The Difference…

The Difference…

From Emily Norris, Augsburg Lutheran Church“Will you call for me?” “Will you ask them?” “Will you go first?”Walking alongside our homeless population in Winston-Salem, I have witnessed time and time again the discrepancy between how my requests for assistance and my friend’s are received. Whether it’s requesting an appointment for a mental health screening, setting up a bank account, asking for a job application, or reporting a stolen phone, the weight my presence holds verses theirs is absolutely astounding. Whether it’s my skin color, my gender, my appearance, or my sometimes sassy attitude, my ability to receive service is expedited by my apparent and inherent class. Just earlier this week, one of Winston’s kindest and most chronically homeless showed up at my office asking for assistance. He apologized repeatedly for his unannounced visit, as he no longer had a phone to call first. While I assured him any visit from him was a bright spot in...
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INVITATION: CwD Partner Gala on 4/27

YOU are City With Dwellings!Every person  -- whether they served or donated, formed relationships with guests or prayed for them on their journey -- is essential to who we are and the work we are doing to address the crisis of homelessness in our city.   YOU ARE INVITED! Please also extend this invitation to your network  and circle of friends for our Partner Gala next Thursday evening.  A link for a PDF version for handouts or community bulletin-boards is at bottom of post.  We hope you, and your associates and friends, will join us as we honor the role everyone plays in realizing our vision of a city where all have a place to dwell in goodness!  [pdf-embedder url="https://citywithdwellings.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/CWD-Partner-Gala.pdf" title="Download -> CWD Partner Gala <- here"]...
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The End is Nigh (Sort of)

The End is Nigh (Sort of)

We are quickly approaching Friday night, March 31st, which will be the end of our shelter season, and our guests (and staff) have a couple of requests. Since the full-time shelters are full, our guests would love to have a dry, safe place to rest and call their own each night.  Our guests need: Our Staff needs:Bus passes, or donations specifically for bus passes*, for our guests to get to/from doctors' appointments, housing interviews, job interviews, work, etc. Even though we close this week, we still see many of our guests on a regular basis.What's Next? Drop off donations during daylight hours at Anthony's Plot, 2323 Sunnyside Av. There is a newborn in the house, please leave your generous donation on the porch (with a card so we can thank you), or put monetary donations through the mail slot in the door. Please DO NOT ring the doorbell. Want to donate online? Use link above or here*. Call Lea Thullbery during business hours...
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MoM Guest Post: Seeking Shelter

MoM Guest Post: Seeking Shelter

By Kelly HinesIn January 2014 Katie Bryant, the Minister of Children & Outreach at St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church, stood before our congregation and told us that our fellowship hall was about to become an overflow homeless shelter for the city of Winston-Salem. After the meeting, I went up to her and simply said, “I don’t know what I can do, but I want to help.”I have never been particularly called to help the homeless. Those without homes, those standing on street corners asking for money, have always existed outside my periphery. I’d become an expert at avoiding eye contact, dodging questions from my children, and stifling any guilt I had about drinking that $4 latte. So what was it now that made me feel called to action?[perfectpullquote align="left" ]“Oh, mom. They’re just people.”[/perfectpullquote] I asked myself that same question a couple of weeks later, when I stood next to my teenaged daughter, getting ready to...
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St. Timothy’s Shelter Updates

St. Timothy’s Shelter Updates

We are more than halfway through the Overflow Shelter season! You all have been amazing as you have stepped up to make sure that all of our volunteer roles are covered each night. [perfectpullquote align="right" size="21"] Children have decorated place-mats and snack bags to bring cheer to our guests.[/perfectpullquote]  Some of you come weekly to help with check-in, and a few of you overnight at least once a week.  One of you wakes up early two mornings a week to drive our guests back downtown, while another helps with nighttime transportation.  A few of you with organizational skills have gifted the shelter with some order.  Our children and youth have help clean and reset the shelter around (and as a part of) their activities.  Children have decorated place-mats and snack bags to bring cheer to our guests.  THANK YOU ALL!!!  Our overflow shelter simply could not operate without all of our volunteers sharing their time and...
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Snowed In

Snowed In

In my 20 years working in the Church, I used to always look forward to January and February. Specifically, the time between Epiphany and Ash Wednesday represented a slower time in the church, ordinary time, if you will, in a vocation that each day presents as anything but ordinary. I love my work especially because every single day is different--one never knows what each day holds, who will call, what will happen, where God's handiwork will be revealed. But after the marathon of Advent and Christmas, "ordinary" sounds very, very good. The rhythm of looking forward to the "ordinary" has helped me give my best during Advent and Christmas--knowing that rest would come after Epiphany.I enjoyed this sense of "ordinary" down-time in my work until 3 years ago when we opened a winter emergency Overflow Shelter at St.Timothy's. This past weekend, Epiphany came and went, along with our first big winter storm of the year (and hopefully the only one!)....
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35 & Counting Sheep—A View from Advent

One of my favorite Godly Play stories is the "Holy Family". It's a simple story, really, but is told in such a way that one might reconsider any preconceived notions of the nativity. Hand-carved, wooden nativity figures are set out in classic form and the children are reminded of fragile nativities that they may have seen elsewhere. "Don't touch it! It might break!", they may hear when approaching grandma's special heirloom nativity, however, in Godly Play, they are assured: "This nativity is for you". The characters of the nativity are introduced—meet Mary, Joseph, the donkey who helped pregnant Mary get to Bethlehem, and the cow who was surprised to find a baby in his feed dish. The story continues with an introduction of the shepherds, who heard angels singing and were afraid, and their sheep.The Godly Play set only includes 3 sheep, but the story is good to remind us that though our set has one shepherd and three sheep—there...
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A Snow-Blanketed City with Dwellings

(Originally posted on Wake Forest School of Divinity Unfolding Blog 1/29/16)As a native North Carolinian, I’ve been steeped in the understanding that when snow starts falling, public life quickly shuts down. Stay off the roads. We’re not equipped. It’s not worth the risk. Except for a few faithful public servants—road crews, policemen, hospital staff, etc.—we seem to have a collective hibernation instinct in the snow.I love the “Office of Communications and External Relations” emails announcing snow days as much as the next student—eagerly anticipating that it might come, like children looking up the chimney on Christmas Eve, and then nodding with knowing satisfaction at the gift landing in our inbox (did we really expect anything else?).But this past weekend the forecast gave me a different form of anxiety. I had a broader awareness of what’s at stake when a weather event halts the normal functioning of society. People can’t work (especially problematic for hourly wage earners), businesses lose money, children miss...
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Create Fun and Inspirational Cards for Overflow Guests at Christmas for the City

Create Fun and Inspirational Cards for Overflow Guests at Christmas for the City

December 18Come one, come all, especially if you are not volunteering at one of our shelter sites, and join us from 5pm to 8pm for a night of fun for all ages as Winston-Salem celebrates Christmas together!Join your neighbors and friends to create fun and inspirational cards that will inspire our shelter guests throughout the Winter Emergency Shelter Season inside their bi-weekly toiletry bags. Find us inside Christmas for the City and let your creativity flow, and create cards similar (or completely different) for these cards pulled from various parts of the interwebs. Please see our event page for more details and directions.      ...
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Advent, Radical Hospitality, and The Overflow Shelter

Our Overflow Shelter opened last Tuesday with 4 guests (now we're up to 8). That night, one of our guests came in soaking wet from walking in the rain and asked if we had any other shoes she could wear--as hers were full of water. One of our volunteers from St. Tim's didn't skip a beat; she asked what size she wore to find out they were the same size as the dry shoes she had on her feet. The volunteer took off her shoes and handed them to the guest, and the volunteer went home in her socks. This is what radical hospitality looks like. I could make a bigger deal out of this simple gesture of generosity, but folks, things like this happen every night at our shelter. Our volunteers share with our guests, our guests share with our volunteers; it's a give and take, take and give -- and we all come away from it a little better...
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