April 2016 – Paint-A-Thon
On April 2nd a Crosspoint crew of 19 residents, staff and family members participated in the second annual East Point Shine Community Paint-A-Thon hosted by SAHA. That project gave us the opportunity to paint the home of an elderly Veteran. As always, each of these events was an experience in personal and community restoration for all of the volunteers as well as neighborhood observers.
On March 19th, residents worked at the Quaker Meeting House on Vandiver to prepare their facility for the spring growing season.
Crosspoint residents and staff participated in four community volunteer projects in the past three months. In February, Crosspoint volunteers spent two Saturdays completing the Gardopia community garden project with the San Antonio Housing Authority on New Braunfels Avenue.
February 2016 – Basura Bash
Crosspoint residents and staff participated in the annual Basura Bash, cleaning Alazon Creek in Council District 1.
Continuing work that began on New Braunfels Avenue in the Spring of 2015, Crosspoint volunteers are helping to build a community garden in a formerly vacant lot near the corner of Nolan Ave. The SAHA-sponsored project is named “Gardopia” and will provide neighborhood residents a place to enjoy the peace and beauty of growing things in a park-like setting. Crosspoint residents volunteered there on January 20 and our next workday there will be on February 13, 2016.
On November 14, 2015 nine Crosspoint staff and residents worked side by side with the Baptist Temple’s teacher volunteers to restore the church’s playground area. The group did not let the cold, rainy weather deter them from giving back with hard work.
July 2015 – Eastside Clean Up
On July 2nd, Crosspoint sent a 9-person crew to assist in an Eastside clean-up effort at the corner on New Braunfels and Nolan. By volunteering for this project on the front-end of a three-day weekend, our residents and staff showed great commitment to the betterment of District 2. Our work crew made a tremendous difference in what was accomplished in this undertaking. The Crosspoint residents were clearly moved by the personal appreciation shown by Councilman Warrick and San Antonio Housing Authority leaders, and by being invited to the neighborhood picnic.
April 2015 – Easter Baskets
On April 4, residents from Hall House and staff assembled Easter baskets for the Sisters of the Holy Spirit. The activity was “gratitude in action” for the many ways the Sisters support Crosspoint’s mission. Residents and staff alike found meaning and joy in this activity.
March 2015 – Paint-A-Thon
Eighteen Crosspoint residents and staff gathered to participate in the EastPoint Paint-A-Thon this morning. Our crew was assigned to paint the entire exterior of a home owned by a senior citizen on Lamar. Four hours later, the house had a completely refreshed appearance thanks to the hard work of our volunteers. The owner came out to see the difference made by two coats of white paint and brown trim. She presented the crew with a card offering her appreciation and prayers for us and then posed with us for our team photo, which will be posted on our website and Facebook page. I am so proud of all of these dedicated volunteers.
February 2015 – Basura Bash
Seventeen Crosspoint residents, staff and family members devoted a Saturday morning to cleaning up the debris lining Salado Creek at Martin Luther King Park. This community service project served to restore not only this beautiful East Side park, but also those who gave of themselves to give back to their community.
November 2014 - Temple Baptist Church
On November 15th, we had a crew of 13 once again at Temple Baptist Church (4 staff, 8 residents, 1 community volunteer). We came very close to completing the painting of the chapel in the 3 1/2 hours we allotted. Three noteworthy items:
- Jeanetta Davis (relatively new line staff member) once again came and worked hard despite challenges with her work and home schedules. She has yet to miss a community service project since she started working here in July.
- One BOP resident worked today even though he discharges on Monday. I asked him why he came on his final weekend at Crosspoint. He said he was at the church during our first community service day there and thought that this was his final chance to do something good in the community of this nature. Another resident asked if would be allowed to do volunteer work with us after release on home confinement. A 3rd resident told me that his daughter always tells him of the volunteer work she does in the community and now he can proudly tell her that she inspired him to do the same.
- Finally, the pastor of BTC said he was impressed with our work and now wants to hire one of our residents as a custodian!
On October 25th, a crew of 13 Crosspoint residents and staff undertook on a community service project at Baptist Temple Church on Drexel to refresh their chapel. These volunteers split into teams to sand, prime and paint the various chapel surfaces. Because of the size of the project, it will take one more day to finish it. During the morning, two US Probation Officers showed up unexpectedly to spot-check a client. They were clearly impressed with the project and the number of volunteers. Perhaps most impressive, one of the USPOs told his client how pleased he was to see him giving back to the community on his day off. The client replied, "Thanks but it’s not my day off. I have to be at my regular job at 3pm."
On July 26th, four Crosspoint residents and three staff members teamed up with a member of the Government Hill Neighborhood Association to engage in a landscaping project at Prince of Peace Baptist Church on Runnels. The church's backyard was transformed from an overgrown, unusable area to an open space in which the congregants could set up chairs and enjoy their property. One of the residents took a bus from her home site after changing work shifts to make it to this volunteer project while the three others were Veterans that have worked on multiple volunteer projects. Working at this kind of project in 98-degree heat is the sign of volunteers that are certainly willing to put the needs of others before their own comfort.
On June 14th, an 8-person crew of six residents and two staff members devoted their Saturday to refurbishing a kitchen and dining room where the Community Table Project will now be able to prepare food for a far greater number of homeless and hungry citizens. The crew scrubbed walls and floors, painted, cleaned carpets and washed kitchen equipment and utensils. Todd Glasgow from Community Table and Dennis Quinn organized the work and Joan Cheever prepared a homemade meal for the volunteers. By restoring this kitchen, Crosspoint clients made progress in restoring their own citizenship.
On May 10, 2014, ten Crosspoint residents and staff completed a community volunteer project with the Government Hill Neighborhood Association. Working with hand tools, residents cleared underbrush for a community garden and they dug a dozen post holes for a fence. The residents worked tirelessly, impressed our hosts and left with a sense of accomplishment.
On May 31, 2014, another group of resident volunteers and staff participated in a District 1 graffiti wipeout project to paint over graffiti in a drainage system along Vance Jackson road. Our resident volunteers worked with remarkable commitment and focus. The team covered far more area than the planners had expected. The work completed demonstrated our client’s eagerness to give back to the community.
A 12-person Crosspoint team of residents and staff participated in spring cleaning at the Quaker Meetinghouse on Vandiver. Volunteers helped change filters, build a new park bench, install a bicycle rack and catch up with landscaping. An equal number of congregants worked with our crew to prepare the meeting house for another year of service. The congregants showed their appreciation by providing a pot-luck lunch that included a variety of home-made dishes.
Catholic Charities Wellness and Community Resource Fair was held at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church where 8 residents volunteered to do set-up services.
A four-man crew trimmed, mowed, pruned and picked up trash along Yucca Street. Neighbors commented on how much of a difference this group of Crosspoint residents made in this section of the neighborhood.
After participating in Crosspoint’s 7th Annual Community Resource Fair in 2013, Alamo Colleges Mobile GO Center made a return trip to provide services to residents at Crosspoint in April. Personalized services made available by Alamo Colleges staff included assistance in applying online to any of the Alamo Colleges, financial aid information and options, college awareness and career exploration.
Community Resource Fair
The 7th Annual Community Resource Fair was held in the Nau Library at The Summit on October 5th. An all-time high of 25 local community service organizations sent volunteer representatives to provide essential information to clients and their family members from Crosspoint, Chrysalis Ministries and Alpha Home. The information shared with these citizens can provide a life-saving link when crises emerge in their lives. The participants got the opportunity to meet face-to-face with agency staff who could help them navigate through challenges including housing, education, healthcare, substance abuse, financial and transportation. We are eternally grateful to all of the agency staff members who gave up these week-end hours to ensure that a safety net was in place for those who struggle to become productive members of the community while keeping their families intact.
The community garden at The Summit has produced a beautiful harvest all summer, thanks to the commitment of Crosspoint residents. On October 10, 2013 the garden was dedicated as the Bickham-Cheever Restoration Garden in honor of Moreese Bickham, the oldest living survivor of death row, and Joan Cheever who chronicled his life in her book Back From the Dead in 2006. Bickham and Cheever have each spent much of their lives striving to help those in need, so it is fitting that the Bickham-Cheever garden fills the needs of District 2 citizens as its bounty is shared with area food pantries.
On October 19, 2013 Crosspoint staff and residents took part in San Antonio’s Graffiti Wipeout for 2013 at the invitation of Councilman Diego Bernal’s office. Working as a team with other District 1 residents, Crosspoint’s participants covered graffiti along a 1½ mile stretch of West Boulevard. Afterwards all were treated to a picnic and music at Carmargo Park.
On September 28th, Veterans from the Crosspoint program along with 200 other community volunteers constructed a playground at the Carver Branch Library. The new playground will serve 24,000 children and their families in the community for years to come.
One of Crosspoint’s most challenging community projects has been the restoration of the home of Andre Richardson and his son on Dafoste Street. The home was extensively damaged by fire in June. Now thanks to the leadership of Dennis Quinn and his wife Joan Cheever, the donation of materials by Lowe’s on Callaghan and Jon Wayne Heating and Air Conditioning, and the hard work of Crosspoint residents the renovation is well underway. The homeowner and Mr. Quinn have worked alongside Crosspoint residents and staff every step of the way. They have helped remove all of the debris from inside the structure and have installed insulation. Crosspoint and resident volunteers from Lifetime Recovery are now in the process of hanging sheetrock. KSAT recently featured stories on Mr. Richardson’s plight and collaborative efforts are now underway to get the Richardson family back into their home.