Friday, November 22, 2013

The Stewpot Gun Buyback Program

The next Gun Buy Back is 

December 14th, 2013, 10 a.m - 2 p.m.

The Stewpot Gun Buy Back program offers a chance for families to benefit from the safe removal and destruction of unwanted weapons and ammunition across the Metroplex. The program as an effort to help make Dallas safer by offering an incentive to turn in weapons and is supported entirely through designated gifts of support.

The Stewpot program has collected and destroyed over 400 pistols, rifles, shotguns and semi-automatic assault weapons since its inception. After the guns are collected, they are ground down and the metal is recycled.

For more information:

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

What do politics, food, and music have in common?

Join Pat Bywaters of the Project Committee for Encore Park/508 Park and Art Greenhaw of the Light Crust Doughboys to find out. They are the celebrity chefs at the State Fair of Texas on October 7 at 4:30 pm. Stop by the Maytag Celebrity Kitchen in the Creative Arts Building for a taste of The Light Crust Doughboy's famous Texas Tea Cakes developed by Governor W. Lee (Pappy) O'Daniel, and learn more about The Stewpot's vision for restoring 508 Park, where music history was made in the 1930s.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

October is a Special Month for StreetZine

This October StreetZine is celebrating 10 years of offering  financial opportunity to homeless and economically disadvantaged individuals in Dallas.

StreetZine, the local street paper published by The Stewpot, is circulated primarily in the downtown area by homeless & impoverished citizens of Dallas. The paper will be celebrating its 10 year anniversary in October and is extending an invitation for you to purchase a $20. business card size booster ad for the special full-color October Anniversary Edition. Ads can be personal or commercial and larger ads will also be available at an adjusted rate. Ad requests must be received no later than September 10 to be included in the October edition. For additional information or to place an ad contact StreetZine editor Pat Spradley at 214-746-2785, ext. 334 or email

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Stewpot’s Caring Center to Expand with Decision to Purchase 515 Park and 500 St. Paul

Plans will dovetail with The Stewpot’s vision for 508 Park, the historic and architecturally significant building acquired in June 2011.


Stewpot Announces the Park Avenue Campus will be called Encore Park: “Building community at the crossroads of creativity and caring.”

Rendering by Sam Ringman 

The Stewpot, founded in 1975 and located since 1991 in the historic Otis Elevator Building at the corner of Young and Park, is a resource center for Dallas homeless and at-risk individuals and children and youth. It offers a wide array of services that nourish the entire person including an I.D. Program, casework services, entrepreneurial programs such as The Streetzine, the homeless newspaper for Dallas, as well as an educational outreach program working with more than 200 inner city children from Kindergarten through college. It also provides the meal services at The Bridge.

Over its more than thirty-five years of existence, The Stewpot has pioneered a service provision practice of collaboration with other service providers by offering them space for their operations in The Stewpot.  Along with The Stewpot’s own diverse services, currently housed in The Stewpot’s anchor building are Crossroads Community Services, the largest food pantry in Dallas. Last year they distributed over 2 million pounds of food out of the second floor of The Stewpot.  In addition, Metrocare, a mental health provider, a Dental Clinic, as well as the designated barrier-free homeless medical clinic operated by Parkland, are all housed at The Stewpot.

The Rev. Dr. Bruce Buchanan, Director of The Stewpot and Associate Pastor of First Presbyterian Church, explained, “We are bursting at the seams with programs, and acquiring the property that surrounds us will allow us to significantly expand existing ministries and partnerships. In addition, new partners will be joining us at 515 Park.”

The Park Avenue Campus will be called, “Encore Park.” Buchanan explained the name “taps into not only the musical heritage of 508 Park, but also the restoration of that historic property, and the resurrection and new life this project will bring to our community, our neighborhood, our clients, and the volunteers who come to serve.  The Stewpot's motto is ‘we serve second chances.’ With the creation of Encore Park, we see ourselves providing second chances to a neighborhood, to buildings, to services, and to people.”

As part of its services, The Stewpot has developed ways of nurturing the creativity of homeless and at risk individuals, including its well-known Open Art Studio. Encore Park will continue The Stewpot’s commitment to creativity. The Open Art Studio will move to 508 Park, where a Museum of Street Culture, an Art Gallery, and a recording studio will also be created. To the north of 508, a community amphitheater will be built, and to its south, a Community Garden is being established.

The Rev. Buchanan continued, “In our experience, when you bring together creativity and caring, miracles happen. We are building a campus where we are going to address many issues and we are going to address them together because in our experience you can’t just feed someone’s body, you have to feed their soul in order for them to become a whole person. We have experience in all areas: to help the body, to help the soul, to help the city.”

Joe Alexander, the chair of the Development Committee for Encore Park, explained, “With this development, we are going to build on the strength of the Stewpot. The Stewpot has shown that the best secret in town is to bring together caring and creativity. We are uniquely positioned right now in downtown Dallas, because we have been living and working in this critical area of downtown for so long. We know this community and we know what this community needs.”

The Stewpot is a ministry of First Presbyterian Church of Dallas. According to Presbyterian polity, all property acquisition must be approved by the congregation. This step was taken on Sunday, June 26th, when the congregation of First Presbyterian Church unanimously approved a motion authorizing The Stewpot’s purchase of 515 Park Ave and 500 St. Paul.

Buddy Jordan, chair of the First Presbyterian Community Ministries committee, said, “Encore Park will create an integrated social impact campus for downtown Dallas, combining core Stewpot services with innovative new channels to meet the growing needs of the people of Dallas. It will also set the culture and tone for the next phase of downtown development by preserving important, irreplaceable historic buildings and offering new venues and cultural attractions that will enhance the entire neighborhood. Importantly, it will also create investment in the last undeveloped section of downtown.”

The Rev. Dr. Joe Clifford, Head of Staff of First Presbyterian discussed the Church’s historic commitment to responding to the needs of the community. He observed that “First Presbyterian Church was chartered 157 years ago, the day after Dallas was chartered as a city.   2013 marks the 100th anniversary of our present location.  Throughout our life as a congregation, we’ve been sowing seeds of compassion in this community.  Among those seeds was an orphanage that grew into Presbyterian Children’s Homes and Services, a children’s clinic that would become one of three entities that merged to form Children’s Hospital, and of course, The Stewpot, which has faithfully served the least of these in our community for over 37 years, including serving over 5 million meals.  Encore Park is our generation’s contribution to that legacy of compassion.  It will no doubt have a profound impact on the next century of First Presbyterian’s ministry.  More importantly, we pray it will continue to yield an abundant harvest of blessing for our beloved city.”

Mayor Mike Rawlings, a member of First Presbyterian Church, endorsed the project: “This purchase is not only fulfilling FPC's mission but it's also great for the city.  We are trying to Grow South in Dallas and this project can become a symbolic gateway for the rest of Dallas' southern redevelopment.”

The Stewpot’s plans for redeveloping Park Avenue, and renovating 508 and 515 Park will be part of the presentation at the Dallas Public Library on Saturday June 29th, at 2 p.m. celebrating the opening of the library exhibit, “508 Park: The Past Meets the Future.”

Visit the Encore Park website:
For more information contact: The Rev. Bruce Buchanan: 214-746-2785 x 237

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Texas Heat is Here!

Does someone you know meet this criteria?

1. The individual’s current residence must not have a functioning air conditioner, and in your view they do not have the financial resources to buy one themselves. However, they would have available resources to cover electrical costs for the operation of the air conditioner.

2. The individual must occupy the residence where the window air conditioner unit will be installed.

3. The individual’s residence must be located within the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

If someone meets the criteria above, then the North Texas Air Conditioning Initiative can help!

The North Texas Air Conditioning Initiative has been developed to assist individuals in the greater Dallas/Fort Worth area who lack air conditioning in their residence by providing window unit air conditioners as relief from the intense summer heat.

If your organization serves individuals who meet the above criteria - or you believe you will become aware of individuals who meet this criteria, please contact the North Texas Air Conditioning Initiative for more information.

*Although not a requirement, priority should be given to individuals who are elderly, infirmed, or have young children

** The individual must agree to be present when the installation occurs.

If you are an individual who meets the criteria above, please work through your local non-profit organization to learn more (Local non-profit contact information is below).

Organization:                     CORNERSTONE BAPTIST CHURCH

Contact Person:                 KERRICK MOLLICE

Phone Number:                  (214) 426-5468


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Giving Back

The Venturing Crew and Junior Crew (our children and youth high school and junior high programs) spent part of their spring break giving back to the community.

On Monday, 10 Venturing Crew students served lunch at The Bridge. They served water and served behind the line. For most it was their first time to serve at The Bridge and they really enjoyed the experience.

On Wednesday, 18 Junior Crew and Venturing Crew students went to the Shoes for Orphan's Souls facility through Buckner. The group sorted new shoes and new Rangers shirts to be be sent overseas to orphans and other at risk children and families.

 Volunteering at The Bridge
Volunteering at Shoes for Orphans

In both programs, we teach the students to give back to the community that has given so much to them. The students have an opportunity to go on field trips, out of town trips and ultimately receive a college scholarship. In order to participate in many of these activities, community service hours are a requirement.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Free Outdoor Garden Concert @ 508 Park

Blues music will again fill the air at the historic 508 Park Ave. building on Saturday, March 23.

The free, all-ages Music @ 508 Park will feature guitarists Holland K. Smith, Hunter Hendrickson and Troy Cartwright delivering upbeat country music along with blues riffs and solos at the south side of 508 Park in the community garden, just east of The Stewpot. Gates open at 4 p.m. and the concert will conclude with an “All Star” jam by 7 p.m.

“We are excited to have a new generation of local blues and country artists stepping forward to pay tribute to the history of 508 Park, where artists such as Robert Johnson and Bob Wills & his Texas Playboys recorded,” said the Rev. Bruce Buchanan, executive director of the Stewpot. “This is the first in a series of concerts that 508 Park will host.”

Following the Stewpot Alliance’s successful Soup’s On fundraiser luncheon that focused on 508 Park, this friend-raising concert will celebrate music-making with our friends and neighbors. These local musicians donating their time and talent to perform will invite their fans, and we want to extend hospitality to them.

WHO:                    Holland K. Smith, Hunter Hendrickson and  Troy Cartwright
WHERE:               The Community Garden south of 508 Park Ave.  just east of The Stewpot
WHAT:                  Free all-ages Music @ 508 Park concert. Bring  your own chair and picnic.
WHEN:                 Saturday, March 23 from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m.
WHY:                    To extend hospitality to our  friends and neighbors and to honor the history of local blues and country music recorded at 508 Park Ave.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Food Stabilization Program Continues to Grow

2013 kicked off with The Stewpot Children and Youth programs doing our family stabilization program monthly instead of quarterly which is what we did in 2012. The last Saturday of each month 98 families come to The Stewpot to receive a week’s worth of groceries as well as clothing and other services. In January, we had Parkland’s mobile mammogram unit come out and provide mammograms and education to 40 women. Many women had never received a mammogram before. We also have had representatives from the North Texas Food Bank and Consumer Credit Counseling Services of Dallas come out and provide information about programs they offer that could help meet the needs of the members of our Family Stabilization Program.

The families say that receiving the groceries is a budget relief. They are able to use the money they would have spent on groceries for other bills and expenses which is especially important with the tough economy and rising food costs. Ana Lira, a current client states: I have not been able to find work. The program has been so much help in reducing the amount of food that I have needed to buy from the grocery store. I was able to get 2 sweaters for my young daughters during the January food distribution. I chose sweaters that are a little larger than their current sizes so that they will be able to grow into them next year. I am happy that I have been able to save some money thanks to this program.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Last year a volunteer group from Starbucks was eager to come and serve on MLK day. It started a beautiful tradition of celebrating the pursuit of peace and equality among all people.

The tradition continued yesterday. A group of 11 Starbucks employees and a few family members came to lead a celebration service led by Michael Wyatt.

The afternoon started with what else, but some Starbucks coffee - a treat for everyone in attendance. Guests were invited to remember the legacy of Dr. King by reading quotes and excerpts from his speeches. And what's an event without some door prizes?

Maybe the most meaningful part of the afternoon was our time spent predicting and sharing our hopes for the next 25, 50, and 75 years concerning racial harmony in our community and throughout the world. Here are a few predictions and hopes for the future:

25 Years
  • Some people hope to still be living
  • Others predicted the return of Jesus
  • There will be more organizations like The Stewpot and Union Gospel Mission to help people
  • There will be peace and equality for all people 
50 Years
  • There will be less homelessness 
  • We will see the first female president elected in the United States
75 Years
  • Some guests mentioned they'd like to see a better understanding of homelessness in 75 years and how to approach the issues involved
  • No more slavery 
  • No more hunger 
Hopefully we will see these predictions become reality. At the very least, we can play a part by sharing kindness each day!

Getting some coffee. 

Our awesome group of Starbucks volunteers. 

 Reading MLK Quotes.