COMMUNITY ASSISTANCE AT WORK
We at the Milwaukie Police Department gave out the $100 Visa card the other day. A Milwaukie officer came upon a 61-year-old male living out of his car parked on the side of the road. He had been living in his car for at least one month, probably more. That officer, one of the captains, and I talked with the fellow and we all felt he wasn’t the typical homeless person, so we worked with him. His car had been sitting long enough to completely discharge the battery. An attempt was made to charge it, but it did not start the vehicle. In conversation, his work history was revealed and the approximate location of children and siblings was determined. His completely discharged cell phone managed to take a bit of a charge, so the phone numbers for those individuals were retrieved. The officer contacted his daughter and she was overjoyed at being able to talk with her father again. She said that she had been praying to talk with her father again, just prior to the officer contacting her. The father and daughter talked for 10 minutes and it was decided that she would purchase a one-way bus ticket to her area. The officer and I are putting him on the bus for home this evening. He has clean clothes for the trip and has had a couple of meals. That $100 gift card was a Godsend. Please advise the donors that their generosity is helping to bring a family together again, and through that, providing a man with a much more stable living environment.
Much Needed Phone Time
I had just returned home from church and lunch when one of our Sherwood officers called and asked me about gift cards.
Larry (not his real name), who looks to be in his late 40s has been out of prison since 2015. Owing to significant mental health concerns he has been homeless ever since. Aside from the backpack and duffle bag, one wouldn’t jump to that conclusion, however. He is clean, clean-cut, shaved; he hasn’t ravaged himself with drugs as have so many in his situation. He did look confused; possibly a little frightened.
Larry’s only trusted lifeline seems to be his therapist in Hillsboro. After sleeping in the woods last night near St Frances Catholic Parish and waking up disoriented, he wandered into the church.
It turns out what Larry needed most was the means to add minutes to his phone, so he could touch base with his therapist and ascertain his next move. We explained the gift card should have plenty for that purpose as well as enough to get some food. Unless his therapist has a different plan for him, he will be welcomed at the Shelter on the Parish property this evening.
Just thought I would let you know how you helped someone out today. As we sent Larry on his way, my officer (who grew up in church but no longer “darkens the door” as goes the phrase) asked where that gift card came from. So proud to tell him about the PSC Board and all you do to make moments like this possible. Thanks for backing us up in such tangible ways.
Grace and peace,
A Blown Tire Ruins a Family’s Day Trip
A Sheriff’s Deputy came upon a family traveling to Mt Hood last weekend – a blown tire destroyed the plans for this family’s day trip – the deputy realized that this family had no means replace the tire and were essentially stuck on the mountain. The Deputy called Chaplain Vermace who put this family back on the road after using a PSC Community Assistance gift card to buy the much-needed tire. The family was thankful for the kindness will hopefully use their story to help us spread God’s message of hope through caring for others.
Thank you Clackamas County Deputies for thinking of PSC, and thank you Chaplain Mike for sharing this story of God’s Grace.
A Glimmer of Hope to the Hopeless
A glimmer of hope to the hopeless and a brighter ending because of the compassion of the cops and their chaplain partners. The PSC Community Fund provides a glimmer of hope to the hopeless and lets the light of Christ shine brightly.
The comments below come from the Beaverton Police Department Sergeant’s Log in his briefing notes from yesterday–“Sergeants Comments:
“Very busy day. Officers made several self-initiated arrests throughout the day. Ofc. arrested a male for DV Assault IV, who threw his wife down and hit her in the face in front of their children – it was the oldest child’s 9th birthday today. Sad deal, but Ofc. did a great job with the investigation, and getting resources to the mom and kids. Chaplain McGuire also provided a stuffed animal and $50 gift card to the little girl for her birthday, since the parents said they didn’t have resources to buy her anything or celebrate.”
Another Good Ending to a Tough Story
Chaplain John Karay, of the Milwaukie Police Department, ran into a situation where a woman was taking the step of leaving a very abusive relationship. While the abuser was away, she worked a plan to move out of the home. Chaplain John and Milwaukie PD recognized the need, and in addition to walking beside her through this most difficult time – provided a PSC Community Assistance Fund Gift Card to help the victim with her transition.
Community Assistance During the Eagle Creek Fire 12/18/17
Assigned to the Emergency Operation Center in Troutdale in response to the Eagle Creek Fire, I was tasked with helping find a way to get some gas cards into the hands of folks stranded by the fire who needed assistance. Several of these individuals and family units were from the East side of the Gorge and could not get back to places like Cascade Locks because of the evacuation.
I was asked one evening if I might be able to assist a couple and the lady’s brother (all of whom are deaf). They were trying to get home to Cascade Locks from a trip they had taken a few days before the fire started – I think they were camping because they had no idea the Gorge was a raging blaze until they got to where I-84 was shut down completely with signs indicating why. Turning around towards the Glen Jackson bridge with plans to take WA-14 home instead, they realized they did not have enough gas or money to do so. Somehow, they found out about the Red Cross shelter in Troutdale but they had no gas and no real idea where the shelter was. I drove to the station where they were just off I-205 and the only way to communicate with them was paper and pen. They were shocked about the wildfire, worried about their home and their old outside cat still in Cascade Locks. They hadn’t eaten much since leaving for home, were out of money, food and water. They had no GPS even (they only use their phones as internet devices via Wi-Fi) so they followed me to the shelter. Long story short, the Public Safety Chaplaincy gift card I gave them helped them get home, and this chaplain and the Red Cross were able to get them fed, hydrated, and rested a day or two before anyone was allowed to return to Cascade Locks.
A day or so later, I received a text message with a picture of a very frightened but very much alive cat, with a thank you. There were quite a few other “God” things that happened between that first night and my last contact with them, and several great citizens that stepped up to assist this group. I was privileged to watch God at work, and am grateful for the card PSC provided me that helped them on their way. I don’t know about their personal relationship with the Lord, but the lady did acknowledge to me that she felt God protected and took care of them, and that she was thankful to him for what I was able to do to help.
Thank you so much, Merry Christmas!
Needed Lodging For a Night
Today I was asked to assist an officer with an elderly lady who had been evicted from the room she was renting. No family or friends were available tonight and she had limited income.
One of the Public Safety Chaplaincy Community Assistance Fund Visa cards provided her with lodging for a night and an opportunity for her to regroup with some friends to find a new place tomorrow.
“Thank you” from Sarah (not her real name), and with tears she gave me two long hugs as she could not believe the police would help her.
Chaplain Kevin Smith
A Little Boy’s New Shoes
It’s simple. One of our support volunteers (a Firefighters wife) while handing out gifts at the Fire Department toy drive noticed a little boy’s shoes, they had holes and appeared to be the wrong size. That’s when she learned about the gift cards available through PSC and was able to connect the little fellow to Fred Meyer’s shoe department.
Joel Peterson, Master Chaplain
Serving Those That Serve
Lake Oswego Police Officers used a $100 gift card to assist an elderly lady
She is unable to pay for the treatment of recent medical issues and her income leaves very little to live on once rent is paid. The officers have connected her with local resources hoping to alleviate some of her financial burdens in the coming months. Until that happens, the gift card from the Community Assistance fund will provide her with groceries. The woman told officers, she’ll be able to buy enough food to get her through the next two months.
Hello, All. 3/9/17
Recently you may have received information about gift cards from a donated fund, through the Public Safety Chaplaincy. The cards are intended to allow Law Enforcement Personal and Public Safety Chaplains the ability to help a person in need.
This week, one of the cards was put to use by the Forest Grove Police Department. Chief Janie Schutz informed us that one of the $25 was offered to an elderly woman.
“The woman was in the early stages of dementia and had travelled by Greyhound bus from Oklahoma to Oregon in order to visit a disabled daughter in Hermiston. She took a cab from there to Forest Grove hoping to have a long-estranged husband help her out financially. He declined. We were able to locate a stepson in Hillsboro who would keep her for the night with the goal of putting her back on a bus to Oklahoma. I told her to use the gift card to buy some food for the trip.”
Thank you Forest Grove Police Department, for considering and using this new resource to help this person.