May 14 Faith, Community and Nonprofit Leader Meeting

by LeDayne McLeese Polaski / 15 May 2020 / No Comments

MeckMIN Leader Meeting Minutes

May 14 

50+ participants 

OPENING PRAYER  

The Book of Common Prayer (1928), in the burial service, says, “in the midst of life we are in death” not to frighten but to liberate us with truth. . . . When the morning comes, we give thanks for it, upon our first awareness and through the day. When we lie down at night, we praise the gift of life and its Author. While we go through the day of work and play, we engage it wholly, as if it were our first, or last, as if it were of ultimate value. It is. We care for our lives, doing what we know is good and right for us. Being present to this day, this life, even with its own set of hardships, is a way of giving thanks for it. We make plans for tomorrows because we can, because we must. But today is a pearl of great price. That knowledge gives us substance upon which to pray, meditate, and be grateful. — Jan Fuller,  Chaplain at Elon 

GENERAL INFORMATION

Invitations from MeckMIN: 

Trauma Training for this Moment:
Tuesday, May 26, 1 to 2 p.m. (The Zoom meeting will open at 12:45 p.m.) You are invited to join us for a webinar with Cathy Hasty on using what we know about trauma, including the best current research, to shape the conversations we’re having in this moment. It’s aimed at faith leaders but may be useful to others. If you are interested, you are welcome to attend. Let’s explore together what we can be doing to help people (including ourselves) be their best selves in this challenging moment. 
See attached flyer. Advance registrationrequired. 

Awards Breakfast

Sponsorships are due in by May 19; Tickets are available until the day before the event. It will be via Facebook Live. A portion of every sale will go to Loaves and Fishes. Registerfor an individual ticket ($45) or a half table or table sponsorship ($250/$500). Thank you to the many participants on these calls who have stepped up as sponsors and/or brought tickets. 

Notice of regulations for houses of worship:
As of now, outdoor gatherings are allowed so services can be held in a park or parking lot so long as six feet distance is maintained between people. Child care is going to be something that each congregation needs to figure out since kids often have a hard time with distancing. This phase continues at least through the 19thor 20th. Guidance from the state for houses of worship can be found here: https://files.nc.gov/ncgov/documents/files/covid-19-outdoor-worship-services.pdf       

ReOpening Sign on Letter– Rabbi Asher Knight 
Keeping our Communities Safe initiative:  This signing statement is intended to reassure our community that health is our number one priority and that some houses of worship may NOT open as quickly as guidelines suggest they can. It was co-authored by Pastor Lori Raible and Rabbi Asher Knight. The note will be sent to the Observer and others.

A note: congregations should speak to their insurance companies and lawyers and then with their boards about liability exposure if they reopen. If you have questions, reach out to Rabbi Knight at rabbiknight@templebethel.org, 214-883-2149 

If you share the priorities of the letter, please sign and share it with your colleagues and contacts via the link: https://forms.gle/2cKhxubLfDaaSjuX9The initiative states: “The Charlotte region has thousands of diverse faith communities impacted by the persistent and serious threats associated with COVID-19. Each faith community has found creative ways to express our core beliefs and spiritual practices under the social distancing guidelines. We yearn for connection and the chance to worship together. We understand and respect Governor Cooper’s recent announcement transitioning North Carolina towards the easing of restrictions. COVID-19 remains a considerable threat. Lest we forget, faith communities who sang together, shared meals, and stood shoulder to shoulder were initially hit hardest by the virus. Regathering prematurely risks the spike of infection. 

“We will approach the complicated process of regathering in our temples, mosques, sanctuaries and meeting halls with abundant caution and intention. Respectfully, these decisions may not align with the guidelines offered by government officials. We share the belief that all people are created in the image of God. It is the health, safety, and well-being of our communities and neighbors that motivate us towards making decisions that will care for and protect one another.”

Deadline to sign was Thursday at 12:30, but you can continue to share it with people who may find the language helpful. 

Update on Hotel:

Hotel with 70 rooms opened on Monday. This is the result of our efforts (along with others) to have the county do more for unsheltered people at high risk of serious health issues or death if they contract Covid19. Right now, they are focusing on people aged 65 and older. The focus may get broader if there are rooms remaining. 

We need a congregation/group to step into the Saturday lunch spot. (We have it covered this Saturday.) 

We MAY need a congregation/group to step into the Friday dinner spot. 

If you sign up, you’re responsible to have a smallgroup of regular volunteers and to make sure two people show up each time. Volunteers must sign a confidentiality agreement. 

Contact Sally – sally@meckmin.org— to discuss taking one of these volunteer slots. Substitute slots are also available.

Today (5/14) is first day of service and we will report on the experience next week. 

There are three county hotels altogether and each is required to get equal resources so please don’t contribute something extra to the hotel that MeckMIN is servicing with volunteers.

NONPROFIT UPDATES  

TORC

Jessica Maria, 980 339.9139. jessica@actionnc.org. They are supporting the residents at the Days Inn. Since management abandoned the property, non-residents have squatted and are causing some disruptions. There is a case headed to court regarding the situation. In preparation for a possible relocation of the families, TORC is asking folks to help connect them to friendly landlords who might be able to resettle a family or more. 

Also working on Eastland area. There is no commitment for affordable housing in the redevelopment. They have formed a petition for more transparency around the mall redevelopment. 

Suggestion: Glencie Rhedrick offered a link to information around $3.5 million city rental assistance. TORC knows but there has not been a clear way to apply that they know of. 

Urban Ministry:

Thank you to everyone!

We are opening a third location which will allow for more social distancing AND allow us to serve more people. Residents will be men who need employment to be successful. We will need bagged lunches to help make that work. There will be a signup genius. There is also an amazon wishlist

There are enough sandwiches. For those who have made an ongoing commitment – please keep them coming. But no new sandwich or one time donations are needed at this time.

We need donations of more cloth masks. 

This link is for signing up a group to provide 70 bagged lunches:

https://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090b48ada82ba0f94-may20201

This is the Amazon Wish List to provide Welcome Baskets for the guest who will be moving into the new shelter site:

https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/2WE8UJACH4VKJ?

Loaves and Fishes

Mobiles are still running and able to serve over 3000 people on their own. This week they dropped from serving 3700 in the week to 3100 people. It isn’t clear yet if that’s a trend. Their total capacity is much higher, so keep the referrals coming. They can provide home delivery to about 150 people. If a referent needs diapers or wipes, please mention at the time of the referral.

If someone has concerns about navigating the social service network, they can call the office directly and the office will walk them through the referral process the first time. After that, they will need to get a referral from an approved source such as a faith leader or nonprofit agency.

MAP was the #2 referral source last week, #1 was Camino Community Center, #4 was Latin American Coalition. Our Latinx neighbors are being hit particularly hard by the current economic crisis. There was also a big explosion in referrals from Christ Center and the Faith community as a whole was the #6 referring agency.

They have a surplus of processed snacks and juices that go to schools under ordinary circumstances. Let them know if you can use these supplies

They need diapers and wipes

Their collaboration with second harvest is going well. They are anticipating a big influx of fresh food and meat due to the government buying program and when it comes in, they will work with Second Harvest to distribute the food.

Refugee support services:

Had to turn some families away last week from the Galilee center where they are serving because they exceeded their 110 family cap. They are working to up their capacity. 

They are looking for fresh food – oranges etc. 

Thank you to the Islamic relief Center, Tyson Foods and Galilee Center.

Last week they were able to provide a Mother’s Day dinner – providing each mother with a 10 lb bag of chicken and a 50 lb bag of rice. 

They need donations of money or gift cards because they try to provide a 10-15 dollar gift card with each food gift. This gives families some agency to purchase the things that matter most to them.

MAP

Big ask is for Diapers. We are planning a diaper pickup day for those who do not have transportation. We also have a lot of toiletries and more for kids to make available in the drive by.

Nikola has continued the 700 lunches for CMS kids served by OurBridge. They have just about finalized a program to continue the deliveries over the summer on the weekends which will supplement the food stamp cards that provide meals during the week. 

They continue to service their hotline. 

They continue to deliver to people who do not have transportation. Relying on Spanish speakers and google translate. They have gotten referrals from social workers. Helping those who are corona positive and have special needs (rent, utilities, and more). 

Domestic violence is an increasing problem as well and they are affiliating with some counselors and social workers to respond. To get donations to MAP Migrant Assistance Project:  Because we are not an official non-profit, we’re asking for individual donations of cash or gift cards. Please email me marshakelly2003@yahoo.com or nikolamtaylor@yahoo.com for details. We can also make arrangements to receive donations of large boxes of diapers and wipes. Thank you!

QCFT:

They have raised $26K of their 30K goal and can now help cover 26 families’  financial needs.

Their highest priority is for artists, therapists, and social workers to volunteer to work a few hours a week.

Shout out to Karen Taylor from MPBC with a full room of food donations from them.. 

Get updates on QCFamily Tree at https://docs.google.com/document/d/1HNkj7XkH8XFscQYjTaq6HFcmNxKhbxVyBya8BcrmQtA/edit

Crisis Assistance: 

They are beginning to switch gears away from helping families housed long-term in hotels and back to their core mission of eviction prevention. They anticipate a surge in need when the courts reopen which they expect to be soon.

They are creating two new online portals – one for partner agencies and one for customers.

Their walk up service will have to change in the future to accommodate social distancing norms. They are examining and reevaluating policy now. 

They have a big need for masks. They hope to give every customer a free mask to take home when they meet with them. They can accept donations of masks next week at : Crisis Assistance Ministry, 500-A Spratt St. Charlotte, NC 28206

Supportive Housing Community: 

They need $17K to clean and disinfect the rooms for the remainder of the year. If anyone wants to collaborate – contact Linda Miller.

PRAYER FOR NONPROFIT LEADERS – Fran Cook-Mahood

Dates:

5/19/20:  MeckMIN breakfast sponsorship deadline

5/21/20, 11 am: Next meeting

5/26/20, 1-2 pm: MeckMIN trauma training

5/27/20, 7:30 am: MeckMIN breakfast

Attachments: 

Flyer for MeckMIN trauma training

Flyer for MeckMIN breakfast 

Contact Info:

  1. apryllewis0@gmail.com
  2. Jessica Maria: 980 339.9139. jessica@actionnc.org
  3. Asher Knight – rabbiknight@templebethel.org, cell: 214-883-2149
  4. Adam Cline, acline@crisisassistance.org, Crisis Assistance Ministry, 500-A Spratt St. Charlotte, NC 28206
  5. Linda Miller – linda@aplacetoliveagain.org

Needs:

Please consider signing the Keeping Our Community Safe letterre: independent openings of houses of worship

Connect TORC with friendly landlords (reach out to Jessica Maria: 980 339.9139. jessica@actionnc.org)

Urban Ministry needs bagged lunches to serve their dorm space https://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090b48ada82ba0f94-may20201– And they have an Amazon wish listfor needed supplies. 

Loaves and Fishes needs diapers and wipes. Contact tina@loavesandfishes.org; or 704.594.5839

Crisis Assistance Ministry has a need for cloth masks. They can accept donations of masks next week at : Crisis Assistance Ministry, 500-A Spratt St. Charlotte, NC 28206

Urban Ministry needs donations of cloth masks. 

Refugee Support Services needs $10-15 gift cards to Walmart and fresh food and veggie. Contact info@refugeesupportservices.org

MAP Migrant Assistance Project needs donations of cash or gift 

cards to buy supplies. Please email marshakelly2003@yahoo.com or nikolamtaylor@yahoo.com for details. We can also make arrangements to receive donations of large boxes of diapers and wipes. Thank you!

About the author:

LeDayne McLeese Polaski