do justice, love mercy, walk humbly
do justice, love mercy, walk humbly
This report is a study of the individuals experiencing homelessness in and around Oneida Square that are visible. It is an analysis of services and the best practices and recommendations for their care. You can read the report at this link. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1-xl3BRCu_asShtLI7ZgpLyRSYYo2oUQc/view?usp=share_link
The Morrow Warming Center was started in December of 2020 in the midst of the pandemic as a low barrier/ harm reduction emergency overnight shelter for people experiencing homelessness during NY's code blue season. It was named in honor of John and Lydia Morrow. John was a pastor at Plymouth Bethesda for 20 years and Lydia has been one of our large donors. After a tumultuous first year with pushback from the community institutions around us, we were no longer funded as an overnight center. We have added and continue to add services that help people experiencing homelessness to feel human and retain dignity. We desire to treat each person with care recognizing that all are children of God. We have a specific FB group where more information can be found. https://www.facebook.com/groups/430038701543837
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As we have continued to work with the most chronically homeless individuals, many struggle with substance abuse issues, mental illness, cognitive delays, and extreme trauma, it has caused quite a backlash from our neighbors. Especially Munson Williams Proctor Museum who see these people as worthless. We did lose our county funding because we would not take the little they offered to care for people who were unwilling to deal with county services. This would have involved turning some of the most vulnerable people away from our doors and we cannot do that as humans and Christians.
The clientele we serve often have too many barriers, too much trauma, and other issues that make them unable or willing to accept help from county services. We believe they also deserve our care and do not deserve to perish in extreme weather conditions. According to sound practices, low barrier Housing First solutions work, but most people are unwilling to accept that people in such extreme need should have anything but more punishment.
We continue to advocate and we have made significant strides which involve communcation with both the City of Utica and Oneida County. We continue to call service providers to account and we will not stop until we see people properly cared for.
We are feeding the neighborhood two nights a week with the help of so many volunteers and donators. Our numbers are often over 100. We always need clothes, personal items, underwear, laundry detergent, meals to be made, etc. Most of all we need financing so we can keep our caseworker and staff employed to care for these people. The use of the building causes extra expenses also as well as everyday running expenses. We welcome all help and donations. We welcome allies in our struggle to educate and to advocate. Thank you Everyone who is in this battle with us!
Pastor Mike spent a weekend outside as a protest of the invisibility of people living on the street.
Not in My Backyard is the vicious desire of housed people.
A book the helped shape our ideas of people forced to live on the street.