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!     ...
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Continuous, Transformative Relationships via Day Resource Center

Continuous, Transformative Relationships via Day Resource Center

From the Day Resource Center page:  The City With Dwellings’ Day Resource Center (located at 633 W 4th St., Winston-Salem) is an inviting and hospitable place to stay in touch with our guests. Tuesday and Thursday from 9am to 11am, we continue the positive, grounding relationships that were started during the Overflow Shelter season. Our guests needs are always varied, and may include: facilitate phone calls to doctors, governmental agencies, hospitals for records, etc.; or provide a bus pass for a verified doctor’s or housing appointment, etc.; or use of computers to apply for a job online; or assist guests with fine-tuning their résumé; or celebrate with them because they are gainfully employed, are housed, were reunited with loved-ones; and/or a quick board-game while they wait; etc. These two hours will quickly pass, and yet, these two hours can change the world. Your continued devotion to our guests and Winston-Salem now has a new outlet, signup today! ...
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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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A Bag of Chips

A Bag of Chips

I can’t get this image out of my mind.  This week Centenary UMC's church property had a break in at 2:30AM which was caught on video surveillance.  The man broke in to our property and went to a kitchenette and took a small bag of Doritos, stood there and ate them and then left.  He was in our property for a total of 4 minutes.  Walked right past other items of value and ignored them completely.  A bag of chips. It breaks my heart.  Yes, it is highly annoying to have to clean up a mess and deal with the inconvenience of damage to property.  Yes, it is frustrating to be a place that offers help and good will to people and then feel violated by intrusion.  I didn’t recognize the picture of the person that broke in and I certainly don’t know his story.  But it breaks my heart that he went through that much effort for a bag of chips. It is...
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MoM Guest Post: Seeking Shelter

MoM Guest Post: Seeking Shelter

By Kelly Hines In 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? I asked myself that same question a couple of weeks later, when I stood next to my teenaged daughter, getting ready to serve dinner to the twenty homeless guests that would be...
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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.  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 talents with our guests.  If you've missed out on this important ministry of our church this...
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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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Augsburg Overflow Shelter Informational and Partner Meeting

The Augsburg Overflow Shelter will hold a Partner Informational Meeting on Monday, November 21 at 7 p.m. in the Augsburg Family Life Center (844 W. Pilot View St. entrance). All volunteer and organization representatives are invited and encouraged to attend. We look forward to seeing all volunteers, both veteran and new, on Monday!  ...
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