Other services VEAP provides includes transportation to doctor or dental appointments and social work help to facilitate other medical or governmental services.
There are a variety of VEAP programs that we have participated in regularly. We start collecting school supplies in summer for students needing basic supplies to participate in their studies. In the fall we join with the other churches in a program to distribute Thanksgiving meals for neighbors facing financial shortages. Into the fall we have continued to collect gifts for Christmas including toys for younger children and gift cards for adolescents to use. In the spring CTK engages with other churches to help package breakfast and lunch supplies for families whose children receive free or reduced breakfast and lunch tickets during the school year. This year 600 bags a week for 10 weeks distributed over the summer months.
Along with these projects CTK has made regular financial contributions to the VEAP program. These include the proceeds from the Rummage, Bake, Book and Plant Sale in June. Other contributions come from the free will offering collected during the Jazz Festival which is open to the community and has been a good experience the past three years. There is also a designated Gift of Love month to support VEAP programs.
Families Moving Forward
Families Moving Forward is a faith based nonprofit organization in Minneapolis that provides temporary emergency shelter, permanent affordable housing and supportive services to low income families with children. www.familiesmovingforward.org CTK along with other congregations in the Twin Cities provide temporary emergency shelter. CTK host families for one week twice a year. You as a member of CTK can get involved by volunteering to cook and serve an evening meal or breakfast, be a host, stay overnight with the families, or help with the setting up and taking down the sleeping areas.
Loaves and Fishes
OASIS FOR YOUTH
On any given night, in the state of Minnesota, 2,500 young people are homeless. In 2010, 121 homeless and frightened young people were referred to shelters in Bloomington and Richfield alone. And that’s just the ones who asked for help. Most youth do not know the resources available to them and end up sleeping under bridges, in doorways and on friends’ couches.
After much research, prayer and meetings, a group of caring women at Oak Grove Presbyterian Church in Bloomington, started a drop-in center, in July of 2009, for homeless youth who live in Bloomington, Richfield and Edina. Oasis for Youth provides resources for counseling, transitional housing, emergency shelter and many more support services. They also have laundry, showers, computers and a hot line for emergency services. They have a long term goal of overnight shelters and transitional housing for youth at risk.
With this in mind, they have approached CTKB to provide overnight shelter, in a pilot program, in the same manner as Families Moving Forward provide shelter for families. CTKB is the first church in this community to partner with Oasis for Youth, on a trial basis, to provide overnight shelter for homeless youth, with more churches to follow. Oasis for Youth will be actively looking for more churches to help share in this program. They are a safe place for homeless youth and with the resources they provide can help these young people get off the streets and on to a productive and healthy life. CTK is committed to housing them, albeit temporarily, and with a good night’s sleep, they can then go back to school to continue their education.
Nancy Turnquist and Susan Hanson are the coordinators from CTKB and will be happy to answer questions and take names for volunteers. Volunteers will have a variety of duties including making the youth feel comfortable; being aware of the resources available to them, staying overnight and helping them get out the door in the morning, among others. Training will be provided and the only experience necessary is a caring heart.
“The test of the morality of a society is what it does for its children.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Theologian
HOPE FOR HUNGRY CHILDREN
Bread for the World’s Twin Cities Metro Area 2017 Workshop
Saturday, March 4th, 2017 9 a.m. — 12:00pm (Registration: 8:30 a.m.), St. Stephen Lutheran Church, 8400 France Avenue South, Bloomington, MN 55431.
Small Group Activity: Engage national hunger programs in Small groups
Keynote: Using Advocacy to Solve Hunger: Zach Schmidt from Bread for the World
Closing Worship: Including our opportunity to “Do Justice.”