Our weekly check-in meeting is open to anyone interested in supporting compassionate community response to our most vulnerable neighbors in this time of crisis. Meetings are held online every Thursday from 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Email LeDayne Polaski for Zoom access code. In addition, if you would like to receive notification when these minutes are posted, please subscribe to our newsletter.
Click Here to Access 10/15/20 View Zoom Recording: Passcode: s#pks$t8
In this Issue:
3/4, 11 am MeckMIN Leaders Meeting
3/10, 3 pm: East Charlotte Leaders Meeting
3/15, 4-5 MeckMIN Youth Leader Meeting (Zoom)
3/15: Deadline to apply as Host Employer for Mayor’s Youth Employment Program (MYEP)
3/15: 2021 NC Community Resilience Conference
3/15: Letters of intent due for grants from National Fund for Sacred Places
3/16-17: 2021 Learning and Leadership Virtual Summit
By Amy Brooks; So this morning I want to offer you a blessing – not of your hands but of your hearts—because to do this work I think you need to have very big hearts. So here is your blessing:
Bless Our Hearts This Day:
Bless our hearts this day with the strength we need to keep going in the long days of pandemic when we feel tired and weak.
Bless our hearts with courage when we feel frightened for our families and neighbors and we are not sure how to help or the task seems greater than we can manage.
Bless our hearts with perseverance to serve when we feel unappreciated or misunderstood, even when we face seemingly insurmountable circumstances.
Bless our hearts with generosity to give to those in great need and to help one another achieve something we could never do alone.
Bless our hearts with kindness to treat each person no matter how great or small with dignity and respect we all deserve.
Bless our hearts with love, that rich wellspring of possibility that renews us with gifts we cannot always see or touch but still appear in our lives in surprising ways.
Bless our hearts this day, so that we in turn may be a blessing. Amen
News from Green Faith: Sacred People, Sacred Earth
Amy Brooks Paradise at firstname.lastname@example.org
On March 11, 2021 people of faith and conscience all around the world are organizing for the biggest-ever faith-climate day of action, all at the grassroots.
We hope you will share information about this global day of action and consider joining us in raising awareness of the critical state of our climate fight. It is important that we raise awareness that people of faith are concerned about this issue. You all have a deep understanding from serving your congregations and clients of the ways that climate change has displaced people, either directly through disasters like fire, flood and hurricane that devastate homes or more indirectly by reducing the ability of many to farm or fish their traditional grounds.
SIGN UP HERE TO TAKE ACTION! Organize an event, finding out where you can attend an event or become a sponsor for the movement!
2. MeckMIN Updates
This meeting is open to all youth leaders in Mecklenburg County who are interested in interfaith opportunities.
If you have friends/colleagues who work with youth as staff or as volunteers, please pass along this information and/or connect us to them. We would very much like to expand our outreach list.
Save the Date! July 15-18, 2021| In Our Own Backyard (IOOBY), an Interfaith DAY CAMP for high schoolers (rising 10, 11, 12th graders).
We are obviously paying close attention to the pandemic and we believe we'll be able to safely offer some version of the experience this July 15-18, 2021. We would be very grateful if you would share the invitation below with any youth going into 10, 11, or 12 grade. An individual invitation is the best way to get a teen involved. We hope you will reach out to teens you know and to those who work with them and encourage them to attend the camp. Those who have attended in the past have described the experience as transformative. The camp will offer opportunities to visit diverse communities of faith, to do service projects with one another and to have fun. It costs $250 to attend although scholarships are offered. The deadline to apply is June 15th.
Save the Date! Wednesday, April 7, 8:00 a.m. The MeckMIN Community Leader Awards Breakfast will be held virtually on Wednesday, April 7at 8:00am. This is a very special event where we honor inspiring local leaders and organizations by presenting The Sydnor Thompson, Jr. Community Leader award and The Bridge Builder Award. Tickets will be available to purchase soon.
BECOME A SPONSOR: In addition to honoring inspiring local leaders, the breakfast is the biggest MeckMIN fundraiser of the year. Individuals, groups, congregations, and businesses who choose to sponsor the breakfast are supporting all the work we do all year to foster understanding, compassion and justice.
· $250 for a half “table” with four tickets to the virtual event.
· $500 for a full table of 8 tickets
· $1,000 to become a sustaining sponsor
· $3,000 to underwrite an award winner
· $5,000 to be the event’s presenting sponsor
3. Nonprofit Updates
Shareena Mundodi, Director of Community Life, email@example.com
March 4th Virtual Lower School Lunch & Learn, Black History Month: Mundodi’s job is principally focused on DEI at the school and in that role she is a liaison with families and the broader community. She would like to invite anyone interested to “attend” a virtual lower school lunch and learn on March 4th which is part of Black History Month. The students in 2nd grade have each designed lunchboxes in the style of the Jim Crow era as part of learning how Black workers would have had to bring their lunch with them to work. They are designing and decorating these lunch boxes informed by research on a particular Black person of inspiration that they choose. The lunch boxes will be hand-delivered to the participants who will also get a guide with QR codes that lead to pre-recorded videos and live chats with the students. The guide and videos will be available to the full public, even those who are not able to get a slot as part of the lunch and learn. SIGN UP HERE!
Ashley Brown, Innkeeper@roofabove.org
Update on Tent City: Just a reminder first that Roof Above is not in charge of the tent city move but they have been involved in the logistics and so can report out.
More than 200 people were moved into 2 different county hotels, the locations of which are confidential. There is hope that enough people can be moved into permanent housing that the individuals remaining can be condensed into 1 hotel. Those in the hotels are provided with laundry service, bus passes, meals and supplies.
Roof Above is prioritizing programmatic work – mental health services, getting people into longer term housing etc. - services which are available to those in the hotels. Roof Above is managing these services at one hotel and Block Love is managing them at the other. There are no additional hotel rooms available as part of this project.
Security is provided for motels by private company and the sheriff. So far the stay remains at 90 days which means it will end around June. There may be an extension. Roof Above is working hard to get folks placed before then. Two people have been evicted from the hotels so far and both were for serious, non-drug related offenses. Displacing folks for drug use is not the priority for Roof Above.
Those who were at tent city but did not get a room are now a part of the general group of residents who apply for shelter – they need to use the regular shelter system which means Roof Above for men and Salvation Army for Women and children.
There are no more hotel rooms through the county hotels. The process for finding shelter is that men go through Roof Above lottery system. You call between 8 and 9 am to get on the list. Approx. 7-9 people per day go into the shelter system and there are 15-20 slots available for motels along with 50 spaces in the bunk bed overflow shelter. Women and families should call 211 and they will be directed to the Salvation Army process.
Kass Ottley, (704)576-0010, firstname.lastname@example.org
Seeking Justice CLT are housing folks who were missed by Mecklenburg County when tent city was evicted. Kass was looking for suggestions on how to register them in hotels without using her own name and Lucy Crain from Covenant Presbyterian suggested that they register under their own name via phone but use the Seeking Justice credit card. Any help getting these folks into more permanent housing would be welcome.
Seeking Justice CLT is paying for hotel rooms for a number of people who were not picked up to go to the hotel. They could use financial support to continue to do this.
Seeking Justice asked if they could continue to provide food for folks and Roof Above suggested that if they have a need it will be on their website and you can provide bagged lunches or sandwiches. People can also help by providing items from the wish list:
Pam Pearson. email@example.com, 704-641-4845
VoteRiders is available to anyone who needs an ID for any reason. They pay the fees, get you a ride to DMV and work with you to get you what you need. They are getting a lot of calls from former tent city residents and others.
Volunteers Neeed! – some hours in person but some on the phone. They will train you for what you need to know.
Samantha Williams, firstname.lastname@example.org
March 27 Drive-Thru Resource Fair . Volunteers Needed! International House is looking for 5 more volunteers for our drive-through resource fair event. Volunteers will help with some setup, help with different vendors. Everyone will help set up tables and chairs for the vendors and help with traffic control. Please email Samantha to sign up.Drive-thru event at Briarwood will be March 27th, arrive no later than 8 am and stay until 12:30 for breakdown.
Tent City Transition Overview: Though it was a terrible transition initially, it is turning out to be a blessing in disguise for many of our homeless friends. Many of them are happy to have warm beds, and hot showers, and not be out in the cold today! We are working with the folks who didn't make it to the hotel and continue to serve surrounding tent communities while our "mobile help center" assists some of the folks housed out the Mecklenburg hotels. Thanks for being a voice and a beacon for those in need. We have a lady in our office now with no where to go. We have several others who we are actively seeking housing/temporary housing.
If you have any resources that can assist us in housing these individuals both temporarily and long term please let us know.
Initially we would put them in temporary hotels as we got them housed one at a time. This young lady is seeking a rehab facility prior to being permanently housed. In general we have a lot of folks that are homeless or on the verge that we are serving everyday so we are pleased with the end result of the relocation, and hope that the services the county promises to provide are indeed provided.
Lionel Lee Center For Health
Sonja Lee, email@example.com :
Lionel Lee Center for Health is working with the LGBTQ community and right now are seeking housing for Trans Women. If you can help with that, please email Sonja.
Refugee Support Services
Rachel Humphries, firstname.lastname@example.org
Refugee Support Services had a client experience a tragic fire recently in which both the grandmother and a 9 year old lost their lives. In response, they are providing a fire safety seminar in conjunction with the fire department. The fire department will provide smoke detectors to all attendees but RSS would like to also provide a fire extinguisher to each of the 110 attendees. If you can support this work, please contact Rachel or order directly from their wish list
Fire Extinguishers! You can drop off the fire extinguishers on Wednesday mornings 8:30-10am at the Galilee Center, 3601 Central Ave. in the back parking lot.
Home2Home Ministries -DONATE NEW & USED Furniture
4. House of Faith Updates
Kristen Anderson, email@example.com
This weekend (Th through Sat) is the world’s largest family history conference and this year it is free and online. RootsTech will feature workshops on how to preserve stories and photos, music from amazing musicians and many more resources. Since it is online you can watch at anytime that is convenient to you up until next year’s conference. There are classes in 39 languages and 11 different language options for voice overs.
Memorial United Methodist Church is letting everyone know that we have launched a Little Free Pantry near the bus stop in front of the church, at 4012 Central Avenue. Food is available for anyone who needs it 24 hours a day. It is a small box with dry goods in it.
5. Charlotte- Mecklenburg Community Resources
Jennifer Rupp, Jennifer.Rupp@mecklenburgcountync.gov
Low income residents are eligible for LIEAP federal energy assistance between $300 and $500. LIEAP will have to return the money if it is not all claimed and money is still available! If anyone in your household is a citizen, the entire household is eligible.
March 31st Deadline: Your heating bill does not need to be in the process of disconnection to qualify for assistance through LIEAP. Download application HERE or call DSS Call Center at 704-336-3000. Pick up an application from DSS at 301 Billingsley Rd. or 3205 Freedom Drive. Applications can also be submitted via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org or dropped off at one of the DSS drop boxes, or mailed to DSS (Attention: LIEAP) 301 Billingsley Rd Charlotte, NC 28211.
Once your application is processed, you will receive notification in the mail to determine whether or not you were approved and the amount you qualify for. If you are approved for assistance, the payment will go directly to your utility/heating company and show as a credit on your account. This process may take between six and eight weeks to credit to your account so please continue to make regularly scheduled payments.
If your House of Faith is interested in hosting a vaccine clinic, you can reach out to Novant or directly to the Mecklenburg County Health Department.
Click here for Novant Form: If you have any questions, please reach out to Novant staff Robbie Doran, Manager of Community Engagement, email@example.com and cc firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
Download PDF: Novant Community Engagement Special Edition Newsletter- COVID-19 Updates
Click here for Mecklenburg County Form: Be sure and fill the form out completely. Part of the form asks about volunteers because the county will provide medical staff but they will need volunteers for other parts of the process management. If you have questions, please email Kimberly Scales at the Mecklenburg County Health Department.
Vaccination Update from the Mecklenburg County Health Department
Kimberly Scales, Kimberly.firstname.lastname@example.org
Vaccinations are continuing with health care workers and those 65+. On February 24th we also began vaccinating Group 3, teachers and daycare workers. If folks have questions about where to go to find vaccination sites, the Mecklenburg County Health Department Website is the best place to go for that information. There is no date that we can yet share for when Group 4 – those with chronic disease – will begin their vaccinations.
Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools is gathering information on summer programs available to students in 2021. If you are having a summer program, please share the information with CMS using the following form: There is a meeting coming up on March 8th to review the programs and begin planning how to help students recover from the enormous learning gap that has resulted from the pandemic.
Prayer for Nonprofit Leaders
Discourse on Good Will
May all beings be filled with joy and peace.
May all beings everywhere,
The strong and the weak,
The great and the small,
The short and the long,
The subtle and the gross:
May all beings everywhere,
Seen and unseen,
Dwelling far off or nearby,
Being or waiting to become:
May all be filled with lasting joy.
Let no one deceive another,
Let no one anywhere despise another,
Let no one out of anger or resentment
Wish suffering on anyone at all.
Just as a mother with her own life
Protects her child, her only child, from harm,
So within yourself let grow
A boundless love for all creatures.
Let your love flow outward through the universe,
To its height, it’s depth, it’s broad extent,
A limitless love, without hatred or enmity.
Then, as you stand or walk,
Sit or lie down,
As long as you are awake,
Strive for this with a one-pointed mind;
Your life will bring heaven to earth.
From teachings of the Buddha