These are challenging times.
Under the current administration, fear and crime are on the rise. Our students have told us of personal experiences with hate crimes on the sidewalks of our neighborhood. Our residents have expressed fear that funding for shelter and housing will be diminished, plunging them back into homelessness. Property crimes are much more evident and have been reported on our block. We feel a heightened sense of alarm as we prepare to deal with displays of hate and discrimination.
In the midst of this, we at Our Saviour’s Community Services stand together as a beacon of hope and a place of safety for students, residents, volunteers, and staff. We stand together amidst the bewildering and somber reality we believe we currently face.
We write this letter to pledge our commitment to take action in the face of what we see happening around us and to invite you to take action with us. It is in times such as these that we can strengthen the values which we hold at our core. These values include upholding open communication, cherishing diversity, practicing honesty, maintaining integrity, and holding mutual respect for others.
For this reason, we offer the following calls to action:
- We will denounce hateful and spurious speech directed at any who participate in our programs, whether the words are spoken in public or in private conversation.
- We will work to correct misconceptions and untruths, especially when it comes to those who are vulnerable.
- We will lift up the voices of those we serve and support their right to be heard.
In the midst of this work, we will continue our mission of welcoming the stranger and caring for the poorest among us.
We at Our Saviour’s Community Services will continue to preserve these ideals and stand up against divisiveness and hatred. We represent more than 40 staff members, more than 400 students, more than 500 residents, and more than 1600 volunteers. OSCS is committed to serving people of diverse faith, racial, and ethnic backgrounds. We will continue to hold fast to our values.
This is who we are today and who we will continue to be in the future,
as we move forward with hope.
Endorsed by Our Saviour’s Community Services’ Board of Directors on January 9, 2017.