Friday, August 7, 2009

Ministry Outreach Update

The ministry has been blessed the last few weeks with several opportunities to provide assistance to the homeless, and near homeless in our community.

Furniture for new apartment dwellers
We have been able to assist several people with transportation and labor so that they could secure some of the necessary furnishings for their apartments. Most of these folks are fresh from being homeless and therefore have virtually nothing to get started. By working with the City of Springfield Department of Housing, Catholic Charities of Greater Springfield, and Springfield Partners for Community Action, Pastor Jack has been able to get these people desperately needed items such as mattresses, box springs, bureaus, tables, and chairs. We are always on the lookout for new sources for new or gently used furniture, as very few people getting out of homelessness have much to get started with. Please let us know if you know of any furniture sources.
Catching up with old friends
The ministry has made an extra effort the last month or so to check on the status of former guests of the Friends of the Homeless Overflow Shelter We have been able to account for over 90% of the gentlemen that spent time with us this past winter. Several have moved on to permanent housing, however their are still many that remain in a shelter. We are continuing to work with any of these men that we can find to get them the services they need. In some cases all they need or want is some fellowship, and to know they are not forgotten. Our goal is to visit the local soup kitchens, and shelters on a regular basis.

Opportunities for Veterans
I was recently given a tour of the "Soldier On" veterans shelter in Northampton by their outreach coordinator Willie Van Ledbetter. Willy was kind enough to show off the residents buildings and offer an overview of the Leeds VA Hospital and the services they provide. Soldier On has locations in both Northampton and Pittsfield. Shortly after my visit, one of our prior shelter guests "R" moved into the Northampton facility. "R's" opportunities for a better life are greatly increased now that he is working with the local veteran agencies. I am sure that the Soldier On shelter will be his last stop on his journey to self sufficiency.

I also have met a few times recently with James Mahoney the City of Springfield Veterans Coordinator . James was a great help in dealing with "R" to get him the benefits he deserves. Jim is very committed to helping our veterans, and I anticipate working closely with him in the future.
Working with other agencies
Milestone Ministries works closely with several other agencies and groups. Recently Pastor Jack and I met with an organization new to us. Len Surdyka from Springfield Citizens for Advocacy. Len and his group try to hook up citizens to act as advocates for physically and mentally handicapped individuals. I had the pleasure of meeting one of Len's clients "D" recently. "D" is a very engaging gentleman who lives on his own, in an apartment building lacking sufficient security, and in a neighborhood that that he is no longer comfortable living in. Our hope is that with our knowledge of the various city agencies, we will be able to assist "D" in the process of relocating. We also hope to be able to find someone that could advocate for"D" on a regular basis.

More soda and food donated
Once again Milestone was blessed in the last few weeks with more food and soda donations. We were able to turn these donations over to local food pantries, churches, and shelters in Springfield and Westfield.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Sunday in Palm Coast Florida

Its been a wonderful weekend in Palm Coast Florida at Spirit Life Worship Church. Sunday service was ablaze with the fire of the Holy Spirit. The preaching on Sunday was "Becoming a Servant". Before we even began, God gave us a word of knowledge that someone had come for victory, and really needed to know that God would deliver. He promised that He would deliver victory.....and He did....Miracles followed, praise the Lord. (
We also did a street outreach ministry in an impoverished area of town. What a fantastic and blessed afternoon.
Along with food and clothing, we prayed for a young boys healing before his hernia surgery tomorrow, specific financial needs, an elderly woman with breast cancer and more. (see photos on my facebook)