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Monthly Archives: April 2011
St. Olaf gave a bike to a man who is working with a case worker through Our Savior’s. He is using the bike as part of a physical therapy plan prescribed to him by a doctor and to get to AA meetings.
St. Olaf gave a bike to a man who is working a variety of part-time jobs right now, such as window cleaning, gardening, painting and other ‘handyman’ services in Minneapolis and St. Paul. He is a very hard worker, and has been hired by a number of parishioners in the past. The bike will assist him in trying to maintain employment which will in turn allow him to keep his housing and work on sobriety.
A member of Central and a dedicated volunteer was given a bike. He will use the bike to get to work at People Serving People where he has been working for a while.
Tarcicio is currently working with temp agencies and painting companies around the Twin Cities. Right now he has a painting job near 60 and Bloomington Ave. and having a bike will really help him get around. He has also just recently found out that he has diabetes and is supposed to do more regular exercise, so the bicycle will help with that.
Rick is currently working at Salvation Army at 900 N. 4th Street and needs help with affordable transportation. Rick is in a work release program, and currently lives at a group residential housing. The bike will especially help him get to work and keep his job.
Chad is taking classes at MCTC and also stays active attending drop-in centers, such as Lighthouse, for persons with mental illness.Chad has a very limited income, and a bicycle will help him get to classes, AA and the drop-in center.
Darrell will use the bike to get to his new job in Hopkins. He currently uses a very old bike that he puts on a bus and then rides when he gets close to his work place. He currently lives in a half-way house, but is planning to move in with his daughter. He feels that riding a bike is healthy for him and gives him peace of mind.
“Here is what Charlie wrote: “It will help me exercise after undergoing chemo therapy for cancer recovery. It will help me to complete my necessary errands, appointments. I live on GA and do not have money for the bus. Thank you.” He was homeless and staying in shelters or living on the streets for two years. He then went to House of Charity and participated in their chemical dependency program for 7 months. He got section 8 and now lives in an apartment. He was going to school at the American Indian OIC for a Nursing Assistant certification when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. For 11 months he had chemo and surgery. He had to quit school during this time due to fatigue, etc. Now he is done with treatments and volunteering at Abbott Hospital (where he also goes for counseling) and in the senior building where he lives. He used to ride a bike and is looking forward to using this as his mode of transportation! I think he is a good candidate because he seems motivated to stay healthy and get more involved in the community and eventually start work again.
…I am currently taking classes at the hospital and sometimes it gets difficult for me to catch the bus. The DCEH Bicycle Program will help me make my doctors appointments on time and encourage physical exercise which is apart of my treatment program. Additional goals I have is participating in community support programs and volunteering. It would be very helpful for me to achieve self –sufficiently with a bicycle because I will be able to participate effectively with my Day Treatment program and community support programs as well.
Core to Unitarians is the belief that justice, equity and compassion are essential in human relationships with a respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we all are a part. This last phrase is one of their seven principles and purposes as a Unitarian. Established in 1881, the Unitarian community is dedicated to promoting the continual search for truth and to affirming the innate worth of each individual, which has led the congregation to becoming strong advocates.
The First Unitarian Society’s members work with the DCEH with a strong focus on advocating the prevention of homelessness and poverty. Inherent in the understanding of being a Unity Unitarian is the participation in advocacy and civic engagement as another core principle is the right of conscience and the use of the democratic process. Social Justice Coordinator, Carol Koepp, feels, for Unitarians that, “Working on policy change is part of the Unitarian history…the work of DCEH just feels natural.” The inclusion of the DCEH’s Take Five Table on Sunday morning was similar to what First Unitarian had already created. The advent of the DCEH’s Take Five Table created a space that encourages dialogue and discussion at the table of what is happening in the community.
Part of Koepp’s job to assist the congregation in engaging in ending homelessness, including finding different ways to volunteer or share their talents. Many members are involved by being active constituents, writing letters to the editor, and raising their voices to their public officials. Newer volunteer experiences have come through the Hennepin Avenue Dignity Center, which provides opportunities for people to make sandwiches, serve meals, weekly volunteers, and other support. First Unitarian Society also has members who are on both DCEH’s Advocacy Team and the Interfaith Team.
The core identity of First Unitarian Society members is to be active in the community and to be involved in policy change. Koepp notes, “DCEH has provided a chance to work on an interfaith level and be part of a larger effort…it feels good to be part off these other congregations…Being part of DCEH has helped create a congregational identity with the issue of homelessness, where before there were only individual members trying to help.”
Our Purposes and Principles
We, the congregation of the First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis, covenant to affirm and promote:
• The inherent worth and dignity of every person
• Justice, equity, and compassion in human relations
• A free and responsible search for truth and meaning
• The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process
• Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregation
• The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all
• Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part