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.
Throughout this summer residents at The Summit have expertly cared for The Summit community garden and have harvested a remarkable quantity of vegetables—tomatoes, squash, peppers and more. All of this has been donated on a weekly basis to the parishoners at our neighbor, Our Lady of Perpetual Help. Everyone involved has learned (again) the restorative value of tending a growing, living garden. Now residents have planted a second crop of beans, radishes, corn and even lettuce. The Crosspoint community garden will be producing wholesome foods well into the fall, all of it accomplished by genuine volunteers.
A second project still in progress is the renovation of the home Andre Richardson and his son on Dafoste Street. The home was extensively damaged by fire this past spring and now, thanks to the leadership of Dennis Quinn and his wife Joan Cheever, the generosity of Lowe’s on Callahan, and the hard work of Crosspoint residents, the home is under repair. Crosspoint residents have helped removed all of the debris from inside the structure and installed insulation. Crosspoint and recent volunteers from Lifetime Recovery have now begun the process of hanging sheetrock. Everyone looks to the successful completion of this project and the return of the Richardsons to their new home.
To kick off 2013, Crosspoint residents at The Summit started close to home to cover graffiti on the railroad overpass on Yucca Street on February 9. The resident worked in misty weather and made short work of the project. The next weekend was bright and clear when residents of the Summit teamed with volunteers from Shearer Hills Baptist Church to begin work on our community garden. One team of volunteers constructed 6 garden boxes and filled them with topsoil, while a second team added new plantings to the meditation garden. Once again the enthusiasm bordered on celebration as everyone worked as hard as needed to prepare the garden. The next stage of the garden project was completed by The Summit residents when they planted vegetables. Once again, an observer could have been forgiven for feeling a sense of great pride in the dedication, sincerity and simple joy this kind of work reveals in us all. In every project the Veterans and men of the Residential Reentry Center have worked seamlessly as a team committed to its goal.
During the first quarter, Crosspoint residents and staff continued the projects begun last year. In preparation for the Martin Luther King march in January, our residents contributed several hours of service to complete exterior renovations on the Greater Faith Institutional Church on Martin Luther King Drive. We continued on interior projects there on March 17 and March 31, completing painting of the sanctuary. On March 3, Crosspoint returned to the Denver Heights Community Garden to dig in to some much needed spring weeding. Also on March 17, residents and staff of Crosspoint’s women’s facility participated in graffiti abatement work in Tobin Hill, just north of downtown. Over the next few months our work in District 2 will continue with clean up projects, renovation and garden work. Our residents are always eager to help out and contribute to the community that gives them a chance to come home.
Crosspoint ended 2012 with a major effort at cleaning a vacant lot in District 2. Our residents, worked mostly with hand tools plus dedication and determination. They transformed a space overgrown with weeds and shrubs and choked with trash into a green space that seemed almost like a park. The improvement was clear to local residents, several of whom stopped by during the work to offer their appreciation for the work.
Crosspoint ended 2012 with a major effort at clearing brush, trimming trees and general clean-up of a vacant lot on New Braunfels. Ten residents and staff completed the task mostly with hand tools, dedication and determination. They transformed a space overgrown with weeds and shrubs and choked with trash into a green space that seemed almost like a park. The effort and improvement was obvious to local residents, several of whom stopped by the project site to offer their appreciation for the work.
Community Resource Fair, October 2012
Crosspoint hosted its 6th Annual Community Resource Fair at The Summit on October 6. The event was held at the recently opened John and Bobbie Nau Library. Sixteen local organizations set up booths to provide over 100 Crosspoint and Alpha Home clients and their families with information that will help them on the road to independence upon program graduation. These agency representatives volunteered a half-day to ensure these attendees will have access to the resources needed to overcome any type of challenge or obstacle when they are on their own.
Community Projects in this quarter included two events in District 1. On September 1, Crosspoint residents and staff traveled to the Oblate School of Theology to work with volunteers from Shearer Hills Baptist Church to lay paving stones to create a meditation garden for the school. On September 22, our team worked with Councilman Bernal’s staff to paint over graffiti near Robert E. Lee High School. During the quarter, Crosspoint residents were also the beneficiaries of a community project by volunteers of the Shearer Hills Baptist Church. This group visited The Summit twice, first to help organize our residents’ clothes closet and then on September 15 to paint a hallway and finish work on the closet. Crosspoint residents and staff appreciate the support from these volunteers and look forward to engaging in more community improvement projects.
Crosspoint looks for service projects for our residents that benefit the community. Crosspoint residents cannot volunteer for any profit-making business, or any activity that involves fundraising, financial transactions, or exchanges of items of value. If your group or community organization wants to invite Crosspoint’s residents, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Getting Crosspoint involved:
- Our primary focus is projects within City Council Districts 1 and 2, but we will consider any project that benefits the residents of San Antonio.
- Nonprofits and informal community groups are our first priority, but we also welcome opportunities to work with city or county government.
- Generally, a project should be something that can be accomplished in a single day’s work (or half day, preferably). Saturdays are best for our residents.
- We provide our residents transportation, supervision, water, and work gloves.
- Residents will not be asked to use potentially hazardous equipment (e.g. chainsaws) or equipment that requires special training, licensing or certification.
- Crosspoint requires a minimum of seven days to approve and plan participation in a project.
During the first quarter, Crosspoint residents and staff continued projects begun last year. In preparation for the Martin Luther King March in January, our residents volunteered their services to complete exterior renovations on the Greater Faith Institutional Church on Martin Luther King Drive. We continued on interior projects there on March 17 and March 31, completing painting of the sanctuary. On March 3, Crosspoint returned to the Denver Heights Community Garden, again under the supervision of Director of Operations Joe Shaffer, to dig in to some much needed spring weeding. During March, residents and staff of Crosspoint's women's facility participated in graffiti abatement work in Tobin Hill, just north of downtown. Crosspoint residents voice satisfaction with these opportunities to give back to the community.
Crosspoint staff also once again took part in the Martin Luther King March activities. Staff helped set up and take down chairs and marched with fellow citizens. CEO, Dr. Kevin Downey was one of the speakers at the Early Morning Worship Program sponsored by the Greater Faith Institutional Church.
The fourth quarter of 2011 saw increased activity in Crosspoint's ongoing effort to support and improve our neighborhoods. As word has spread of the eagerness of our residents to give back, a variety of projects have come our way. In December our residents were invited back to the Denver Heights Community Center to complete fall pruning and cleanup. One of our most memorable and appreciated projects took place in January when five residents provided critically needed labor and skills over two days to the renovation of a church in preparation for Martin Luther King Day events. In every project, our residents have shown great enthusiasm for the work and self satisfaction in being able to give back to our community.
On October 22nd, Crosspoint staff and residents volunteered to participate in another graffiti abatement effort, this time in partnership with Councilman Bernal and his District 1 staff. We covered a series of bridges over the Wonderway Ditch between IH-10 and Vance Jackson. As always, everyone tackled the job with great enthusiasm and diligence. Our District 1 representatives were amazed by the energy and determination every group member put forth, and neighbors came out to thank us for our efforts. This project will continue at new venues in coming months. Our residents find it to be a tangible way of giving back to the community and restoring their citizenship.
On June 11, an 8-man Crosspoint crew made up of Veterans, formerly incarcerated citizens and staff worked four hours spreading compost and mulch throughout the Denver Heights Community Center property. The Denver Heights Neighborhood Association was referred to Crosspoint for assistance by the District 2 Councilwoman's office. The Crosspoint crew worked side-by-side with Association members to complete the task.
On July 12, Crosspoint again responded to a request to perform much needed work in District 2. A 13-person Crosspoint crew spent the morning trimming, mowing and clearing brush at the Eastview Cemetery. The equipment used for the project was procured through Councilwoman Taylor's office. One of the Veterans was interviewed by KENS TV about the work being done at the cemetery and the efforts he was making in the Crosspoint program to get a fresh start.
In April, a voluntary crew of formerly incarcerated citizens, displaced Veterans and Crosspoint staff set out from The Summit to undertake two graffiti abatement projects in District 2. The first involved painting over graffiti that had been sprayed on a new wooden fence and concrete wall at a house on Crockett. With paint provided by the city, the Crosspoint crew returned both fence and wall to like new condition. The second project involved painting over graffiti on a vacant house on Grimes. Such projects allow area residents to see improvements in neighborhood properties and Crosspoint clients get to experience the pride of doing something positive for their community.