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Media recognizes two Veterans for their service in the community

Thanks to the incredible support of churches and volunteers, ABCCM’s work at Veteran’s Services of the Carolinas is honored and these two Veterans are great examples!

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ABCCM hits new milestone with Transformation Village

by WLOS Staff

Tuesday, September 28th 2021

https://wlos.com/news/local/abccm-hits-new-milestone-with-transformation-village

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Asheville Buncombe Community Christian Ministry Launches Stop Evictions Now Campaign

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.

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Cannon Foundation grants $92,600 to ABCCM for Veterans Restoration Quarters

The Cannon Foundation has awarded a grant of $92,600 to the Asheville Buncombe Community Christian Ministry (ABCCM) for upgrading rooms at the Veterans Restoration Quarters into permanent supportive housing for veterans.

 

Veterans Restoration Quarters (VRQ) is a converted hotel with 117 rooms available for occupation. Most veterans utilize VRQ as transitional housing, but 47 veterans live at VRQ in permanent supportive housing (PSH).  Veterans living in PSH face significant mental, emotional, social and physical issues and need the ongoing supportive services provided at VRQ. With 130 Veterans on the waiting list for PSH, ABCCM wants to convert 50 rooms to permanent supportive housing. To qualify as PSH, the units must meet HUD’s 13 housing quality standards (HQS), which establish the minimum criteria necessary for the health and safety of program participants. Until these improvements are made, ABCCM cannot provide its Veteran housing services to accommodate Veterans with HUD-VASH Housing Choice vouchers. Cannon’s gift of $92,600 will provide some of the renovation costs in a project totaling $393,280. 

 

In order for veterans to have greater self-determination, VRQ units need to be updated with electrical wiring and infrastructure, a kitchenette, wall and floor repairs, and plumbing that are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Each unit will be updated to have two dedicated electrical circuits, including one ground-fault circuit interrupter, to meet standards. Funds will bring the units up to HUD standards and provide veterans with independence and self-sufficiency, with ongoing support services for up to 18 months. Updating the units will allow ABCCM to reach more Veterans on the waitlist.

 

“ABCCM is so thankful for the Cannon Foundation joining us to bring 50 units of affordable permanent supportive housing to homeless Veterans at the Veterans Restoration Quarters,” said Jim Brewer, ABCCM Altruism Officer. “ABCCM’s VRQ restores Veterans lives and Cannon is restoring these older units with updated electrical systems to better equip each Veteran with independent living. Thank you, Cannon Foundation, for the vision of a brighter future for Veterans.”

Veterans will receive supportive services that promote self-sufficiency and independence, such as case management, counseling, education, job skills training, community cafeteria, laundry facilities, computer lab, chapel, transportation, and more.

 

The VRQ restoration project is consistent with ABCCM’s mission to support the holistic needs of area veterans, and with VRQ’s mission to create a principle-based, structured environment and comprehensive residential program so that veterans achieve residential stability, higher levels of skill and income, and greater self-determination.

 

For more information, please contact:

 

Jim Brewer

828-398-6818

jim.brewer@abccm.org

 

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WNC’s uninsured rely on free and low-cost health clinics

Here is a good article describing the challenges with employment and health insurance. and how ABCCM’s Medical Clinic helps the uninsured in Buncombe County.

Posted on August 23, 2021 by Jessica Wakeman on Mountain Xpress https://mountainx.com/living/wncs-uninsured-rely-on-free-and-low-cost-health-clinics/

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ABCCM assists our elderly, individuals with medical conditions and families with children suffering from summer heat.

Already this summer, the four ABCCM Crisis Ministries have provided AC window units, box fans and over $30,000 which has helped 160 households with 365 family members stay cool as temperatures begin to regularly reach near 90s. The impact of Covid-19 is being felt as the needs of individuals who lost good, regular paying jobs have increased numbers served daily at ABCCM Crisis Ministries.
 “We anticipate providing 300+ families with AC units and fans in addition to utility cooling assistance this summer.” – Rev. Mary Massarra, Director ABCCM Crisis Ministry

“Being a fan for families in need, or being a fan for kids who are sick, is one of the coolest thing any of us could do.  After hearing about heart surgery on an 11 year old boy in a bed with no air conditioning, is who I want to be fan of .. by putting an air conditioner in his bedroom.  That’s what any us of can do, to bring the real gift of ‘cool’ to sick kids or the frail elderly in this near 90 or 90+ heat.”

 – Rev. Scott Rogers, Executive Director

Most of us take air conditioning for granted at work, in our car and at home, but we all know how bad it is without it.  ABCCM asks if you are in a position to help our elderly, families with children and those with medical conditions in need of cooling assistance, to please visit https://www.abccm.org/needs-of-our-neighbors

ABCCM Crisis Ministry supports our community through 4 locations https://www.abccm.org/crisis to assist those in our community with basic necessities and life sustaining needs:

Cumberland Crisis Ministry
24 Cumberland Ave. Asheville, NC 28801 

South Crisis Ministry
10 Buck Shoals Rd Arden, NC 28704

Hominy Valley Crisis Ministry
1914 Smokey Park Hwy Candler, NC 28715

North Samaritan Crisis Ministry
403 Weaverville Hwy Asheville, NC 28804

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/bags. Emergency assistance funds provide utility assistance to keep the lights and water on; as well as rental assistance which helps prevent evictions.  ABCCM Sonrise Daily Bread provides hot meals from 11:30 to 1, Mon-Fri.  at 1543 Patton Ave.  The Crisis Ministry helps our neighbors meet the basic necessities of life. 

 

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, what began as a small collaboration of churches in 1969, 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.

ABCCM is generously supported by over 300 congregations of all denominations and faith groups plus 5,000 trained volunteers.  We provide emergency assistance to meet immediate needs to anyone regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, or disability.  We collaborate with over 100 agencies and 100 employers.  While responding to meet emergency needs, we 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.  We accomplish this through:  Crisis Ministry, Jail Ministry, Medical Ministry, Veterans Restoration Quarters, Transformation Village, and Veteran Services of the Carolinas.

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: 
Rev. Scott Rogers, Executive Director: 828-259-5300, Email: scott.rogers@abccm.org

To volunteer:  volunteer@abccm.org

To get help: https://www.abccm.org/crisis-get-help or info@abccm.org

To contribute:  https://www.abccm.org/givenow1

 

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ABCCM and A-B Tech announce education partnership at Transformation Village

Asheville Buncombe Community Christian Ministry (ABCCM) and A-B Tech have created an educational partnership to offer short-term credentialing programs for some of the most economically vulnerable people in our county. The programs are open to all residents at Transformation Village, ABCCM’s new intentional transitional housing facility for single women, mothers with children, and female veterans.

Having an A-B Tech location on-site will give greater flexibility to residents who want to pursue certification or licensure career paths. According to a 2018 study by The Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, women with a certification or license can earn between $8,000-$13,000 more annually than women who are not credentialled.

“This partnership can serve as a model to other communities who are seeking ways to help women,” said Jim Brewer, ABCCM Altruism Officer. “With so many employers looking for people to work, it makes great sense that ABCCM and AB Tech partner to bring continuing education skills together to the community. “We are both committed to offering short-term courses – usually 4 to 12 weeks – where adults can get a certification in health care, internet technology, construction trade skills or micro-enterprise, and immediately see their hourly rate increase by $2 an hour or more. ABCCM and A-B Tech are transforming workers to fill the skilled needs of employers for tomorrow.”

“A-B Tech is honored to partner with ABCCM at their new Transformation Village,” said Deborah Wright, Vice President of Continuing Education and Economic & Workforce Development. “As their educational partner, we are proud to join them by providing onsite training opportunities for the women residents and others in the community.”

 

Transformation Village currently provides up to 100 beds of transitional housing in stage one. About 200 more are planned for additional stages of construction. “Our goal is transforming lives through four developmental phases, called Steps to Success,” Rev. Brewer said. These include Stabilization, with all basic necessities provided; Life Skills Training, with more than 60 volunteer courses to choose, including Bible studies; Education and Professional Training Certifications to open the doors to living wage jobs; and Reintegration, which leads to permanent housing. “It is our honor to report that eight out of ten residents leave us with a living wage job and permanent housing.”

Here’s a list of A-B Tech classes being offered at Transformation Village starting this fall with staggered start dates August through November:

·       Computer Skills for Job Seekers

·       Computer Skills for the Workplace

·       Google Application Basics: Job Searching and Employment Skills Using Google Applications

·       Resumé and Interviewing Skills

·       Construction and Maintenance Programs

·       Horticulture Basics

 

Register for classes: www.abtech.edu/coned-registration.

For more information, email workforceprograms@abtech.edu, or call 828-398-7934.

To reach Transformation Village directly, contact Beverly Buckner at 828-398-6988, or send her an email at beverly.buckner@abccm.org

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ABCCM’s Transformation Village will open Friday, March 12

Transformation Village is a multi-phase project providing on-site support for homeless women and children. Phase I includes a 43,000 square foot SECU Center of Hope facility with a 100 bed residence, case management with our signature Steps to Success program with healthcare, nutrition, life-skills, continuing education by AB-Tech, and living wage jobs that leads to permanent homes.

 

Completion of Phase 1 and the Community Center includes 100 beds for transitional housing, a commercial kitchen and dining facility that can serve 300, a life skills and job training center offering 17 career-track programs in partnership with AB Tech Community College, a children’s enrichment center with age appropriate education/play areas, and Recovery Living services. Phase 1 allows ABCCM to provide 100 transitional housing beds (and future emergency shelter beds) that could potentially serve up to 240 women and children per year. ABCCM’s Steps to Success is designed to permanently transition residents from homelessness into safe, permanent homes. Future phases will add permanent supportive housing with 102 one-bedroom apartments and 48 two bedroom apartments.

 

Brief History:  ABCCM’s Steadfast House was a 50-bed transitional housing facility for homeless women and children currently having 188 on the waiting list; the Transformation Village Advisory Committee cast a new vision and goal to take every homeless woman and child off the streets in Buncombe County. With this vision in place, ABCCM purchased 24 acres of undeveloped land for Transformation Village, and built a SECU Center of Hope with the Ferguson Family Education Center. 

 

Transformation Village operations are sustained by current donations with church and volunteer support.   ABCCM’s area partners include, Buncombe County Health and Human Services, VAYA Health, and the Charles George Veterans Administration Medical Center plus AB-Tech’s Continuing Education program which provides professional certifications and licenses for living wage jobs. Additionally, ABCCM will continue collaborations with area organizations such as Our Voice and Helpmate to address domestic violence and sexual trauma; Mental Health and Substance Abuse organizations who work with ABCCM’s Recovery Living Services and ABCCM’s Medical Ministry to ensure that our residents are receiving the highest level of support as they transition into their permanent homes.

 

 

 

More About ABCCM:

 

Asheville Buncombe Community Christian Ministry (ABCCM) is one of the key non-profit organizations addressing poverty, hunger, homelessness and access to health care for the uninsured and under-served in Buncombe County, serving annually around 21,764, or 1 in 12 persons in Buncombe County in 2019. 

Begun as a small collaboration of churches in 1969, ABCCM has played a significant role in meeting emergency assistance needs for families in crisis, coordinating religious services and education activities at the jail, providing transitional and permanent supportive housing for the homeless through 300 beds, increasing access to health care for half the uninsured and medically underserved; as well as work readiness, mentoring and job placement services.  We serve Veterans across 75 counties across NC.

ABCCM is generously supported by 300 churches of all denominations with over 6,100 trained volunteers in 2019 providing emergency assistance to anyone in need regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, or disability. 

• ABCCM has a great stewardship track record where 93.1¢ of every dollar donation goes directly to service those in need, compared to the national average of 75%.

• Through the work of 6,068 volunteers, over 144,000 hours of service were given in 2019 to listen and care for every person’s needs, leading to effective short-term and long-term solutions.

• Thanks to the gifts of food, clothes, household items, furniture, medicine and time, every dollar given had an additional $2.77 of providing direct help and services.

• ABCCM serves individuals, and families in crisis regardless of race, religion, sex, nationality throughout Buncombe County North Carolina.

ABCCM CRISIS Ministry

Over 14,500 served in 2019

ABCCM’s Crisis Ministries helps fill the gaps for families who cannot make ends meet by providing nutritious emergency food boxes along with clothing, blankets, and limited financial assistance for utilities and rents to prevent heat cut-offs and families from eviction.

ABCCM Daily Bread at Sonrise, 1543 Patton Ave., Asheville, NC provides hot soup, sandwich and dessert To-Go lunches Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. 

ABCCM Medical Ministry

ABCCM offers the only free clinic providing medical care, medicine and dental care (temporarily suspended due to the pandemic) to the uninsured.  Those without insurance of any kind are served by two pharmacies that distributed about $2.7 million in prescriptions and about $2.8 million in medical/dental care, an impact of $5.5 million in health care in Buncombe County

ABCCM – Transformation Village

ABCCM provides 100 beds of transitional housing and 6 beds for emergency shelter.  Transforming lives is through four developmental phases called Steps to Success.  These include stabilization with all the basic necessities provided; life skills training with 24 volunteer courses per month to choose from including Bible studies; education and professional training certifications that lead to living wage jobs and reintegration into the community with permanent housing. We are honored to report that 8 out of 10 leave us with a living wage job and permanent housing.

ABCCM – VRQ (Veteran’s Restorations Quarters)

ABCCM provides 160 beds of transitional housing and 40 beds for emergency shelter and 50 units for permanent supportive housing for a total of 250 beds.  Restoring lives is through four developmental phases called Steps to Success.  These include stabilization, with all the basic necessities provided; life skills training, with over 60 volunteer courses to choose from including Bible studies; education and professional training certifications that lead to living wage jobs and reintegration into the community with permanent housing. We are honored to report that 8 out of 10 leave us with a living wage job and permanent housing.

ABCCM – VSC (Veterans Services of the Carolinas)

ABCCM serves Veterans across 74 counties (half in North Carolina) in three regions – Eastern (37), Piedmont (12), and Western (25).  We offer Veterans Employment and Training Services (VETS) where 450 are trained and 80% are placed into living wage career level jobs.  We prevent homelessness for about 270 families a year.  Veterans HOPE program outreaches to connect with the chronically homeless.  Veterans Call Center responds to over 800 crisis calls a month, bringing resolution to most cases within 4.6 days.
Serving Veterans with Hope, Healing, Honor and a Home.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: 
Rev. Scott Rogers, Executive Director Office: 828-398-6911, Email: scott.rogers@abccm.org