Mystic Market of SEMO
Semi-Annual Fundraising Event
Mystic Market of SEMO is a Semi-Annual Fundraising event. We raise money for local charities and persons based off a need that we think needs to be met. We host every April & October! Here is information regarding our upcoming show and the vendors attending. If you're wanting to have a booth, you'll need to message us on facebook. Thank you!
Mystic Market Fall 2022 Info
For our Fall event, our Charity of choice is Street Level Cape Girardeau. Here is a word from Cynthia Durgan, organizer and co-founder.
"When an ice storm hit Cape Girardeau the first week of February, 2022, homeless people had no place to go. For several days previous, Community Partnership and St. James AME Church gave out hotel room vouchers, but the money for those vouchers ran out. Some people were unable to use vouchers because hotels require ID, which many homeless people do not have because they frequently suffer the theft of all their things, including ID and other crucial documents. As the weather worsened, helping agencies closed down and the city buildings which were supposed to offer daytime warming centers locked their doors.
On that day street outreach volunteer Allie Miles, homeless mechanic Ben Ishmael, Pastor Michael Davis, and organizer Cynthia Durgan resolved that Cape Girardeau city government must do more to help homeless people. The nonprofit agencies just can't do it on their own. Funding is tight, the need is growing, and "affordable" rents in Cape Girardeau are typically too high for people living on Social Security or a minimum-wage job.
We formed the group Street Level Cape Girardeau and for the remainder of the winter we activated an ever-expanding network of volunteers who provided socks, gloves, hats, blankets, handwarmers, and food to the people most in need.
Throughout the spring and summer we studied the "Housing First" model of homeless assistance. Following this model, assistance agencies pay for a home that someone can stay in while working toward independence. Then the formerly homeless person takes over payments, and the place becomes their permanent home.
While the agency or nonprofit is helping pay the rent, it connects the resident with services they need in order to become independent: rehab, mental health care, vocational programs, or whatever other services are useful to that individual.
Having a potentially permanent home to work toward is a powerful motivator, and the home provides a stable base from which the resident can work on whatever they need to do to get their life back on track. Housing First is a much more successful approach than requiring a homeless person to become clean and sober, employed, or mentally well before they get help finding a home.
The trouble with Housing First is, it requires a supply of very low-cost housing -- apartments or small houses -- and Cape Girardeau doesn't have enough. Some homeless people are on the waiting list for months or even a year or more, and in the mean time there is no place for them to go.
Cape Girardeau has an ordinance that forbids homeless people from tenting or overnighting on public property, all public property.
But there is no where else for them to go, so unsheltered homeless people must break the law by camping on public property or else break the law by trespassing on private property. They can't live without sleep. They are trapped into breaking the law.
So in addition to our weekly lunch and street-outreach meal distribution, help paying for prescriptions, and other assistance, Street Level launched a campaign to educate the Cape Girardeau City Council on the problems and urge them to help with solutions.
We want them to create someplace where camping is allowed, and can be supervised to keep everyone safe. We want them to help the nonprofit organizations access, or create, more places for people to stay while they get their lives in order.
Until those things happen, we want them to exempt homeless people from the anti-overnight order, so that they can stay on public land instead of tenting on private property or sleeping in abandoned buildings.
As winter approaches, Street Level's expenses will rise sharply. In addition to hot meals and warm clothing, we intend to provide tents and ground-cloths to help people camp, so that at least they won't be directly exposed to freezing rain and cold winds all night.
We are a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that relies entirely on volunteers. Every single dime donated to Street Level goes directly to something that a homeless person needs for physical survival and some modicum of dignity.
Street Level is intensely grateful for your help, and we will spend it carefully. The people surviving homelessness are also grateful and careful -- it's not uncommon that when we set out to buy something that a person needs, they will tell us "don't spend too much, please buy it at thus-and-so place, it's cheapest there." So very often, homeless people show kindness and care for one another, and they extend it to those of us who are helping too. This work is constantly humbling, but also inspiring. With your help, we truly believe we can make Cape Girardeau a better place for our most vulnerable neighbors!" - Cynthia Durgan
And this is why we do these events. Not only do you help the homeless people of Cape Girardeau with your $5 entry fee, but you're also helping the small businesses within our event. You're helping someone survive, pay their bills, buy groceries, and more. We are so very thankful and appreciative of everyone who attends our event, as well as those who share for us! THANK YOU! We cannot wait for this event!