An Update on the Open Door Café and Day Center
Bend Church is moving forward with this vital ministry we are thankful and excited for the ways in which Chuck Hemingway will allow us to move forward in a healthy, safe, and inclusive atmosphere. However, whenever there is a transition in leadership there will be questions about the capabilities of the new leader. To allay your concerns here are some of the questions we have been fielding answered by our new Coordinator of the Open Door, Chuck Hemingway.
Does Chuck have the qualifications to lead a program helping our vulnerable population on Wednesdays?
I have a Masters of Science in Counseling from Oregon State University Cascades and I am a National Certified Counselor with the National Board of Certified Counselors. I also have a Certificate in Addictions Studies from COCC, on the national level I am a Master Addictions Counselor under the National Certification Commission for Addictions Professionals and on the Oregon level I am a CADC III, the highest level of state certification and equivalent to Master Addiction Counselor. I also am certified by the Mental Health and Addictions Counseling Board of Oregon as a Qualified Mental Health Professional, a certification reserved for mental health professionals at the Masters level who have more than 6,000 hours working in the mental health field. I am current on all these certifications.
Over the years I have had countless hours of training in de-escalation procedures and conflict resolution, and in 2018 completed a six-month program in Positive Psychology through the University of Pennsylvania.
Just last week I completed a 15 hour training course in Trauma, Dissociation and Psychosis, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and other clinical approaches conducted by Dr. Ron Unger of Eugene, OR. In January I completed a two-day training with Dr. Bessel Van Der Kolk in Trauma Informed Care.
Will Chuck be able to navigate the laws and rules associated with leading this program?
I practiced law for 23 years and before I retired was specializing in labor and employment law with emphasis on Title VII, the Americans with Disabilities Act and Sec. 504. I retired from the practice of law in 2000 and since then have worked and been directly involved with those experiencing homelessness and other disadvantaged populations.
Has Chuck any experience dealing with our homeless neighbors?
In 2001, I was one of the people at our church who would staff Bethlehem Inn when it first started and rotated among churches. When the Bethlehem Inn moved for about 18 months to the Work Release Center, I remained as a volunteer, continuing as a volunteer there through 2013, when I started volunteering at Shepherd’s House.
I was on-staff as a volunteer with Shepherd’s House through December 2018, when I “retired” and started coming to Bend Church to wash dishes at the Open Door Cafe or do whatever else was needed. I continue to volunteer at Shepherd’s House, going back to interact with the homeless men there and teach classes.
Last fall I was among several members of our church who received a day-long training from Ryan Dowd here in Bend. He is director of a large homeless center in Chicago and a recognized national expert in
de-escalation involving populations experiencing homelessness. He does online seminars and one of my goals will be to get our volunteers signed up for some of his trainings.
I believe more emotional healing goes on among those who come to breakfast when one of the volunteers sits down with them just to talk and listen to them than what might happen in a counseling session at Deschutes County Behavioral Health. They can see how much we care.
Feel free to contact Chuck Hemingway, Open Door Cafe & Day Center Coordinator at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Open Door Café is open every Wednesday morning from 7:30am to 9:30am to serve a hot breakfast prepared in our kitchen and served in our Fellowship Hall. Breakfast is available to everyone who wants it, mostly homeless and marginally housed people from our community.
Volunteers shop, cook, serve, and clean up. We also spend time in fellowship with the Café guests, listening to them and offering encouragement and words of support. We often refer people in need to other church programs and forms of assistance, such as the Compassionate Care Ministry.
Our volunteers are rewarded with closer ties to each other and to the needs of others. We encourage you to join us!
If you are available to lend a hand, please sign up!
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