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Street Pulse Executive Director Roy Jacobs and Wife Cindy Honored for Their Ministries by First United Methodist Church

On Sunday, August 6, Street Pulse Executive Director Roy Jacobs and his wife Cindy, a Street Pulse clerk and staffer, were honored for their generous ministries by the First United Methodist Church, during its early- and late-morning services. In addition to their wonderful work on Street Pulse, Roy’s and Cindy’s ministries include Adopt-a-Block, Community Holiday Meals, Emergency Cooling Center, Food Pantry, Foot Care Clinics for the Homeless, Outreach Hospitality, and Outreach in the Octagon (Connections to Care). The delightful and generous couple was recognized with an announcement and the display of a large image showing the happy couple and highlighting some of their key ministries. Based on his outstanding efforts, Roy has just recently been promoted from interim to permanent Executive Director of the Street Pulse newspaper and he is dedicated to improving every aspect of the important publication and the vendor team that sells it. Roy believes that his work with the Street Pulse team will provide currently homeless individuals with an avenue to better themselves and get their lives back together. Roy has been homeless in the past himself so he knows the struggles that many are coping with, but he also knows that there are avenues up and out for those who work hard and take advantage of the various resources that are provided them. Roy and Cindy recently arranged to get into their own affordable place and a detailed story of their efforts to achieve this is provided in the August 2017 issue of Street Pulse. Roy is very talented mechanically and this comes in handy when he is caring for his beloved 34-year-old Chevy van. It also helps in the odd jobs he is working on around town, while also directing Street Pulse and managing other important ministries. By the way, Roy and Cindy first met and married many years ago in Casper, Wyoming.

Street Pulse Assistant Vendor Coordinator David L. Kelley and Family

The picture shows David L. Kelley, Assistant Street Pulse Vendor Coordinator and Official Trainer for New Street Pulse Vendors, with his family—wife Chelsea L. Crumrine and their five-week-old baby Journey L. Kelley. Currently, Chelsea and Journey sleep at the Salvation Army facility while David sleeps outside. The family is working hard to save up sufficient funds to have their own place. David has held many temporary jobs in recent years, including work at festivals and in jewelry making. He has also done landscape work, home-care for the elderly, and cooking. David is highly intelligent and very eager for all manners of work to help his family. David’s grandfather left the Woodstock, NY area after the historic festival and took to the road. David was born in the back of a van near the side of the road in a small town in Texas. He was home-schooled and describes himself as a nomadic gypsy who likes to travel and see the world. David’s father ultimately became a New York City policeman and his mother is now an alcohol/drug addiction social worker and foster home parent. Chelsea, who just recently became an official Street Pulse vendor, is left-handed and very artistic, enjoying coloring in abstract patterns and also doing crochet work, although much of her time now is devoted to caring for her gorgeous new baby. David and his family are currently in the process of trying to secure housing through the Madison Community Cooperative program (http://madisoncommunity.coop/). David can be reached at 480-720-9673. --by Michael D. O'Neill

Rich Gunderson Is on His Way Back !

Street Pulse vendor Rich Gunderson has some very good news to report. About four months ago Rich lost his apartment and has been struggling since. But now, after a highly successful four-month stint at the Tellurian recovery center for alcohol and/or drug addiction (http://www.tellurian.org/), Rich has moved into a shared living facility that was arranged for him by Clean Living through Porchlight (http://porchlightinc.org/). “Partying is not worth not having a house,” Rich says. “Being sober is paying off.” Rich is 47 years old and a serious Gothic metal fan. His favorite band is “Cradle of Filth” and a story about Rich’s successful effort to meet the band and its lead singer Dani Filth was published in the July 2017 issue of Street Pulse. Rich has the fond hope of getting the band to play at the top of State Street by the Capitol on Halloween. Rich loves all sorts of crafts work and is especially talented at leather goods. His current plans include trying to start his own crafts company, to be called “Gunderson Leather on State Street.” -- by Michael D. O’Neill

"Gang Life to Good Life"--Focus on Michael Walton

Michael Walton, who looks like a retired NFL offensive tackle, grew up in Chicago and headed into bad things at a very early age. At 13, he started dealing drugs and eventually dropped out of high school, where he had played quarterback on the football team. He became a gang banger and ended up spending 10 years in jail for various offenses. But then, perhaps miraculously, good things began to happen. Michael’s older brother and cousin convinced him to move to Madison to get away from all the trouble and bad influences in Chicago. And that move helped turn things around for Michael. A big key for Michael was meeting Miles Kirstan who was giving out free clothes to the homeless on State Street. Miles’ kindness and efforts to help the homeless inspired Michael. Together with Miles, Michael started a much bigger operation called the Madison Free Store (http://www.madisonfreestore.com) to help the homeless by giving away free clothes. To donate clothes, you may contact Michael at 608-490-1748 or contact Madison’s Operation Welcome Home (OWH) (https://operationwelcomehome.wordpress.com/), which Michael works for, to make arrangements. As one example, every Wednesday at Madison’s First United Methodist Church, Michael sets up a table at the church’s free breakfast for the homeless and puts out free clothes on the table for the homeless to select from. In addition to operating his Madison Free Store, Michael also holds down an important position with Madison’s Operation Welcome Home (OWH) (https://operationwelcomehome.wordpress.com/). The OWH is a community of homeless people and their allies in Madison organizing around the root causes of homelessness. The organization is fighting for affordable housing, jobs, and an end to the criminalization of poverty.

David L. Kelley Conducts Training Session for New Street Pulse Vendors

New Assistant Vendor Coordinator & Official Trainer for New Street Pulse Vendors David L. Kelley conducted a one-hour training class for four aspiring new vendors on Monday afternoon (Auguat 21) at Bethel Support Services. David began by introducing himself and handing out a short, one-page type-written description of himself and his family, his situation, and his goals for the future. David said he now provides the single-page description, along with the Street Pulse papers he sells so that customers will have a better idea of who he and his family are. It is hoped that such one-page descriptions will be available for additional vendors in the near future. David emphasized to the aspiring new vendors that there are 5-6 key things that a vendor must remember to do that will help him or her sell more papers. As an example, he said that over the recent weekend, using the 5-6 techniques, he was able to sell many papers and pocket a total of $253 dollars in just two days of work. This money will help David toward his personal goal of accumulating $3,500 by October 1 so that he can afford to move into an apartment with his wife Chelsea and their new 6-week-old baby Journey. David noted that having this goal energizes him out on the street and drives him to work as hard and as well as he can to sell as many Street Pulse papers as possible to move as quickly as possible toward his goal to help his family. Having a clear goal is very important to Street Pulse vendors as it can motivate and energize them, even in tough times, David said. The money a vendor accumulates by selling Street Pulse can be used for different important goals, such as establishing a savings account, buying clothes, saving up for rent, and purchasing a cell phone.

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