20 Dec Newsletter – December 2018
Every day brings new opportunities at Fifth Street. Seems as though as years go by, the needs become more challenging and we realize more than ever that we are all in this together! We also realize that nothing can adequately be accomplished without a community. We are grateful every day for our multi-faceted community that has its arms around us all year long. YOU are very much included in that sentiment, and our thank-you is genuine.
The people we serve are diverse, as are the issues that bring them to us. Job loss, jobs that do not pay a living wage, physical disability, mental illness, substance abuse…and the list goes on. They are people with stories…stories that have brought them to where they are today. Bad luck, poor choices, circumstances beyond their control…who knows…and honestly, who cares. What matters is that they are here and they are in need of help with basic needs…and in need of a loving, supportive environment.
At Christmas, we tend to hear more from guests who have been here in the past. Some were here 25 years ago, but still consider Fifth Street home. When you walk through hard times together, celebrate special times together, and endure the hot summers or cold winters together, you become family. Sometimes, you find family in the oddest places – even in a shelter.
As relationships are built, we become close. When something happens, it affects all of us – good or bad. Within the past few weeks we sustained the tremendous loss of one of our residents. It affected our whole Fifth Street community, maybe even a little bit more because it is the holiday season and we all are a little more sensitive during those times. Scott Coffey made a lifelong impact on our lives with his quiet nature, his mischievous ways, and that ever-present smile. Unless there was a serious conversation, you would have no idea the turmoil going on within him.
A few days ago we had a memorial service for Scott. Along with remembrance of him, there was also a component of awareness…awareness of mental illness, substance abuse, and suicide. While the weather did not cooperate with our plans, at some point in the very near future, we will plant an evergreen in memory of Scott that will have lights shining brightly, both day and night. The green of the tree will symbolize hope everlasting. It will signify our commitment to never giving up and believing that recovery is possible. The lights will create an image of the light of awareness going into the world. There is such a stigma associated with mental illness, substance abuse, and suicide. We are committed to being a part of the ending of that stigma so that there is acceptance, help and empowerment.
The new year is upon us, and with it comes another change to make a difference in our little corner of the world. There is much work to do! We thank you for your support and look forward to 2019 along with your partnership.
We wish the very best for you and yours during the holiday season. We are grateful that you are a part of our own story here at Fifth Street. May your days be filled with peace and a love that is all encompassing!
Grace and Peace,
On-going needs. Check our Facebook page for immediate needs!
Nurse Clinic Needs
My Sister’s House Needs
Ladies underwear – all sizes
Cream of ___ soup
Spaghetti or BBQ sauce
Veterans House Needs
33 gallon trash bags
HE laundry detergent
Fifth Street Needs
Feminine hygiene products
Diapers – especially larger sizes
Pots and pans
Thanks for your support
We are in that time of year where the nights are longest. Those nights can get cold and lonely for so many people in our own community.
There are many people in our country who have no home. Many times they find places to sleep such as under bridges where they feel safe, where no one can see them and there is shelter from the weather. Other times they may sleep in the woods, building a hut of limbs from fallen trees to hide in case others ventured to their camp. Sleeping on the floor in houses that have been abandoned or under the porch to keep the wind and the rain off or to hide from the world may be a necessity.
At some point during this season, light a candle and place it outside as a reminder that there are those who are trying to find comfort, to find warmth during these long nights. It is up to us to join with others in helping our friends who are without a home so that with help, they can sleep snuggly warm in their own bed at night and not on the cold, hard ground.
Thanks for supporting us we seek to walk with folks to a better quality of life.