Volume 8, Issue 1 | February 2022
The Uptown Update
Hope is on the rise at Uptown!
Uptown Congratulates this Newly Housed Family
Uptown clients Terrel Wilson and Alexis Davis just got approved for housing. Mr. Wilson, a former Marine, is a San Diegan native who went to school at San Diego High School. After his military service he lived in Spokane Washington with his first wife for several years. But after his mother and wife died around the same time, Wilson was overwhelmed by grief and lost everything. Coming back to San Diego to live with family he quickly realized that the odd jobs painting or working at the YMCA that sustained him in Washington state did not earn him enough to pay rent here in San Diego. When he met Ms. Davis, she was struggling with her own grief, having lost the ability to raise her first child. When the couple met and fell in love they were able to couch surf and to survive living out of a couple of different cars, but once Ms. Davis became pregnant, they were even more eager to get shelter and housing to protect and care for their baby. Now there is light shining in Ms. Davis’ eyes as she talks about the opportunity this will bring for her to have visits with her 13-year-old son who is currently being raised by her grandmother. This couple is eager to share their story because they want others to know that it IS possible to get housed and have a fresh start.
Music for Positive Mental Health
"Music can heal the wounds which medicine cannot touch." -- Neurologist Debasish Mridha MD

One of the founders of Uptown CSC, retired Unitarian Universalist minister, Tom Owen-Towle has been sharing his musical gifts with Uptown members every Monday from 10-11 am. Tom's positive focused folk music provides an opportunity for people to start their week with music they can sing along to and enjoy. Recently, Ms. Jewelette, joined Tom and their duet was a delight.
Introducing New Operations Coordinator

In December of 2022, Uptown CSC hired a new Operations Coordinator, Amelia Broadnax. Amelia brings a great passion for helping our clients elevate themselves into housing and improved life situations. Her training, education, and experience make her a great asset to Uptown and I hope you’ll join in welcoming her and offering her support as we continue to strive for improvements in all that we do for our clients.

Greetings from Amelia Broadnax
My name is Amelia Broadnax, and I am pleased to occupy the position of Operations Coordinator with Uptown Community Service Center. I have lived experiences of homelessness and an educational background that allows me to have a broad perspective on the unhoused community, and how services can be streamlined and provided. I am the Founder and CEO of GLM (Grow Lead Motivate) Housing Inc. GLM House is a shared living environment for individuals that are housing ready and motivated to elevate their current way of living. I have also performed duties as Residential Housing Coordinator and Housing Navigator for PATH (People Assisting the Homeless) and worked as a Homeless Service Case Manager with FHCSD (Family Health Center of San Diego). 
I studied at San Diego Community College where I earned my Associate degree in alcohol and Other Drug Substances. Upon completion of my associate degree, I was compelled to know more about how behaviors are altered during homelessness, which led me to look more into the world of psychology. I attended Argosy University and received my bachelor’s in psychology, and later my master’s in human service.
I created a support group named Beaten Path. Beaten Path support group was developed for the clients within PATH housing program of 270+ residents. The group dynamic provided guidance toward behavioral modification. While at Family Health Center of SD, I created a new process named “First Responder.” This process allowed peer support team members to assess clients and determine if a housing navigator would be necessary or if a peer specialist could be the navigator. This process reduced the risk of unnecessary barriers to service and created greater success placing clients into housing. Importing this process decreased wait time for appointments, and elevated clients that were housing ready.
My goal at Uptown CSC is to be a part of a team to create effective and efficient procedures that will help; capture data to help with procuring funding sources for Uptown, provide efficient customer service to our clients, and create a safe and thriving environment for our volunteers. I am grateful for the opportunity to help elevate Uptown Community Service Center. 
Thank you
Amelia Broadnax
Uptown Community Partners Linkage Event
A sense of expectation was in the air as community partners gathered on Friday February 18th at Uptown Community Service Center to link clients to needed services. Community Law Project offered clients free legal support, Vista Hill Central Family Recovery Center provided information for how clients can get into outpatient drug and alcohol treatment programs, and Mental Health Systems (MHS) Storage Connect Center II offered free storage.

Olayemi Shekete shared how working for MHS was a meaningful way to use his public health and psychology education from UCSD in his own community. He shared how Storage Connect Center II was able to place a storage location in an area where a community of people experiencing homelessness were already present, making it easier for their clients to safely store possessions that were often stolen. Having a safe place to keep a phone, ID, birth certificate or other important items can make all the difference in people getting housed.

Uptown's Community Partners Linkage Events will be ongoing monthly. Our next event connecting clients to community services will be Friday March 18th. If you are a community service provider interested in joining us, complete our registration form and send it to Amelia Broadnax at operations@uptowncsc.org.
Recommended Reading
The Man in the Dog Park, Coming Up Close to Homelessness

By Cathy A. Small with Jason Kordosky and Ross Moore

Don’t many of us wonder how someone finds themselves experiencing homelessness? As a volunteer at Uptown Community Service Center for more than ten years, I have had the opportunity to interact with countless clients who come to the center for assistance. So often when I tell people where I volunteer, they ask ”Why are there so many homeless in San Diego County?” This question strikes at the heart of the multi-layers of what causes homelessness.

As a holiday gift from the center, volunteers were able to receive a copy of The Man in the Dog Park. It’s a small book with facts, figures, and face-to-face interactions with people experiencing homelessness. The author, Ms. Small, is an anthropologist who struck up a conversation with a homeless man in Phoenix. The location could be anywhere and the information would be the same. For her, it began an exploration of the onion peel layers of homelessness. These layers begin largely with the cost of housing coupled with minimum wages, racial discrimination and the intimidating and confusing myriad of local, state, and national regulations which can take over a life in an attempt to get off the street.

Through her interviews and the personal stories of those she meets, “…we witness the obstacles that homeless people face, and the ingenuity it takes to negotiate life without a home.” She points out to us the “cultural assumptions and blind spots that are complicit in U.S. homelessness and contribute to the degree of suffering that homeless people face.”

The last chapter of the book pulls together some of the factors that specifically lead to the separateness that divides our society. This little book is well worth the time it takes to read, providing insight to a very disturbing condition in our country.

Submitted by Patty Bender
Great Times
at the Gala

Our heartfelt gratitude goes out to all who joined us for an enchanted evening at our "Under the Harvest Moon" Uptown Gala last October. Guests were treated to a delectable dinner of tri-tip, herb crusted salmon, or pasta.

Rev. Caedmon Grace of Metropolitan Community Church of San Diego led the invocation, and guest emcees JW August and Marti Emerald shared about their own experiences as investigative journalists educating the public about the challenges people experiencing homelessness face. Jude Litzenberger, President of the Uptown Board of Directors, expressed her gratitude to donors, volunteers, and all who have contributed to Uptown remaining open during the COVID19 pandemic to continue providing services to our neighbors in need. She also awarded the "Wayne Riggs Excellence in Leadership" award to former Board President Karen deLaurier for her exemplary service to Uptown and the North Park community. Alisan Rowland, Uptown's Executive Director shared about Uptown's desire, not only to provide mail and supportive services, but also to have a meaningful role in ending homelessness. Amelia Broadnax, hired in December as Uptown's new Operations Coordinator, shared her successes housing Uptown clients.

As the sun went down over a beautiful view of the bay, the evening closed with a silent auction and incredible entertainment provided by the singing ensemble "Tre Tenore."

Our deepest thanks to the Events Committee of the Uptown Board of Directors and all whose efforts combined to create an exquisite evening; raising funding and continued support for Uptown CSC under the glowing light of the harvest moon.
Current Center Needs
We are always in need of donated items for immediate use by our clients. At this time, we are most in need of the following:
  • KN95 Masks
  • Paper goods (bowls, plates, plastic silverware)
  • Plastic, paper, Ziploc, or other re-usable bags
  • Blankets
  • Jackets (all sizes)
  • Men’s underwear (M, L, XL)
  • Men's and Women's Socks
  • Pet food
  • Backpacks
  • Camping gear
Click here for more donation details.
Thank You Letter to Volunteers
from Uptown's President of the Board of Directors
January 21, 2022
Dear Uptown Volunteers, 
Let me begin by thanking you for all the hard work you do to help our homeless and needy neighbors in this community. Your work is vitally important to the lives of so many. I know that most of you give sacrificially every day of your time your talent and your treasure and whether you do it as an act of faith or a personal value, you make a difference in the lives of others. Thank you!
Please know that that your volunteer work is both very needed and very much appreciated. Your assistance to Allie Rowland our Executive Director and Amelia Broadnax our Operations Coordinator at the center is vital to the charity work we are able to do. Even in the best of fundraising times, this work cannot be done without dedicated volunteers at the Center or on the board. It takes a village and we are that village!
Our community leaders are working hard to end homelessness in San Diego. They are addressing difficult challenges regarding safe and sanitary neighborhoods and limited affordable housing as well as the gentrification of the area around St. Luke’s and the Uptown Campus. Perhaps you saw the local news recently aired a story about our situation with alleged code enforcement “violations” that threatened to shut down the emergency food pantry in spite of the pandemic and hundreds of neighbors who need this lifeline.
Please know that Uptown Faith Community Service Center has never received any notice of any code violation whatsoever from any official from the city or state government. We have received complaints from some neighbors about noise and the presence of our clients and other unhoused individuals congregating on the sidewalk in front of the church. As you know, until San Diego can provide shelter for people experiencing homelessness, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled these neighbors have a right to be on the sidewalk. We are doing all we can to help these unhoused people and also work on building community support and resources into our program. Uptown is a partner with other nonprofit and government organizations that are addressing this issue head on and working to help all people without housing to find a home.
What we can do to help is to connect the clients who are unhoused to services that provide the support they need to get housing and the various treatment they need to be a good neighbor once they are housed. 
That is our mission at this point…. thank you again for all you are doing to help us achieve it!
Jude Litzenberger, President, Board of Directors
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Client Service Data: 2021
It's that time of year again! As we continue to venture into 2022, we reflect on the impact of our efforts in the North Park community. These numbers are not just data points, they are each indicators of life-changing milestones for the people we serve.

We are at times overwhelmed with the reality of need in our neighborhood, but we are honored to be part of the solution. We could not have done the work that we do without the support of our donors, volunteers, and deeply invested community partners.

For more information on current services, like us on Facebook or visit our website.
Get Involved!

Volunteer for 3-4 hour shifts on a regular or on-call basis. Get started here.

Donate Goods in-person at our center. Travel-sized hygiene supplies, men’s clothing, underwear, socks, backpacks, sleeping bags, and blankets are always in big demand. Please check our website for COVID-19 updates prior to donating.

Shop at smile.amazon.com and choose Uptown Faith Community Service Center as your charity. Shop through smile.amazon.com to ensure Uptown receives all donated funds.

Donate Money online, in-person, or through Uptown’s fundraising events. Donation details here.

For all business mail and mailed monetary donations, please address to:
Post Office Box 3810
San Diego, CA 92163-3810
Thank you for assisting in our efforts to simplify our mailing system.