Thursday, March 29, 2012

Art Show

The Stewpot Artists will be showing their work at Lovers Lane Methodist Church’s new gallery called ArtReach Gallery during the month of April.  The opening reception will be April 1st from 12:15 to 1:30.  The name of the show is Thorns and Light and many of the paintings are inspired by the Easter season.  

The church is located at 9200 Inwood Road at the corner of Northwest Hwy.  The gallery is in Watson hall right by the sanctuary (enter on the Northwest Hwy. side). 

Come see what our artists have been working on!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Gearing up for summer

Teenagers From Across the Nation Attend Weeklong “Reality Camps’’ at Stewpot

Middle-class students from as far away as Arkansas are scheduled to get a dose of urban reality this summer as they commit for one-week stints working as camp counselors with homeless and at-risk children.  The Stewpot is pleased to announce the following groups have enrolled for the mission week this summer 2012: Westside Baptist Church - Lewisville, First Presbyterian Church - Harrison AR, Cochran Chapel United Methodist Church - Tulsa OK, Chinese Bible Church - Richardson, First Presbyterian Church - Dallas, First Presbyterian Church - Allen, First Presbyterian Church - Duncanville, and First Presbyterian Church - Waco. 

Each week, a new crew of high school students arrives with adult sponsors, often from a church youth group. They sleep at First Presbyterian Church of Dallas and follow an established curriculum geared to help them think and learn about the experience.

The Stewpot’s Summer Visiting Youth program , scheduled to begin June 10 has multiple benefits: Teens serve as mentors to young, inner-city campers while also gaining a deeper understanding of urban problems, such as homelessness and poverty.

The program gives the teenagers a unique “urban wilderness’’ experience while also providing critical staff support at the eight-week summer camp run by The Stewpot, which is First Presbyterian Church’s community ministries program.

“Although we originally launched the summer camp to benefit children who live in homeless shelters and the City Park neighborhood, we later realized that we had a chance to provide middle class kids with something meaningful, too,’’ said the Rev. Bruce Buchanan, First Presbyterian’s associate pastor.

In this case, it’s a chance for suburban teens to spend a week in downtown Dallas, serving a cafeteria-style lunch to homeless adults at The Stewpot and working with kids that live in or near downtown shelters.

At night, the visiting youth volunteer at Dallas agencies that serve domestic violence victims, senior citizens and other at-risk groups. Once a week, they are invited to swimming parties at church members’ homes to relax and talk about what they have seen.

The “Summer Visiting Youth” program bolsters the Stewpot’s year-round efforts to support school age homeless and at-risk youth.

During the school year, the Stewpot operates a Saturday School for children who attend Dallas’ City Park Elementary School, which serves kids who live in homeless shelters, or in the low-income neighborhood south of downtown.

The young students get a nourishing meal, as well as access to games, a gymnasium, a computer lab, arts and crafts and reading help. The program is offered during all school breaks, as well as on Saturdays. During the summer, the same children are eligible to attend an eight-week summer camp.

For older students, the Stewpot operates a Venturing Crew of structured activities for eight summer weeks. Students are offered field trips, ROPES courses, camp outs and visits to college campuses. The  program is designed to offer positive alternatives to teenagers exposed to gangs and drugs.  Those who complete the program and go to college are eligible for Community Ministries Scholarships of $1,000 per semester. Currently 45 students are on scholarship.  

The last week (July 29-August 3) of the Summer Visiting Youth program is available. If you are interested in more information, please email Suzanne Dwight

Friday, March 16, 2012

Volunteer with 100K Homes

Volunteer Opportunities for the
100,000 Homes – Dallas Campaign
Downtown Dallas Registry Week

There are several ways to be part of the Dallas Registry Week.  The project will take place over a six-day period from Sunday, March 25th through Friday, March 30th, 2012. 

During that week, we anticipate needing upwards of 70 volunteers, most of which will be needed to conduct the surveys with homeless individuals on the streets downtown.  However, there are other vital roles to support the efforts of the survey volunteers and to conduct the data entry.

Important:  Food and drink will be provided to you at the volunteer training and during every volunteer shift!

Contacts: Daneille Tooker (214.926.9544)
               Ashley Farha (214.741.5100 ext. 6)


  1. SURVEY VOLUNTEERS:  We need approximately 60 volunteers to work in teams of four to interview homeless individuals for the Registry.  This is a four-day commitment and, due to the manner in which the outreach is conducted, the same team of four must survey their designated geographical area all three days.  To be part of a survey team, you will need to participate in a half-day training session related to interviewing homeless people and completing the survey forms. 
 §  Sunday, March 25th – Overview and Volunteer Training, 2-5 p.m.§  Monday, March 26th – Meet with Team/Survey, 3:30 a.m.-6:30 a.m.§  Tuesday, March 27th – Meet with Team/Survey, 3:30 a.m.-6:30 a.m.§  Wednesday, March 28th – Meet with Team/Survey, 3:30 a.m.-6:30 a.m.

Volunteer Headquarters location is TBD. 
  1. DATA ENTRY:  We need volunteers to fill 5 shifts per day (a total of 15 shifts for Registry Week).  Volunteers will enter the data collected after each survey day.  This can be a one-shift or one-day commitment or multiple days and times.  The hours needed are:

§  Monday, March 26th – 9:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m.
§  Monday, March 26th – 1:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m.

§  Tuesday, March 27th – 9:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m.
§  Tuesday, March 27th – 1:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m.

§  Wednesday, March 28th – 9:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m.
§  Wednesday, March 28th – 1:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m                  

*The data entry lab is located at CitySquare at 511 N. Akard Street, Dallas, TX 75201 on the 3rd floor.
  1. HEADQUARTERS VOLUNTEERS:  We need 10 volunteers during the week to staff Volunteer Headquarters.  Headquarters volunteers will help set up for the initial volunteer training on Sunday, March 25th and/or assist at volunteer headquarters each survey morning (food/supplies setup, cleanup and help with survey volunteer questions).  We also need help breaking down the headquarters on Thursday, March 29th.  It would be good to have a few volunteers who are willing to supervise or who have experience supervising volunteers to be in charge of overall management each morning to help get survey volunteers out the door and download photos/collect surveys when they return.

§  Sunday, March 25th – training event setup, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

§  Monday, March 26th – 3:00-5:30 a.m. – food/supplies setup; volunteer assistance
§  Monday, March 26th – 6:00-8:00 a.m. – cleanup, help download photos/collect surveys

§  Tuesday, March 27th – 3:00-5:30 a.m. – food/supplies setup; volunteer assistance
§  Tuesday, March 27th – 6:00-8:00 a.m. – cleanup, help download photos/collect surveys

§  Wednesday, March 28th – 3:00-5:30 a.m. – food/supplies setup; volunteer assistance
§  Wednesday, March 28th – 6:00-8:00 a.m. – cleanup, help download photos/collect surveys

§  Thursday, March 29th – volunteer headquarters tear-down, 2:00-4:00 p.m.

  1. OTHER OPPORTUNITIES TO CONTRIBUTE:  If you are an individual, business or corporation that would like to sponsor or provide any of the following, please contact Daneille Tooker with CitySquare at 214-926-9544 to obtain our specific sponsorship materials.  Sponsorship opportunities include:

§  Sponsor the volunteer training session dinner on Sunday
§  Sponsor the food coupons that are provided to the homeless individuals as a “thank you” for participating in the survey (we are waking people up to talk with us each morning!)
§  Sponsor breakfast and coffee for the survey volunteers any of the three survey mornings (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday)
§  Sponsor snacks and drinks for the data entry volunteers
§  Sponsor bright-colored T-shirts for the volunteers to wear (for identification and safety purposes as well as event participation souvenirs)
§  Cases of water
§  Sponsor office supplies (clipboards, pencils, etc.)
§  Sponsor printing of survey forms


For volunteers and sponsors who would like to be updated on the final results of Dallas Registry Week:

§  Friday, March 30th – Community Brief-Back on Survey Results for the Registry Week, time and location TBD. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

2011 Stats

Overview of 2011 services and outcomes tracked by The Stewpot include: 
· 5,167 contacts for ID documents, an important step for those seeking jobs and housing;
· 12,105 meals served to 470 children;
· 195 participants in our Community Court program, clearing Class C Misdemeanors;
·  5,312 visits for Rep Payee clients; this program enables physically and mentally challenged    people to support their housing and basic living costs;
· 979 subscribers to Community Voice Mail with 101 individuals successfully finding work;
· 406 individual sessions for 58 participants in STEP (Stewpot Transitional Employment Program); 
· 177 homeless vendors sold 72,000 issues of Street Zine.  This monthly newspaper on homeless issues provides income for individuals seeking to earn their way out of poverty; 
· 2,588 individuals received 40,349 dental procedures provided; 395 individuals received 1,976 medical and substance abuse counseling sessions;
· 3,899 participant sessions in Art Classes that offer creative experiences, build self esteem, and often provide an income stream when Stewpot clients are able to sell their work.  Daily art classes offer self esteem building, and individual income possibilities.  Other initiatives valued by clients include Community Concerts and The Stewpot’s Annual Talent Show - offering unique cultural opportunities. 
· 470 children and youth participants each year in four levels of age appropriate programs.  Currently The Stewpot is providing college scholarship assistance to 45 former program participants.
·  4,500 individuals volunteered in Stewpot programs, resulting in the agency being one of the largest single volunteer sites in Dallas.

Additionally, The Stewpot successfully completed its fourth year operating Second Chance CafĂ© at The Bridge where we served 564,216 meals, and successfully trained 18 formerly homeless individuals in food handling so that they now comprise more than half of our kitchen staff.  As our partner agencies like The Bridge refocus their efforts to assist the chronically homeless over the age of 18, The Stewpot is increasingly focusing its efforts on the underserved segment of the homeless population and on at-risk families living in poverty. 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Program Highlight: Representative Payee

Did you know several people experience homelessness receive money each month, but have no acquired skills or knowledge on how to manage their funds? Did you know that  the homeless cannot open a bank account without having a permanent address?  Often the beneficiaries of SSI, supplemental security income, or SSDI, disability (what is that?) are unable to manage their funds and as a result end up homeless. The Stewpot currently assists clients who were formerly homeless due to mental illness, addictions, or have physical handicaps.  Unfortunately, we also see and serve our Veterans who face homelessness. 

Each of our caseworkers and a team of volunteers are partnered with a client. They develop a relationship with the client and meet with him or her on a regular basis to help manage their funds, and make sure their basic needs are being met. The Representative Payee program assists clients in finding a residence, paying rent, phone bills, bus passes, getting groceries, and so much more at no cost to the client.  Our goal at The Stewpot is not only have less people on the streets, but for our clients to experience life and fully thrive on their own.