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. Please email LeDayne Polaski for Zoom access code. We look forward to seeing you!
Ayya Sudhamma: The Buddha’s frequent advice in brief to “do no evil, undertake what is good, and purify the mind” becomes more clearly relevant; though it applies well to all circumstances, the accessibility of this brief advice during times of stress, and its promise of empowerment and healing, even joy, make it resonate more.
Another quote from the Buddha: “Our fear is great, but greater still is the truth of our connectedness.”
Community Leader Awards Breakfast, May 27that 7:30 am.
This is the biggest fundraiser of the year for MeckMIN. Please consider buying a ticket($45, can be purchased up until day of event) , a half table($250, deadline of 5/19) or a whole table($500, deadline of 5/19) in support of the work of MeckMIN. Or become an event sponsor. A portion of this year’s proceeds will also be donated to Loaves and Fishes in gratitude for their work during this pandemic which is also supporting the efforts of MANY of the groups on these calls.
The 2020 Sydnor Thompson, Jr. Community Leader Award will be presented to Rev. Susan Suarez Webster of Central United Methodist Church.
The 2020 Bridge Builder Award Recipients are Nikola Taylor & Marsha Kelly for their work with the Migrant Assistance Project (MAP).
The inaugural Beth Wells Interfaith Service Award will be presented to long-time MeckMIN volunteer and champion Beth Wells.
Capturing the story of these weekly calls:
It was suggested that MeckMIN explore finding a videographer and editor who will work pro bono and create a story of these meetings and their impact. Silent Images was suggested as a possibility.
LIZ CLASEN-KELLY: MOTEL VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY
All four of the requests to the county are seeing some success. More than 12 handwashing and port-o-john station are now in operation and were positioned based on feedback from groups working on the ground.
A 70 room motel proposal has been approved. The County will provide the building, food, laundry and security. The motel will house 70 currently unhoused individuals who are high risk as identified by the CDC. Looking at folks 60 and older and others serious health risks. Urban Ministries, SHC and Salvation Army will staff the motel.
MeckMIN will serve as a volunteer coordinator. Volunteers are needed to package and deliver food once it has arrived at the motel. Beginning May 13th, two shifts are available: lunch from 11:30 -1 and dinner from 4:00 – 6:00. (Breakfast for the next day is delivered along with dinner.)
As of the time of the writing of the minutes, all slots are full. People are welcome to sign up as substitutes.
Location and other details of motel are confidential and volunteers will be asked to sign a statement agreeing to keep the information confidential as well.Volunteer opportunity is low contact and volunteers will be asked to wear masks.
Habitat Charlotte on Source of Income Discrimination (SOID) and its impact on Covid-19 recovery:
SOID refers to a landlord’s current right to reject a tenant based on where their rent money originates. Examples of income sources other than job wages include: Section 8 vouchers, Student loans, Social security, veterans benefits, child support, etc. Though there has been a halt to evictions until July 1, we know that there will be many starting on that date and when those folks need to find new housing they will encounter SOID. The Cares Act gave $5 million to the City of Charlotte, most of which will be used on rental assistance but if landlords can still collect application money and then deny renters based on source of income, we will have a problem. Please sign the petitionto end SOID which currently has over 1100 signatures. For more information, reach out to Ryan Carter, firstname.lastname@example.org
Continuing to feed families by picking up at CMS feeding sites and then delivering to families that cannot make it to the pickup site.
Loaves and Fishes training was hugely helpful. Thanks all around.
MarisaBucklewreports that they are halfway to their goal of 30 stimulus check donations.
This weekly call has resulted in a committed source of food for their boxes as well for which they are grateful but they are finding more neighbors in need of food every day and so welcome any additional food donations.
They are working to bring artist volunteers to the neighborhood to help deal with the trauma experienced in the pandemic. They are looking for volunteers to lead an art project around trauma and grief that would meet 1-2 hours, four times over the summer. The volunteer would provide the materials and the lesson and QCFT would provide tables, chairs, and students.
Suggestion:First Aid arts: they do art and trauma recovery and they have a free toolkit available right now that anyone can download and use right now.
Suggestion: Reach out to Bryn Gillette, a local artist, who may be interested
Served over 3400 individuals last week but down a little this week. April 2019 they served 4561 individuals and April 2020 they have served 15,585 individuals, to give a sense of the need.
They have thousands of spots availableand are usually serving 300-400 people at each mobile unit but it can handle 500 individuals. Please refer people freely.150 of their slots are home delivery that uses volunteers or LYFT drivers.
Breaking Ground on a new Statesville shelter
Evaluating alternatives to congregant settings. New idea will be announced soon and will require bag lunches so be on the lookout for that request.
Still need donations of masks and sandwiches.
Used grant money to purchase food from Sonny’s and deliver the food to Atrium cleaning staff at CMC Main as a supportive measure. This also supports a local business.
Partnering with CHA and CMS to provide meals at a nearby apartment complex with a number of families.
Received a National Benevolent Association Grant
Repurposed their “little free library” into a small food pantry which is emptied as soon as it is refilled.
Migrant Assistance Project:Nikola Taylor, email@example.com 704-488-1205
We are continuing weekly swaps at the Galilee Center parking lot. Working with OurBridge and CMS, they deliver 6000 meals/week. See article in QCityNerve.
We are talking with World Central Kitchenwho wants to partner to bring food to Latinx families in need in our community. See below for more details.
Looking for advice on how to gather and distribute cash to those in need as well for help with rent and utilities to avoid evictions in July and to help with bills which will be resumed soon.
Aimee Bridges919-771-4999is the contact for World Central Kitchen and she is working locally with the remarkable chef Roberto Mendozo. Their mission is to partner with local restaurants to support them – especially those affected by the pandemic – and pay them to supply meals to folks int the community that are in need.
Want to work with a LatinX community organization to identify the individuals. They do not have the structure to allow them to reach out to individuals. Migrant Assistance Project, Project 658and Refugee Support Services are working to fill that need. Camino Community Centeris another potential partner.
They can provide 500 hot meals/day, Monday through Sat.
Suggestion: OurBridgeworks with refugees and feed about 1000 people/day. They might be a valuable partner.
Need is great. But thanks to folks on this call, they have received needed tools like a tent, hand truck and more.
They have plenty of egg cartons. No more are needed. Thank you.
Have an online preschool for 2-4 year olds called “love and learn.”
Continuing to match new refugee families with mentor families via zoom
Still need soap, toilet paper, paper towels, disinfecting wipes, etc. They remain hard to find and when located, are expensive. They are looking for a source where they can buy these items in bulk
Working in partnership with Migrant Assistance Project. They serve slightly different communities but RSS is working to clear a final legal hurdle which will allow them to serve together.
Primarily serving those uninsured and underinsured medically. They have pivoted their work to offer services and supplies to their clients. Thank you to so many in this group: Elena Sepulveda, Caldwell family, First United Presbyterian Center and more.
LeDayne forwarded two potential funding sources to pursue
Need help with a family who just moved into a stable home from a hotel. Need furnishings – bed for mom, lambs, and more.
Suggestion: reach out to Beds for kids which has more than beds. https://bedsforkids.org/. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org Jonathan Sawyer or Malcolm Graham email@example.com (980) 422-1192
Used tents in good shape are welcome or new ones can be purchased for less than $30 each. These are the preferred tents: http://www.walmart.com/ip/Ozark-Trail-3-Person-Camping-Dome-Tent/422817405. To help, contact Deborah Woolard firstname.lastname@example.org
Day’s Inn Update: Water and power are both on at the Day’s Inn. Loaves and Fishes is delivering food to around 25 individuals. Still need supplies: toilet paper, paper towels, masks and gloves. Contact LeDayne if you want to help.
Question arose around where to send people for help now that Crisis is closed. Crisis is evaluating how to help families differently. Suggestion: Good Friends and Good Fellows might be able to help.
Note that Executive order 124 section 3 spells out the provisions that have been provided for families via rent etc. via Glencie Rhedrick.
MeckMIN will have a training on trauma later this month, on May 26 1pm to 2 pm, led by Cathy Hasty and focused on the current moment.
PRAYER FOR NONPROFIT LEADERS – Glencie Rhedrick.
May 14th, 11 am: Next meeting
May 26th, 1-2 pm: MeckMIN trauma and grief online training
May 27th: MeckMIN breakfast
Toilet paper, paper towels, masks and gloves for Days Inn residents. Contact LeDayne to help.
Please sign the petitionto end SOID which currently has over 1100 signatures. For more information, reach out to Ryan Carter, email@example.com
Urban Ministry continues to need additional masks and sandwiches
Dilworth Soup Kitchen is Developing a partnership with Project Outpour which provides showers to the homeless. They should begin offering mobile showers at the end of May but need 2 volunteers for shifts on Tuesdays from 10-2. Volunteers will clean mobile units between showers. Struggling to find people who are comfortable with cleaning the units between showers. Without adequate volunteers, they will not be able to begin offering the service at the end of May.
Migrant Assistance Project needs diapers, wipes and $$ or gift cards to buy diapers and wipes. Contact Nikola Taylor, firstname.lastname@example.org 704-488-1205 or drop off on her front porch, 14002 Mareshead Lane, Matthews, NC 28105
Migrant Assistance Project needs guidance on building a process to deliver cash assistance to families in need.
Refugee Support Center needs soap, toilet paper, paper towels, disinfecting wipes, etc. They remain hard to find and when located, are expensive.
Lionel Lee Jr. Center for Wellness; SonjaL@LLCWellness.org. They need furnishings for a family who just moved into a stable home from a hotel: Queen bed, dressers, lamps, etc.
Block Love is looking for tents or donations of money for tents as well as sleeping bags and tent platforms. To help, contact Deborah Woolard email@example.com