Saturday, November 16, 2013

We're Making Some Cool Changes to My Blog

You've probably noticed this blog hasn't been updated in a while.  Partly that's because I got slack and partly because we've been really thinking hard about our best way to communicate all that's going on at the Men's Shelter.  So, this is the last post on My View from the Men's Shelter.  This blog site will go offline very soon.  But don't worry, a new blog (haven't decided on the title yet) will appear in early 2014 along with the discipline to keep it current.  Also look for MSC to begin using more video updates on our website -short clips to keep you informed and as passionate about our mission as I am.  Our website - www.MensShelterofCharlotte - isn't going anywhere so you can stay informed by visiting us online.  Thanks for reading and look for my new blog after the holidays.


Thursday, June 6, 2013

Celbrating Partnership

Yesterday, June 5, the Men's Shelter of Charlotte and Crisis Assistance Ministry announced a deepening of our already strong partnership.  MSC is enlisting CAM's help in managing our clothing donations used for the men we serve.  By doing so, both agencies do what we do best.  The men we still have their basic needs, maybe even better than before. May seem like a small thing, but allowing our agencies to play to our strengths allows us all to better care for vulnerable citizens in our community.  Isn't that the epitome of partnership regardless of the scope or scale?  Thanks CAM for helping MSC be a better community provider!

Friday, December 28, 2012

A Must Read

Just finished a new book by Tavis Smiley and Cornel West, The Rich and the Rest of Us: A Poverty Manifesto.  I highly recommend this read to anyone wanting to gain a deeper understanding of poverty in America and how it has been reshaped, not in a good way, since the Great Recession.  Their concept of a Universal Food Delivery System really resonated with me.  Whether or not you agree with the author's political leanings, this book certainly makes you think!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Facing the Fiscal Cliff

For many the impending fiscal cliff isn't all that important.  That's because so many of our most vulnerable citizens went off the cliff years ago.  The recession that came about in 2008 continues to push people off the cliff.  Failed mental health reform continues to push people over the cliff.  Inadequate discharge planning for people coming out of prison continues to push people off the cliff.  For those who already fell, climbing back up the cliff is often an impossible feat when facing such daunting obstacles as high unemployment, lack of jobs, low paying jobs, and not enough community support.  How can one expect not to fall off the cliff when they're teetering on the edge with no safety harness?  How can one climb back out of despair when they face an impenetrable mountain without even a rope?  These are hard questions made harder by the realization that we're talking about actual human beings - not statistics but parents, teachers, bus drivers, waitresses, and children. 

But all is not hopeless.  In Charlotte, we have an incredible faith community.  We have strong civic and philanthropic leadership.  We have a strong network of non-profits that work together behind the scenes more than anyone will ever know.  I think we'll hit our stride in 2013.  I'm optimistic about our collective ability to solve the challenges our community faces.  At the very least, I believe that the last several years have taught us how to be prepared for the cliff.  We all know we have to be in it together because for our community to succeed those among us struggling the most have to be given an opportunity to succeed as well.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

A Roof Raising "Thanks" to St. John's Episcopal Church

When John Patrick and his friends at St. John's learned that men entering our Statesville Avenue Campus shelter had to sometimes wait in the rain because there was no roof over our entrance, they felt the need to mobilize and do something.  Today there is a beautiful new roof over that entrance and the men could not be more appreciative!  John  told me he was partly inspired by the book October Sky to persevere and make this project come to life.  Curious, I read the book myself and can understand his determination.

Many thanks to the entire Outreach Committee from St. John's Episcopal Church for this new roof.  They stewarded the project from inspiration, to design, to fundraising, to installation.  Most important, they showed the homeless men we serve their concern not only for the men's well being when the weather is bad, but also concern for their dignity.  You have inspired me in the process.

Thank you!

New Entrance Roof at MSC's Statesville Avenue Shelter