These days, the words of the prophet Amos feel like an apt description of the opportunities that are presenting themselves to Damascus Way. In chapter nine of The Message version of the Bible (which is a paraphrase style translation), Amos declares;

Things are going to happen so fast your head will swim, one thing fast on the heels of the other. You won’t be able to keep up. Everything will be happening at once – and everywhere you look, blessings” (Amos 9:13).

This version, which is of course a paraphrase, captures the constant movement of life and of time – the seemingly ever-increasing pace of life that we all face, whether life be filled with blessings or trials. Sometimes in the world of non-profits and ministry, this passage feels all too true, especially when opportunities abound! But with opportunity comes great responsibility and a need for discernment.

With this in mind, I’d like to share some exciting news that we are celebrating here at Damascus Way during the final few weeks of 2022. Firstly, we are excited to share that Bell Lumber & Pole Company has once again offered to gift us with a $10,000 match grant! Other partners of ours will be working to help match this grant!

We are also thrilled to announce that our programming department has secured a grant from the Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee (JJAC), for support group work with individuals involved in the juvenile justice system along with the families who have also been impacted. This funding will also be used as part of a proactive program that we are launching to create a network of support for youth with incarcerated parents. It will help provide safe spaces for children and parents to rebuild/build bonds. The primary focus of this program will be on promoting positive youth development. We will share more about how this funding will be used in the coming months!

Additionally, we continue to work on developing a cutting-edge Civic Engagement role that will help us build relationships with contractors, key housing persons (realtors/Landlords, etc.), local government, and legislators. Damascus Way submitted this idea to Minnesota Housing under their Capacity Building Grant and were recently awarded further funding for this work. This grant will allow for the voices of those we serve to have influence in our work. It is our desire to leverage the voices of those we serve by giving the, space to inform and to contribute to advocacy!

Thank you to JJAC and Minnesota Housing for supporting Damascus Way!!