Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Mail for Justice

Did you know that supporting the Welcome Ministry means promoting just mail.

The Welcome Ministry believes that it is unjust to require individuals to have a “residential mailing address” in order to obtain access to vital and life saving services.

Many of the individuals we work with are unable to use the address of the place where they live because they facilities refuse to accept mail, others stay in shelters, live on the streets or have other unstable situations that prevent obtaining an address that the location where they dwell. Still others have accessibility needs and need help reading their mail, determining what mail is important or other assistance.

The Welcome Ministry provides a safe place for people to obtain their mail, in a way that keeps them safe and helps improve the quality of life of the individuals who receive their mail here.

Friday, February 6, 2009

2008 Annual Report

While the best measure of our success can be found in the stories of how the lives of our guests have changed, a more tangible way to see our success in 2008 can be seen by looking at the numbers of what we have accomplished. In 2008, we took a leap of faith and hired an additional staff person (doubling our staff and our budget). We are proud to report that we were able to raise $1,525 more than we spent.

Our two paid staff members, pastors Megan Rohrer and Jay Wilson, spent their time in the following way (recorded by number of sessions):

• 3224 Meals served (Welcome Center: 1560, Evening Outreach: 225, Saturday Community Dinners: 1439)
• 682 Providing Pastoral Care sessions with Individuals/Families
• 68 Connecting individuals with their family
• 63 Accessing transportation
• 224 Obtaining birth certificates
• 121 Obtaining state and other types of identification
• 157 Assisting with Social Security programs
• 94 Teaching money management
• 241 Responding to special requests for specific material needs
• 255 Referring to housing (including 153 instances of coordinating with the San Francisco Homeless Outreach Team which typically ends in obtaining housing)
• 84 Accessing medical care
• 125 Accessing social services (including 64 instances of coordinating with case managers or allied professionals)
• 34 Advocating for other Disability accommodations or support
• 50 Directing to & utilizing legal resources
• 145 Directly reducing anxiety/stress (including 55 instances of PTSD direct support)
• 48 Facilitating to seek employment
• 13 Resolving mail issues (in addition to delivering mail daily)
• 8 Supporting individuals to apply for colleges/scholarships/jobs
• 1079 Distributing socks and toiletries
• 57 Testing for Tuberculosis 5 Conducting Memorial services
• 52 Participating in Health Skill Share classes

In 2009, you can expect the following new programs at the Welcome Ministry:
Urban Food Share Program: The Urban Food Share Program will work to create a community space to learn about nutrition and the slow food movement. This will include individual guidance for people to discover their own particular dietary needs and create a model for sharing food that uses a choice and empowerment model to explore ways to enable individuals with little or no access to a kitchen, refrigerator or microwave to eat healthier. We also hope to create a community gardening space so that our guests can have a closer connection to the foods they are eating.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Program: to help the homeless and other low income individuals deal with PTSD. In addition to the family and life trauma's that afflict many of the homeless, there are also 2,100 homeless veterans, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Worship and Reflection opportunities
In 2008 we initiated a study of the spiritual practices and needs of the Welcome Ministry community. While many individuals have found ways to partially meet these needs in other communities, even those with ties to other communities still wanted to participate in a worship here. We will be working on crafting an interfaith service in emerging church style, with reflective and community-building opportunities. In honoring both the expressed needs for interfaith space as well as Christian space, we will be using station-based planning so that people can choose which practices best fit their beliefs while sharing in community. Access in terms of financial/socio-economic, cultural, spiritual, anti-oppression, and disability access will be integrated in the process of planning, so that people whose experiences are marginalized are the center of this community. While initially staff and volunteers will plan and support this worship, we will draw directly from the Welcome Ministry community in all aspects of planning and implementation, particularly utilizing the vast artistic and musical talents of our guests. In addition to providing a more direct avenue for pastoral care, this will also supplement our main goals of creating community and empowering guests to use their gifts.

Organizations we worked with

-Adult Services, City & County of SF
-CATS- Community Awareness and Treatment Services
-CATS Coronado Hotel
-Central City Hospitality House
-City Hall, Board of Supervisors
-Coalition on Homelessness, SF
-Community Behavioral Health Services for the City & County of San Francisco
-Cornell House- Federal and State Prison Release Programs
-Department of Motor Vehicles, SF
-Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund
-DisAbled Student Union at the Pacific School of Religion
-Elk Hotel (Tenderloin Housing Clinic)
-Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries
-Faithful Fools Street Ministry
-GLAAD (ordination media support)
- GLBT Historical Society
-Glide Memorial Walk-In Center
-Grace Cathedral Episcopal Church
-HOME Team (psychiatric emergency placement)
-Independent Living Resource Center of SF
-Independent Living Resource Utilization (free continuing ed broadcasts and resources)
-Larkin Street Youth Services
-Lighthouse Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired
-Lutheran Social Services of Northern California
-Mayor’s Office on Housing, SF
-MediCal & Medicare
-Martin De Pores House of Hospitality
-The Mental Health Association of SF
-Middle Polk Neighborhood Association
-National Association of Social Workers, CA Chapter
-National Center for Transgender Equality
-National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
-New Leaf Services for Our Community
-San Francisco Department of Public Health
-Sierra Pacific Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
-The San Francisco Homeless Outreach Team
-The San Francisco Night Ministry
-Social Security Administration
-St. Anthony Dining Room
-Swords to Plowshares
-Tenderloin Housing Clinic
-Trans Shelter Access Project, Toronto, Canada

Organization who provided In-Kind, Benevolence or Volunteer Support:

-Chinatown Presbyterian, San Francisco
-Christ the Good Shepard Lutheran, San Jose
-Christ Church Lutheran, San Francisco
-Community Thrift
-ELCA Domestic Hunger Program
-Episcopal Charities
-Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries
-Faithful Fools Street Ministry
-First Congregational Church, San Francisco
-First United Lutheran Church, San Francisco
-The Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls, MN
-Girls, Inc. Oakland
-Glide Memorial Walk-In Center
-HerChurch (Ebenezer Lutheran), San Francisco
- Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer, South San Francisco
-Lutheran’s Concerned/North America
-Miraloma Community Church
-Old First Presbyterian Church, San Francisco
-Palo Alto Lutheran
-The Presbyterian Hunger Program
-Spirit Garage (Lutheran mission congregation, Minneapolis)
-The St. Francis Foundation
-St. Francis Lutheran, San Francisco
-St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, San Francisco
-St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, San Francisco
-St. Paulus Lutheran, San Francisco
-San Francisco Department of Public Health AIDS office
-The San Francisco Presbytery
-Sisters of St. Dominic
-Sojourn Chaplaincy at San Francisco General Hospital
-Spirit Garage, Minneapolis, MN
-UCC Neighbors in Need
-Van Loben Sels/Rembe Rock Foundation
-Wheat Ridge Ministries