The eviction moratorium remains uncertain but more than 3.5 million renters are very or somewhat likely to be evicted this summer, according to the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness. https://www.usich.gov/news/usich-releases-step-by-step-guide-for-people-at-risk-of-eviction
As a result of Covid-19 good, hardworking families have lost their good paying jobs and benefits. Many of these jobs are not coming back. ABCCM Crisis Ministries receives 26 calls weekly requesting rental and mortgage assistance with an average ask of $650.
In response to the growing requests for assistance, ABCCM is launching its Stop Evictions Now Campaign to raise funds to help our neighbors in need. In addition to its transitional housing provided for Veterans and Women in Crisis through its VRQ (Veterans Restoration Quarters) and Transformation Village, ABCCM Crisis Ministries has provided $137,562 in rent assistance to help 218 households with 431 family members stay together in their homes. As well, ABCCM has assisted small, independent property owners cover mortgages during rental loss due to the eviction moratorium, helping prevent foreclosures and preserve a strong, safe community and local economy.
Doug Arrowood owns three mobile home parks in the county which he built over decades to provide a safe, nice place for families and veterans. “If someone has trouble paying rent, I work with them to see what we can do,” Doug says. “If necessary, I refer them to ABCCM. You guys (ABCCM) always come through.”
When ABCCM helps a family with rent assistance, the funds actually go to the property owner. Doug thinks this approach is appropriate. “While they (renters) didn’t have to pay rent during the moratorium, I still had to pay the mortgage, property taxes, fees and maintenance. ABCCM helped renters and me stay afloat.”
When asked if he had any advice for other property owners working with renters who were in arrears, Doug said, “Be patient. Work with your renters and ABCCM. If we all work together, we all will get through it.”
“ABCCM is very grateful to TD Bank for their generous grant of $125,000 to stop evictions,” says Reverend Scott Rogers, ABCCM Executive Director. “They have been joined by Wells Fargo Bank, friends at the Deerfield Foundation and member churches whose joint support totaled another $75,500. This provides over $200,000 to stop evictions and keep families in their homes. We are working collaboratively with our county and other agencies with public assistance funds to fill the gaps and bring strategies of hope.”
Reverend Rogers went on to say, “If you are looking to stop evictions then join our efforts, go to abccm.org/stopevictions to learn more and make your contribution. Every time we stop evictions, the family saves $3,000-$5,000 in moving costs, the children don’t change schools or friends, and parents are more likely to keep their jobs. That’s what every gift does when we stop evictions!”
“ABCCM Crisis Ministry serves an average of 21,500 each year to fill the gaps for families who cannot make ends meet, mostly by providing food and clothing, along with nutritious emergency food boxes and bags. Emergency assistance funds provide utility assistance to keep the lights and water on as well as rental assistance which helps stop evictions. ABCCM Daily Bread provides hot meals from 11:30 to 1, Monday through Friday at 1543 Patton Ave. The Crisis Ministry listens to the needs of our neighbors, provides the basic necessities and develops short-term and long-term solutions to empower their lives.
ABCCM is a key community provider addressing poverty, hunger, homelessness and access to health care for the under-served in Buncombe County. For over 50 years, ABCCM has played a significant role in meeting emergency assistance needs for families in crisis, visiting those in jail, providing transitional housing and permanent supportive housing for the homeless, offering medical, dental and pharmacy for uninsured adults, and veteran services for homeless prevention, employment and training and a call center for veterans in crisis. If you know someone in need, please have them call 828-259-5300 to be directed to the nearest Crisis Ministry to them or go to www.abccm.org.
ABCCM is generously supported by over 300 congregations of all denominations and faith groups plus 5,000 trained volunteers. Anyone can receive emergency assistance to meet immediate needs regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, or disability. We collaborate with over 100 agencies and many employers. While responding to meet emergency needs, our volunteers listen to the person to address root causes of their crisis, take steps to equip them with resources and information or skills to keep homes and families intact or restore lives in the community through our ministries: Crisis Ministry, Jail Ministry, Medical Ministry, Veterans Restoration Quarters, Transformation Village, and Veteran Services of the Carolinas.