bus, so this really helps stay employed.
  • One client has gotten back on medication and is keeping up the work of taking them daily. It can be such a temptation once you start feeling better to stop.
  • We celebrate 14 clients obtaining jobs. A new job usually represents a tough time for clients with lots of new stresses and challenges. Often they quit due to bullying or despair. They are rarely fired.
  • Ten clients have moved into housing. Housing is usually a progression from somewhat unstable solutions (couch surfing, paying a little rent for a spare room) to better solutions (a shared apartment, a lease in their name). Few of our clients go into permanent supported housing.
  • We had ten clients achieve sobriety milestones. These range from 2 days to many years. We are so happy to see many people reexamining their sobriety desires and needs. 
  • Two clients have achieved faith goals. One is reconnecting with God, something he never expected to be interesting to him. And another has found a new faith home where he attends regularly.


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