With three facilities totaling 130 beds, ABCCM has been designated a 2022 official Buncombe County Shelter for the homeless during Code Purple nights. Code Purple nights occur with temperatures of 32 degrees or lower, when people are at-risk of freezing to death. The threat is real; there are an average of 500 unsheltered (women and children, veterans, and other individuals) nightly in Buncombe County alone.
“Today’s unhoused homeless need secure facilities, competent staff and trained volunteers to help meet the complex needs of these neighbors,” says ABCCM Executive Director Rev. Scott Rogers. “ABCCM accepts everyone. We do not require ID or background checks. We accept all people of color. We accept different genders without putting labels and initials on people groups. We treat each unique individual with kindness. We serve those who may be in active addiction and need to stabilize or socially detox. Our focus is on safety for everyone. We do not allow active drug use on the property or in facilities. We require people to be in control of their behavior, not making threats or be a threat to themselves. We have a safe place for those with pets to house them offsite at a certified pet shelter or veterinarian facility. ABCCM is calling these places: Safe Havens.”
Here are the shelter locations:
- Veterans Restoration Quarters, ACTS building at 1401 Tunnel Rd – veteran men – 50 beds
- Recovery Living/Costello House at 141 Hillside St – civilian men – 30 beds
- Transformation Village at 30 Olin Haven Way – women and children – 50 beds
Additionally, the ABCCM board approved the purchase for a 2,000 sq ft. double-wide to take in those suffering with substance use disorder, and mental illness.
Volunteers are needed at all three buildings: Cook Teams: shifts- 4-7pm and 6-8am; Evening Activity volunteers: shifts 5-7pm and 7-9pm; Life Skill teachers: shifts 7-9pm; Mentors or Faithful Friends: shifts 5-7pm and 7-9pm
Beverly-Hanks will sponsor a fund drive for Transformation Village in November, and the Grey Eagle will be holding a clothing drive on November 5 for ABCCM’s Crisis Ministry.
Each year during freezing weather, ABCCM mobilizes Code Purple Vans to help Buncombe County’s homeless residents stay safe and warm at designated Safe Haven shelters.
“Code Purple is a life-saving arm of the churches supporting ABCCM,” Rev. Rogers says. “Since a homeless veteran froze to death on the streets in 1984, ABCCM has been committed to reaching out through our Code Purple vans to offer lifelines to the homeless. Thanks to the hundreds of volunteers and area churches, we will transport men and women to emergency shelters and ABCCM will provide shelter.”
As temperatures plummet, Code Purple saves lives. “We need everyone’s help to provide coats, hats, gloves, blankets, as well as food for the homeless,” Rev. Rogers says. “Our vans visit homeless camps to deliver coats, hats, gloves, blankets, hand warmers, and food, and they pick people up from these camps and take them to emergency shelters. Many homeless people have no way of getting to the shelters. The Code Purple Vans remove this transportation obstacle.”
Volunteers and supplies are in critical need. Tim McElyea, ABCCM Director of Homeless Services, says, “Coats, blankets, food and supplies are a necessity for the unsheltered during freezing temperatures, along with volunteers to help ride in the vans and deliver the supplies.”
To volunteer, please visit abccm.org., or call 828-259-5300.
As winter approaches, ABCCM has begun their annual Safe and Warm Campaign Nov. 1, with utility and heating assistance to help families and individuals facing cut-off notices during the coming cold season.
The trademark of Safe and Warm is the annual blanket and warm clothing drive. The kick-off date is scheduled for Jan.16 – Feb. 24, 2023. There will be smaller drives by specific businesses heading up to the year-end.
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 20,515, or 1 in 12 persons in Buncombe County in 2020
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 2020 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 2020 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 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 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