A Special Announcement from Micah and PHUMC – Creating a Temporary Safe Outdoor Space

Dear Micah Community,

Do Justly. Love Mercy. Walk Humbly.

The story of our Micah community abounds with our endeavor to understand and realize these simple, fundamental and transformational values set forth by the prophet Micah.  Our efforts to embody the prophet’s expression of our Jewish ideals have taken on many forms in our 6+ decades of synagogue life.  Some of these efforts have been for the benefit of our own community, others have been for the sake of those beyond our community.  Some of these efforts have focused on personal growth and our individual spiritual lives, others have been focused on changing the world.  Some of these efforts have been easy and natural, others have been unsettling and challenging.  We are about to begin an exciting new effort as we endeavor to embody these precious values of ours … 

Park Hill UMC and Temple Micah are partnering with the Colorado Village Collaborative to host a temporary Safe Outdoor Space on the PHUMC parking lot from June 1, 2021 to December 31, 2021.

The Safe Outdoor Space (SOS) program – launched in July 2020 by the Denver Mayor’s Office –  provides a temporary response to the city’s homelessness crisis.  The city partnered with the Colorado Village Collaborative (CVC) to open several Safe Outdoor Spaces for people experiencing homelessness. These Safe Outdoor Spaces are healthy, secure, staffed, resource and service-rich environments that provide an outdoor, individualized sheltering option for people experiencing unsheltered homelessness in Denver.  There have been two Safe Outdoor Spaces that have successfully operated in Denver’s Capitol Hill neighborhood since December, 2020 … and we are planning to host the third.

What does hosting a Safe Outdoor Space mean for PHUMC and Temple Micah?  CVC manages the entire site – ‘soup to nuts’.  They provide and facilitate it all – infrastructure, social service support, food, screening, security. PHUMC and Micah offer the physical and communal space for CVC to do its work. The sharing of physical space means sacrificing potential parking space for this effort.  The sharing of communal space means working within our communities and with our Park Hill neighbors to create opportunities for education, dialogue and collaboration about this Safe Outdoor Space and the crisis of homelessness.  If we want, we will have opportunities to support CVC in their work of caring for some of the needs of the residents of the SOS.

I feel very strongly about our participation in this effort and am proud to collaborate with our Park Hill UMC friends to make it happen.  I clearly see the alignment of our values and doing what we can to support people experiencing homelessness.  I also understand that there is a lot to learn and understand about this temporary solution to a larger societal problem.  You may be like me that – upon hearing about this endeavor – you have some questions and even concerns about it all.   I understand that while the professional and lay leadership at Park HIll UMC and Temple Micah may have been talking about and thinking about this idea already, it is the first time many in our communities (Micah, PHUMC and the Park Hill neighborhood) are hearing about it.  I encourage you to learn more, begin asking your questions and understanding more about it all.

Let me share with you how you can go about learning more …

​​​​​​​If … after you have read, watched and started to learn more … you are curious about how to participate in this effort, please let me know that desire, too.

Thank you, for taking the time to listen about our new initiative.  I am proud to be part of a community that is always striving to understand, incorporate and embody our most sacred values into every aspect of our lives.

B’shalom,

R.Mo

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