Open Table Ministry at St. John’s: Changing lives one person at a time.
I am so pleased to see the impact that we have made in the lives of young adults. The Open Table Ministry has helped one person at a time. I am grateful to our team and encourage more of you to give it a try and see how you can be part of this transforming work. Here is a brief note from the Crosswinds Youth Services.
Nearly three years ago, Saint John the Evangelist Open Table Ministry and Crosswinds Youth Services joined forces to address the issue of youth homelessness in Brevard County. This is done using the Open Table Model which demonstrates the value of community, collaboration, purpose and targeted action planning.
In their recent newsletter, Crosswinds expresses their deepest gratitude to St John’s Open Table Ministry and to all of our parishioners who have donated much time, talent and treasure in support of their Transitional Living Program for Homeless Youth. They acknowledge that our partnership has had a dramatic impact not only on the youth themselves but also on Crosswind’s approach to supporting homeless youth.
The Youth who come into this program have backgrounds of all sorts – most have experienced trauma; all are lacking what we take for granted:
A family support system Healthy relationships
People they can go to for help
As a volunteer member of a Table, St John’s volunteers bring to the youth the chance to establish relationships that can help them advance towards their life goal. We act as role models for them; we help them navigate those first few steps in the vast possibilities of their adult lives. Simply by caring, we show them that they have value, that they can move on from their past and create something unique and beautiful with their lives.
Some of the memorable initiatives that were inspired by our Open Table Initiative during the past year include:
A drive-through graduation ceremony for our high school graduates Household donations to refurnish all the homes in the TLP program TLP homes decorated for Christmas
Parade of Homes Christmas Tour on Zoom A delicious St. Patrick’s Day Feast
A BBQ and cornhole tournament to celebrate a Covid-free year
Help with transportation needs, including bicycle assembly and car repair A baby shower and maternity photo shoot
Assisting the Crosswinds team to a new level of success in the Great Brevard Duck Race
There are many ways that you can join with us in support of these youth:
Volunteer to join a group of fellow parishioners to engage with a single youth to walk with them towards their life goals.
Allow us to call upon you for your skills and/or talents in a specific area - cooking, car repair and maintenance, purchasing a car, managing money, song and dance, boating, resumé writing, apartment hunting, mentoring. If you have a skill and want to help a little or a lot, we would love to hear from you. Join us on our “Network Table” where we convene to discuss opportunities to help all of the Crosswinds Youth and the Transitional Living Program as a whole.
Open Table Ministry seeks to help people break out of poverty.
Tables are made up of 6 to 12 members, who pledge a year to assist someone in need set a Life Plan and begin to achieve it. We are working with Catholic Charities and Crosswinds Youth Services who refer candidates they think can benefit from this service.
28 parishioners have completed the training to serve as Table members, and have begun to serve four young adults (between 18-22 years old) who have been homeless and are aging out of services. We hope to begin training for a fifth Table in the fall. If you are interested in this new Ministry contact Deacon Michael.
When these young adults reach age 22 they can no longer stay in the Transitional Living Program with Crosswinds Youth Services. So anyone who knows of any affordable housing like apartment, room or shared living arrangement, please contact Deacon Michael at [email protected]
Our parish ministry, Open Table, is looking for leads on jobs for young adults ages 18-22. Since public transportation is limited in our area, anyone who has a car you don't need and are willing to donate would help them commute to work. We are hoping to soon start a fifth Table to assist young adults aging out of services or homeless families.
Please contact Deacon Michael at [email protected] or 321-946-3388