News Off The Streets  May 22, 2017
 
          
                                                                           Seeking Help                 Finding Hope               Moving Forward
Veterans get
respect and resources at
St. John Center
 
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
 
- first verse of the poem In Flanders Fields, written by John McCrae in 1915

Memorial Day is May 29.

This federal holiday was established so Americans may honor the memories of its deceased military veterans.  For many people the three-day weekend marks the official beginning of summer and includes parades, cookouts and decorating the graves of fallen veterans.

Decoration Day, as it was originally known, was first celebrated on May 30, 1868 (just 10 years after St. John Church, the building that is home to St. John Center, was opened) to recognize the 600,000 who perished in the Civil War.

The holiday was known as Memorial Day after World War II.  A federal law made “Memorial Day” official in 1967.  Although the date of the holiday was originally May 30 each year, the Uniform Monday Holiday Act of 1968 moved it to the last Monday of May in order to create a three-day weekend.

On Memorial Day, the U.S. flag is raised to the top of the staff and then lowered to half-staff where it remains until noon.  It is raised to full-staff for the remainder of the day.

In 2000, Congress passed the National Moment of Remembrance Act that asks citizens to stop and remember fallen veterans at 3 p.m. on Memorial Day.

The poem In Flanders Fields was written in 1915 and refers to fields of colorful red flowers that grew among soldiers’ graves in France during World War I.  The poppy flower has since become the symbol of Memorial Day remembrances.

Okolona VFW Post 8639, a longtime supporter of St. John Center, is generously providing poppy pins for clients and anyone else who would like to wear one in remembrance of a veteran this Memorial Day.

St. John Center remains an important resource for veterans as it has from the beginning.

In 2016, just 16 percent (or 290) of the men who visited St. John Center were veterans.  Of those, 29 men received housing through the Veterans Administration.  The good news is that the number of St. John Center clients who are homeless veterans has declined 13 percent from a high of 29 percent in 2010.

Hopefully, one day there will be no homeless veterans needing to take advantage of the resources available at SJC.  Until then, St. John Center will remain a source of comfort, encouragement and respect for these men who have come to the defense of America.
"The VA homeless outreach team and St. John are partners in ending Veteran homelessness. Not only can we get them connected with VA services but they have a safe place to be during the day. Our success in reducing the number of Veterans on the streets could not happen without Maria and St. John’s support." - Jamie Watts, Healthcare for Homeless Veterans Supervisory Coordinator
Wish List
St. John Center is currently in need of the following items:
  • Coffee creamer (powdered, no individual packets)
  • Sugar (no individual packets)
  • Paper Towels
  • Toilet Tissue
  • Facial Tissue
  • Men' Belts
  • Rain Ponchos
  • Matchbooks
  • Bathroom Deodorizer
  • Liquid Laundry Detergent
  • Copy Paper (8 ½ x 11, white)
  • Disposable Razors
  • Postage Stamps
Now there is an easier way to donate to St. John Center, just send a text message.  If you want to support our mission of getting men off the streets and into housing, simply text stjohncenter to 243725.
 
Care for the Caregivers
 
When you spend your days meeting with men who spend their nights on the streets, it isn't easy and there are new challenges the SJC staff faces daily.  That's why it meant so much when local restaurants, faith based groups, and others decided they wanted to take care of those who are caring for the most vulnerable in our society.
 
The SJC staff has enjoyed lunch for the past several months that has been provided by others who wanted to recognize that even the caregivers need caring for. We would like to extend our deepest gratitude...Thank You! 
 
If you or someone you know would like to sign up to provide lunch for the SJC staff in the upcoming months, please contact Maria Price, 502-568-6758 or mariaprice@stjohncenter.org.
 
 
December's Lunch was provided by:
 
 
January's Lunch by:
"We are incredibly happy to have the opportunity to work with you and your team at St. John's, and we are even more thrilled to be able to provide a wonderful meal for each one of your volunteers." - Jordan Toon, Marketing and Catering Director and Bill Sasko, Director of Support Services
 
 
 
March's Lunch by:
 
 
April's Lunch by:
John Schoenlaub and Topaza (Joe) White donated a variety of meat that they grilled for the SJC staff. 
SJC staff enjoying a delicious lunch.
Phoenix Hill Neighborhood Walking Group

St. John Center is a proud member of the Phoenix Hill Neighborhood Association, and joining the inaugural Phoenix Hill Walking Group were volunteer Sally Knickerbocker and director Maria Price.  Residents from the neighborhood, as well as Councilwoman Barbara Sexton-Smith, enjoyed the sights and sounds of the neighborhood on Tuesday evening, May 9.
Antonio, one of our shelter guests, sent a message to all the mothers, "Please tell all the women here that I say Happy Mother's Day.  You are good to us and I thank God for you."

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Address postal inquiries to:
St. John Center, Inc.
700 E. Muhammad Ali Blvd.
Louisville, KY 40202

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