The One Day “Point-In-Time” Count is a federally mandated annual exercise (for cities receiving federal monies to fight homelessness) to count the number of homeless individuals and families in a given area. The theme for this year’s PIT count is “Everybody Counts.” This year (2018) Spokane is radically re-inventing its approach to the count by going high-tech and using a smart phone app rather than awkward paper forms. The goal is a more accurate count and less paperwork.
The lack of adequate shelter beds in Spokane for women in crisis has been an on-going embarrassment for some time. Great article in The Spokesman-Review about the new women’s shelter opening up. Kudos to Union Gospel Mission for stepping up and making a significant investment toward resolving this problem. Unfortunately, as Phil Altmeyer (Executive Director at UGM) recently told me, even this won’t be enough. Read about it here.
My thanks to Chef Curtis Smith and his students from the Inland Northwest Culinary Academy at Spokane Community College for preparing and serving dinner to the men at Truth Ministries Men’s Shelter in Spokane! They prepared an incredible “Breakfast For Dinner” that will be hard to match! Truth Ministries has more opportunities available for individuals, churches or groups wanting to fix dinner for the men!
Wednesday is production day for our weekly radio program. Working on scripts in the morning over good coffee. Afternoon studio session. An hour of studio recording for a Roundtable is followed by two hours of “post-production” work, doing digital editing, adding music, getting the whole thing together within a specific time format of 57minutes and 45 seconds (:57:45). Recorded a great Roundtable featuring directors of local area homeless shelters; Rusty Barnett from VOA-Hope House (women), John Robertson from VOA-Crosswalk (teens) and Rich Schaus from UGM Women’s Crisis Shelter. Great people with lots of experience in these challenging areas of ministry to “the least of these.” Hear the whole interview Saturday morning a 10:00AM on KTW (630AM).
Gale and I have been spending the Thanksgiving Holidays with my family in North Carolina where I grew up. My 91-year-old mom still lives in the house we boys (3) grew up in. After Thanksgiving we traveled down to the coast where my younger brother and his family live on Ocean Isle Beach. After a long day which included a trip to the local Emergency Room (turned out to be nothing major, but disconcerting when you’re away from home) and a beautiful afternoon on the beach, we decided to treat ourselves to dinner out at a local restaurant. Our waitress (Marcie) was a talkative bundle of energy. She was actually glad to have worked on Thanksgiving Day (their busiest day) and was a little concerned that tonight was slow in her section. As we were preparing to leave Gale said, “I’ve got some extra ones if you want to leave her a little extra tip.” I gave her my “Cheshire Cat” grin which meant I had a different idea. You know, the look that makes spouses roll their eyes in a combination of fear and anticipation. I reached into my wallet and pulled out $20, along with a “My Brother’s Keeper” conspiracy card. I folded the bill up and placed the card on top, followed by a salt shaker to hold them in place. As we headed for the door I saw Marcie and said, “Left something on the table for you.” I always wonder how people will respond to such things. Our path back to the car took us by the window where we had been seated. “Look!” Gale said with an excited giggle. It was Marcie. She had raised the blind and was standing at the window, waving and patting her chest, saying “Thank you.” Sometimes, eating out is about more than the meal. It’s about those moments God offers us to connect with people and to do good. I like to think of it as sowing the seed of the Kingdom in forms people can understand and appreciate. Now, it’s your turn to do good and to spread the conspiracy!