FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
McMinnville Cooperative Ministries Council takes action on homeless task force recommendations
On Sunday, March 13, 2016, the McMinnville Cooperative Ministries Church Council met to review and vote on proposals put forward by a task force called together in late 2015 to address the church’s homeless ministry. The task force included church members, neighbors and representatives from several local service agencies. Law enforcement was also consulted during this process.
The task force identified two major needs of our homeless community: an increase in available shelter beds and a need for a day center.
To address the need for more shelter beds, the church will work with the Yamhill County Gospel Rescue Mission (YCGRM) in their expansion efforts. The YCGRM is already proceeding with plans to expand its facilities to include an emergency inclement weather shelter that will also function as a good weather shelter, available to the homeless two to three days per week. Our help with this project will include volunteering for everyday operations, and fund raising for the project. The church will end overnight stays at the church, including car camping, within 60 days of the opening of this emergency shelter. The church will also explore the possibility of helping the YCGRM through the use of their church bus and by addressing storage needs.
The YCGRM is accepting donations at this time to pay for this expansion. People may send checks to: YCGRM- PO Box 373 McMinnville, OR 97128 or visit their website at www.ycgrm.org for more donations options. Please indicate your donation is for the expansion.
The second need identified was for a day center for our homeless population. This day center would be a place for the homeless to meet their basic needs (a place to warm themselves, get dry after a night in the rain, snacks, hygiene kits, possibly showers and laundry facilities) and also be a place to meet in one place with outreach workers from various social service agencies. The church will partner with Provoking Hope, a recovery ministry here in McMinnville, to help them expand their space enough to include a day center for the homeless. This help will include fund raising for the expansion.
Provoking Hope is also accepting donations for this expansion. Checks can be mailed to Provoking Hope- 213 NE 10th St. McMinnville, OR 97128. Please designate your donation for the expansion.
To more broadly address the issues causing homelessness in our area, the church will develop an advocacy group, in collaboration with other churches and non-profits, to engage elected officials at the city, county and state level in conversations and study groups around the homelessness situation. The advocacy group will encourage governmental agencies to work on shelter options, to develop and coordinate available funding for infrastructure needs of service organizations, and to review and adjust city and county ordinances to make building shelters and affordable housing possible. This advocacy group will also help organize other local churches to participate in fundraising efforts for the above mentioned agencies currently engaged in work with the homeless.
The church will organize a board of directors for the Community Compassion Fund. This board will be responsible for setting policy, organizing fund raising, and hiring/supervising the CCF director. While a majority of the members of this board will be active members of MCM, others will be recruited from partner churches.
McMinnville Cooperative Ministry is a union between McMinnville United Methodist Church and Trinity Lutheran Church. Several parishioners, however, do not belong to either denomination but are drawn to their mission to love and serve with all people in restoring all of creation to God’s loving embrace.
As an engaged Christian community firmly rooted in the heart of McMinnville, their vision is to put their faith into action and build relationships by: listening to each other and those in their communities, striving to eliminate homelessness and food insecurity, and fostering learning and the arts.
To find out more, go www.mac-coop.org, or contact Pastor Kathy Neary.
Address: McMinnville Cooperative Ministries
544 NE Second Street
McMinnville, OR 97128