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  • Tammi Ector

Serving at Serve City - May 2024


Just as April showers bring May flowers, some obstacles that poured down on Serve City last month have given way to opportunities that now blossom to bless the residents, tenants, and the community we serve. Also, as I finished my doctoral studies, I felt flooded by so much work that I feared I would drown. Instead, by God's grace, the work finally paid off, and I commenced at Regent University as a Doctor of Strategic Leadership with a coaching concentration. I'm so thankful for that rainy season! Now, I look forward to using all I learned to sow seeds for Serve City's sustainable success that will produce a bounty that enables us to continue growing and thriving for years.


SUCCESSES


Last April, Serve City partnered with The Hamilton Police Department to implement the East Avenue Project. Based on surveys from the neighborhood residents, the police department identified pain points such as crime and loitering. It addressed them by cleaning out brush behind Serve City's building, installing lights, increasing surveillance and drive-bys, scheduling the canine drug detection dog, and reducing response time to Serve City calls. We implemented best practice policies and procedures for residents and tenants, installing a security door and buzzer system and hanging "No Trespassing" and "No Loitering" signs at the shelter and the apartments. We also designated parking spots for staff and volunteers. This year's survey results reveal that the coordinated effort significantly reduced police calls and incidents and created a cleaner, safer environment for the neighbors we serve and the neighborhood overall. Serve City appreciates HPD, and we look forward to strengthening our partnership and staying on this positive path.


Once again, a school has stepped up to support our reimagined pantry space – now The Source. St. Joseph Consolidated School held the Penny Wars to raise funds for this space, which will host pop-up food pantries and other events. The kindergarten class, including our Volunteer and Community Engagement Manager, Jeff Gambrell's daughter, won! The donation took The Source a step closer to its official opening. While we prepare for that, this month, we held a Dog Food Giveaway, and the large turnout demonstrated the need for these types of events. Speaking of which, thanks to the efforts of the City of Hamilton, Ohio Public Works Department's Fill-a-Truck food drive, with the 2,680 pounds of food supporting churches collected, The Source will host our first Pop Up Food Pantry in June, and the food will also benefit our program's 50 shelter residents and 73 tenants!


While we focus on building up those who reside in the latter, Serve City strives to reach out to the community as well. We’ve participated in Total Eclipse in the Park and hosted a Community Resource Fair where partner agencies and participants showed up in record numbers. Speaking of partner agencies, a few of us attended United Way's Impact Breakfast to learn how this critical partner makes a difference at Serve City and beyond. Then, just this week, we kicked off a new partnership with Primary Health Solutions by having their Dental Mobile Unit onsite. What a blessing to offer vital dental care as a part of our holistic services!


STRUGGLES


With all the exciting ways we're growing - including adding Liz Hayden, Executive Director of Community Services for the City of Hamilton to our board! - we do so with a limited staff and resources. The current economic environment presents challenges for non-profits. While we anticipated having a large group come in to help renovate The Source, that fell through. Also, for many, cutting costs to make ends meet means cutting out charitable donations.


It also means that we ask that those who can contribute their time, talent, and treasures do so. We need you to bring The Source to a reality. That support would enable us to get the space ready to serve residents, tenants, and the community, and your giving enhances our capacity to maximize other resources to bless them further.


SCRIPTURE


Our generous board chair, Larry Wallace, has purchased and hung beautiful Scripture canvases in the shelter. One of them reads, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full." John 10:10. Thank you for coming alongside Serve City and stepping into the gaps with us to ensure those we serve have life to the fullest. Blessings!


Serving Him at Serve City,




Dr. Tammi Ector

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