Involves a team of volunteers from area churches, going to the street every Thursday night to meet with the homeless and street dependent population. Our time and location are always the same so we display consistency and dependability. The response to our presence on the street is always welcoming, and on any given night we can draw anywhere from 50-150 participants. Of those clients, we have documented the adults and children to whom we’ve given further help like getting off the street, shelter, job referrals, transportation, and referrals to other agencies and medical clinics and always an invitation to a church
Ministry Set up Team
Volunteers set up awnings, tables, sound system and make sure the trucks are stationed safely in the right position for the ministry event. The set up team is aware of the surroundings and ensures safety for everyone on the street.
Our presence on the street continues to grow as more visitors and church body’s come to see what is going on. They are met by our Servant Leaders who give the visitors information about City Gates and a tour of the ministry so they have a full understanding of our purpose and mission. Volunteers who want to help City Gates will be trained on all the ministry outlets and than encouraged to get involved to help those ministries during the course of the night whenever needed.
We serve the homeless or low income parents by providing supplies for their children. Volunteers develop relationships, pray, and handout items like diapers, clothing, etc. We also mentor the parents by creating relationships where we will, for instance, visit them in the hospital or their homes, find resources and invite them to church. If you have compassion for young mothers this is the place for you.
We want to make sure the kids on the street are loved and experience a time of special attention. Volunteer’s help with birthday parties, face painting, bible stories, handing out small toys and stuffed animals and lots of hugs. We also welcome drama teams, puppets, and singing to entertain Gods little children. There is always a place to share Gods love to the kids on the street.
Living on the street is tough and not having simple essentials makes it even worse. Volunteers help supply and hand out tarps, propane, batteries, flash lights, toothpaste, soap etc. This is a great time to serve the desperate needs of the poor, pray and build relationships to better understand their homeless and street culture.
Surviving on the street is usually as simple as having a pair of clean socks and access to dry clothes, jeans sweaters, hats and gloves, and a sleeping bag or blanket; volunteers hand out items and pray for the people who need those essentials. Volunteers also help to restock the vans sort out the donations, and resort supplies needed to execute our mission. We sort and restock on Saturdays and find it a great place to fellowship and thank the Lord for everything He supplies.
Life on the street is extremely stressful and is hard on the body. Sleeping on hard and cold surfaces, carrying heavy backpacks and walking with shoes that are sometimes inadequate causes aches and pains throughout the body. Having a place to lie down and receive relief is not only healing to a tired body but soothing to the soul. Prayer teams who understand the healing power of laying hands on and comforting words are welcome to this great and empowering ministry.
Food Preparation Ministry
It takes a committed team who will meet each week on Thursday night to prepare the 90+ sandwiches that will go out to the street. Volunteers who understand the value of feeding hungry souls are welcome in this part of the ministry. We encourage church groups to take one week a month to prepare and deliver the sandwiches through their church organization.
Take care of the hunger and you open the heart. Each week we pass out sandwiches, chips, cookies, hot chocolate, and coffee to our visitors on the street. This is a great place to bring the family to volunteer. It’s perfect for those who are looking for a place to serve but are unsure of the environment in which they are serving. Many people come to the sandwich table to just do community service. It’s non-threatening and gives you an outlet to help the poor.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. If you have a feel for photography or are a videographer this is the place for you. When we have made the connection with people who are on the street we offer to take their picture. The following week patrons can come to find their picture inserted with kind words of affirmation, Jesus loves you or scripture. Volunteers hand out the pictures build the relationships and pray so they remember when God gave them a picture of where they were.
Media and Web Design
If you are a behind the scene servant we have a very active website where we promote CGM. If you have a passion for journaling volunteers write testimonies for our news letter and keep our face book page alive and active.
Food Collection Ministry
To make sure moms who are on the street have diapers, diaper wipes formula and the basic baby essentials as well as food for our food bank, once a month Mercy Tree Ministries will set up tables in front of grocery stores to ask people to donate these items. This is a perfect place for the whole family to volunteer to "man" the tables, greet people, tell them about CGM, and ask for donations. It’s fun and rewarding to see how much our community wants to give.
Food Bank Ministry
CGM is the only food delivery program in Thurston County to deliver free food to people's homes. While in the homes we offer to pray and invite people to church. Thanksgiving and Christmas are busy times of the year and volunteers fill food boxes, make deliveries, and develop relationships with people in need.
CGM collects donated furniture and delivers it free of charge to people in need. By providing furnishings to people who are in transition we can help them conserve their meager resources to pay for other necessities like rent, power, food, clothing, etc. Strong and willing mover’s help this ministry continues to succeed.
Fund Raising and Annual Auction
In order to fund the many departments of CGM and help people with PSE bills, rent, medicine, and supplies, fund raising is essential to the survival of our mission. Volunteers set up garage sales, car washes, and rallies. We sponsor an annual dinner/auction to raise money to fund our various ministries. Our annual action is always the 1st week in November. We will need volunteers to facilitate this activity.
For anyone asking for help we offer mentoring in life skills to help them go forward with their lives. We advocate finding them resources for housing, rent, electricity bills, jobs and recovery. Our goal, of course, is to help them understand that God has not left them nor forsaken them. We encourage them and invite them to churches that help City Gates. We commit to working with them as far as they want to go to. We believe that if they find success in the little things, they will enjoy the empowerment needed to go on in life, to get out of the hard spots, and to find joy in Christ and fulfillment in getting control of their lives.