This issue of Street Smart is sponsored by:
Register Now! DC Forum Schedule Now Available
You can now check out the complete schedule for AGRM’s 2018 DC Forum. The event will include a session with Kevin McCarthy, the Majority Leader in the U.S. House of Representatives. A number of other guests will help facilitate our sessions. In addition, the gathering will include a visit to the newly opened Museum of the Bible. And as always, the final day will be filled with appointments with lawmakers and/or their staff members in Senate and House office buildings. (Please note that in order to allow adequate time to arrange Capitol Hill appointments, AGRM needs you to register by February 23.)
Please note that our two hotel choices have some upcoming deadlines for honoring our arranged rates. Reservations must be made at the Hyatt Place Washington DC/National Mall by February 6 or at the Holiday Inn Washington-Capitol by February 9. Hotel details are on the DC Forum registration page.
The DC Forum provides your mission with the opportunity to connect with lawmakers and agency decision-makers in Washington, D.C., to: (1) Tell the story of how rescue missions are continuing to make a difference on the streets of our cities; and to (2) Convey our desires and concerns about policies, laws, and bills that can hamper faith-based organizations and the work missions do.
Your mission should be represented by a member of your leadership team. We suggest the CEO, COO, PR director, or the person on your staff who handles government relations. (And keep in mind that a younger staff member will fit in nicely, as the average age of a Capitol Hill staff member is 31.)
Snapshot Survey Results Due February 8
If your mission participated in AGRM’s 28th Annual Snapshot Survey, please remember to submit the results by Thursday, February 8. For more details and a link to the submission page, head to www.agrm.org/snapshot.
Each year, AGRM members survey thousands of individuals who are utilizing emergency shelter, addiction recovery programs, or other supportive services at missions. The data collected through the Snapshot Survey provides a valuable resource for your mission, and it gives local and national media a demographic snapshot of homelessness and poverty in communities across North America.
If you have any questions, please contact Director of Communications Brad Lewis at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don't Miss AGRM’s 2018 Annual Convention
The AGRM team continues to meet and plan more details for AGRM’s 2018 Annual Convention, which will be held June 12–15 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The convention includes great platform guests, inspiring worship, one-of-a-kind fellowship with your peers, and tons of networking opportunities. This is the only event of its kind, specializing in serving those who serve on the front lines of mission ministry.
Highlights this year that you don’t want to miss: A chance to win a refurbished Harley-Davidson motorcycle (you must be present to win), and the official unveiling of AGRM’s new refocus and rebranding.
Why wait? Head to www.agrm.org/2018convention for all the details and to register.
A Great Reason to Make Sure You Register Right Away!
From all the missions that have registered or that do register before the next price-increase deadline of March 15, we will be drawing for a $200 gift certificate to Mader’s Restaurant, and old-school place offering classic German cuisine, Bavarian décor, and traditionally-attired waitstaff. This offers a chance for one mission’s staff to enjoy a great meal in a relaxing setting—without having to foot the entire bill—and discuss what you are experiencing at the event.
By the way, those who took advantage of the Early-Bird convention rate, prior to December 15, were in a drawing of their own for a gift certificate to Pier 106, a restaurant located on Milwaukee’s RiverWalk. The winning mission is (drum roll, please): Madera Rescue Mission (Madera, California)!
So be sure to register now. You will be attending a great event, and have the chance to enjoy a local restaurant.
Work Continues to Serve Pine Ridge Indian Reservation
AGRM’s work in Whiteclay, Nebraska, and on the nearby Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, continues as 2018 begins. At the end of planning meetings hosted by Nebraska state senators Patty Lansing Brooks and Tom Brewer in Whiteclay in September 2017, participants developed a document that highlighted items they hoped would take place in the community over the next three to five years. At the head of the lists were items under Skills Training and Employment (including the establishment of a Makerspace facility), Youth and Community, Parks, Recovery and Wellness, and Hospitality.
The Whiteclay Public Health Emergency Task Force has identified three specific objectives that are in line with the long-term objectives, and these are areas the Task Force hopes to move forward to address in the near future: (1) Construction of a permanent 4G cell tower to enhance public safety, facilitate distance learning, and give individuals access to telehealth services; (2) develop and establish a treatment facility in Whiteclay; and (3) construction of a Whiteclay Memorial to ensure that future generations never forget the suffering perpetrated on the Oglala Lakota people.
In addition, more Emergency Placement Homes need to be funded so that they can open. At least four homes are available but need to be furnished and then sponsored for about $3,000 per month for operations. Last year, AGRM member Open Door Mission (Omaha, Nebraska) furnished the first home, and AGRM sponsored the monthly operational budget for a one-year period. If you would like to help furnish or sponsor the monthly operations of one of these Emergency Homes. please contact Director of Member Engagement Selena Hayle at email@example.com.
Honoring Extended Years of Rescue Mission Leadership
New at this year’s Annual Convention: AGRM wants to honor those who have served long-term as CEOs of AGRM-member missions. If you have been in mission leadership as a CEO for 35 years or longer and your mission has been in membership 10-plus consecutive years, please send a photo suitable for printing to Director of Communications Brad Lewis at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name, title, number of years you have served as CEO, and the name of the mission(s) that you have led.
Looking Down the Street…
AGRM Member Benefit: Members Directory
Nonprofits in Detroit Will Start Working Night Shifts
Starting January 22, nonprofits contracted by the city of Detroit to do outreach with homeless individuals in the city will begin working until midnight, seven days a week, to fill an after-hours gap in assistance for the vulnerable population.
According to an article from Crain’s Detroit Business, during an early December meeting, the Detroit Police Department expressed the need for support after hours in helping to get homeless people to shelters. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority agreed to support nighttime work for the city’s homeless outreach teams.
Three nonprofits provide outreach for the city: Cass Community Social Services, Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries, and Southwest Solutions. They’ll begin doing outreach from 4:00 p.m. to midnight, seven days a week.
Classes in Georgia City Will Teach How to Approach Mental Illness
As many as one in every five adults in the United States experiences either a chronic or short-term mental illness in any given year, according to a report from Columbus, Georgia’s Ledger-Enquirer. That’s about 62 million people.
Despite its prevalence, however, mental illness remains a largely opaque subject. Its effects aren’t visible like physical illnesses or injuries, and a stigma stubbornly persists that mental illness is not something that should be discussed or shared openly. In fact, in a survey from the Centers for Disease Control, only 25 percent of people with symptoms of mental illness believed people are caring and sympathetic to those with mental health problems.
The Columbus chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness wants to help change that. Beginning in February, NAMI will offer two classes completely free to those suffering from mental illness and those who care for loved ones who are suffering from a mental illness. The first, called Family-to-Family, is an 11-session course meant for family members, friends, and caregivers of adults who are living with a mental illness. The second course, called Peer-to-Peer, is a 10-session course meant to help adults living with mental illness better understand their condition and journey toward recovery.
Fentanyl Is 100 Times More Potent Than Morphine
The opioid crisis just keeps getting worse, in part because new types of drugs keep finding their way onto the streets. Fentanyl, heroin’s synthetic cousin, is among the worst offenders. According to an article from Stat, Fentanyl is up to 100 times more potent than morphine and many times that of heroin.
Drug users generally don’t know when their heroin is laced with fentanyl, so when they inject their usual quantity of heroin, they can inadvertently take a deadly dose of the synthetic substance. In addition, while dealers try to include Fentanyl to improve potency, their measuring equipment usually isn’t fine-tuned enough to ensure they stay below the levels that could cause users to overdose.
Fentanyl was originally used as an anesthetic. Then doctors realized how effective it was at relieving pain in small quantities and started using it for that purpose. In the hands of trained professionals and with laboratory-grade equipment, Fentanyl actually has a pretty wide therapeutic index, or range, within which the drug is both effective and safe.
The difference in strength between heroin and Fentanyl arises from differences in their chemical structures. The chemicals in both bind to the mu opioid receptor in the brain. But Fentanyl gets there faster than morphine—the almost-instantaneous byproduct when the body breaks down heroin—because it more easily passes through the fat that is plentiful in the brain. Fentanyl also hugs the receptor so tightly that a tiny amount is enough to start the molecular chain of events that instigates opioids’ effects on the body. This tighter affinity for the opioid receptor also means more naloxone—or Narcan—may be needed to combat a Fentanyl overdose than a heroin overdose.
ECFA Notes Some Effects of Tax Reform on Charitable Giving
No one can know for sure how tax reform will impact charitable giving. But here is some context on the new law and considerations for churches and ministries.
According to a report from the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA), the charitable contribution deduction was not directly eliminated or limited by tax reform. However, the near doubling of the standard deduction (now $24,000 for taxpayers Married Filing Jointly) means that significantly fewer Americans will be able to claim a charitable deduction because only those who itemize can claim the deduction. Also, the new lower tax rates starting in 2018 will mean less of a tax savings from giving by those who continue to itemize.
Tax reform did include a provision to increase the adjusted gross income limit for cash contributions from 50 percent to 60 percent, still with a five-year carryover. Looking back on history, we can see from the last major tax reform effort in 1986 that when taxes were cut, average giving continued to trend upward in the years following, despite predictions of a major downturn.
Even though some might have less incentives to give under the new tax law, it’s still true that supporters of Christ-centered organizations are most motivated to give by the missions of churches and ministries and by what the Bible teaches about generosity.
Severe Flu Still Widespread
The country is in the coast-to-coast grips of a severe flu season, on track to be as bad as the outbreak that caused an estimated 56,000 deaths in 2014-2015, federal health officials said Friday.
According to an article in USA Today, the flu remains widespread in 49 states, and reports of flu-like illnesses continued to rise through the third week of January, according to an update released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
One unusual feature of this year’s flu is that it has stayed widespread across the country for three weeks running, instead of popping up in one region and then another. Geographic spread does not indicate severity, but as of January 20, 39 states were still reporting high levels of flu-like illnesses. And 6.6 percent of people seeing doctors anywhere in the country had flu-like symptoms—the highest that measure has been since the pandemic year nearly a decade ago.
Maternal Health Statistics Are Alarming for Black Women
It’s no secret that black women have the highest mortality rates when it comes to pregnancy and childbirth, but still, the health statistics are still alarming.
According to an article in Ebony, in most developed nations maternal deaths are declining. But the United States shows a different story. Since 1987, the number of maternal deaths has more than doubled, and the country now is home to one of the highest rates of maternal deaths in the developed world, according to the World Health Organization.
The CDC reports that roughly 50,000 women suffer from pregnancy complications, with black women reportedly being three to four times more likely to die than white women during childbirth. According to researchers, there is no single cause for the issue as persistent poverty, lack of health care, and other factors such as high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes tend to affect black women at a higher rate.
The following job positions are currently open at AGRM member missions. Please visit www.agrm.org/careersto view full descriptions and to apply. Click here for instructions on using AGRM's Recruiting Center to post open positions for your mission.
Administrative Assistant (work from home): City Vision University, Kansas City, MO
Care Support Specialist: Light of Life Ministries, Inc., Pittsburgh, PA
Case Manager, Men's Shelter: Seattle's Union Gospel Mission, Seattle, WA
Database Administrator & Developer: Denver Rescue Mission, Denver, CO
Development Associate: The Path of Citrus County, Beverly Hills, FL
Development Director: Home of Grace, Vancleave, MS
Development Director: Waterfront Rescue Mission, Inc, Pensacola, FL
Development Officer: Good News Rescue Mission, Redding, CA
Director of Development: Rockford Rescue Mission Ministries, Inc., Rockford, IL
Director of Development & Community Relations: Good News Rescue Mission, Redding, CA
Director of IT: Career Cross Training, Colorado Springs, CO
Director of Justin's Place Men's Program: St. Matthews House, Naples, FL
Director of Major Gifts: Waterfront Rescue Mission, Inc., Pensacola, FL
DIRECTOR, LIGHTHOUSE FOR WOMEN & CHILDREN: Rescue Mission Alliance, Oxnard, CA
Domestic Violence Advocate: Seattle's Union Gospel Mission, Seattle, WA
Donor Development Professional: Madera Rescue Mission, Madera, CA
Executive Director: Lewis County Gospel Mission, Chehalis, WA
Executive Director: The Rescue Mission, Tacoma, WA
Facility Maintenance Technician: Denver Rescue Mission, Denver, CO
Faith Community Nurse - Guest Services: Good News Rescue Mission, Redding, CA
Food and Beverage Driver: San Francisco City Impact, San Francisco, CA
Guest Services Assistant - Women's Shelter: Good News Rescue Mission, Redding, CA
Health and Wellness Center Manager: San Francisco City Impact, San Francisco, CA
Hotel Manager: St. Matthew's House/Port LaBelle Inn, LaBelle, FL
Kitchen Ministry Coordinator: Seattle's Union Gospel Mission, Seattle, WA
Major Gifts Officer: Seattle's Union Gospel Mission, Seattle, WA
Major Gifts Officer: Buffalo City Mission, Buffalo, NY
Manager, Center for Women & Children: Career Cross Training, Colorado Springs, CO
Overnight Supervisor: Hope Gospel Mission, Eau Claire, WI
Resident Advisors: Hope Gospel Mission, Eau Claire, WI
Residential Coordinator_Cornerstone Manor Facility: Buffalo City Mission, Buffalo, NY
Salesforce Data Analyst: Atlanta Mission, Atlanta, GA
Sous Chef: Open Door Mission, Glens Falls, NY
STAR Counseling Supervisor: Denver Rescue Mission, Denver, CO
Transportation Specialist: Union Gospel Mission, Spokane, WA
Women's Growth Leader: Portland Rescue Mission - Shepherd's Door, Portland, OR
Women's New Life Recovery Program Case Manager: Good News Rescue Mission, Redding, CA
Women's Recovery Counselor: Union Gospel Mission, Spokane, WA
Women's Recovery Manager: Portland Rescue Mission - Shepherd's Door, Portland, OR
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths” (Proverbs 3:5–6 ESV).
Stress is a part of daily life. It’s even healthy in small doses, causing us to learn and grow, or find an inner strength we may not have known existed. Yet continuous stress over a long period of time may indicate that you’re trying to solve your problems on your own.
When faced with difficulties in life, even seemingly small things, we shouldn’t look inward for all the answers. Developing a discipline of turning to God for his wisdom and guidance—in all things—helps us achieve our greater purpose.
In Scripture, the word “fear” is closely associated with “trust.” In Proverbs 1:7 it says, “The fear of the Lord is the foundation of true knowledge, but fools despise wisdom.”
In this context, “knowledge” is understanding the world and ourselves in it. “Wisdom” is the acquired skill of applying that knowledge in order to live a godly life.
Easier said than done, right?
Yet when we truly and passionately seek God’s wisdom with open ears and an open heart, it will be given to us (Proverbs 2:1–6). What an encouraging thought!
But here is where the proverbial rubber meets the road. When we pray to receive God’s wisdom, we actually need to trust what He tells us, even if it feels intimidating or we don’t fully understand.
Trusting God goes well beyond the simple brains of our mere human intellect. If we try to apply our own understanding to a problem, we undermine His greater perspective. Trust requires a deep reliance on Him and His faithfulness to us.
It sounds easy yet we’re all guilty of keeping God out of the areas of our lives where we need help. Why?
It could be pride, ego, stubbornness, or lack of faith. But when we keep God out and try to do it all ourselves, we’re cut off from the greater purpose He has planned for each of us.
To contribute: If you would like to write a devotional thought for StreetLight, please make it about 200 words and include at least one Bible verse or passage, and submit via email.
AGRM is a nonprofit organization committed to furthering rescue missions. AGRM provides limited space in "Market Street" for advertising opportunities, services, and products to advance the cause of rescue missions. AGRM is not responsible for the claims made by its advertisers and reserves the right to select or reject any advertising, in the sole discretion of AGRM, for any or no reason.
PRIVACY: Protecting your privacy is very important to us at AGRM. We will not rent, sell, or exchange your e-mail address with a third party for any purpose.
All Scripture quotations taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, unless otherwise noted. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.
Street Smart is sent to you as a member service of AGRM, and is published on the 1st and 15th of each month (unless those dates fall on a weekend or holiday). The content does not necessarily represent the views of or imply endorsement by AGRM. To submit items for publication, e-mail email@example.com. To unsubscribe, email firstname.lastname@example.org.