As part of a recent $10 million Community-Based Grants Initiative to counties in Western North Carolina, the Golden LEAF Foundation awarded $296,794 to Asheville-Buncombe Community Christian Ministry (ABCCM), to fund a program at its women’s transitional residential facility to provide employment opportunities for women and veterans who face serious obstacles to long-term employment.
“Part of Golden LEAF’s mission is to increase the skills aligned to high-demand business needs in the region that will lead to an increase in the labor force,” said Golden LEAF President, Chief Executive Officer Scott T. Hamilton. “This program will help participants gain the skills needed to enter a quality career and meet the workforce needs for local business and industry.”
The funding will be used to help women and veterans who are underemployed or considered high risks. In addition, the program will work with companies to help individuals transition from entry-level minimum wage jobs to a career paying livable wages. Companies are often reluctant to employ high risk individuals. ABCCM proposes to reduce the risk to employers and increase the likelihood of success of these women and veterans by acting as an employment services and placement agency. ABCCM will contract with employers while assuming the risks of hiring a “high-risk” person. Each employee will be hired for a probationary period up to 90 days while ABCCM works with the employee to increase job skills and with the employer to develop an employment services plan.
ABCCM Executive Director, Reverend Scott Rogers says, “This funding from Golden LEAF, adds to the building blocks of work readiness with professional skills to fill gaps in the workforce. ABCCM will work closely with community colleges to provide the skills and hire job specialists to reduce the risk to employers who are willing to look past the stigmas and open the doors for living wage work. This moves the needle in two ways, it gives skills that help each woman reach her potential for a stable family and God’s purpose in her life while closing the skilled jobs gap. This breaks generational poverty, builds stronger families and a stronger workforce.”
The Golden LEAF Board of Directors awarded 14 Community-Based Grants Initiative projects totaling $10,108,307 in the Western Prosperity Zone. These projects will support workforce preparedness, job creation and economic investment, and agriculture in Buncombe, Cherokee, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Madison, and Transylvania counties.
“Through the Community-Based Grants Initiative, Golden LEAF works directly in one Prosperity Zone annually to identify projects with the greatest potential to have a significant impact,” said Hamilton. “This competitive process focuses on projects that invest in the building blocks of economic growth with the ultimate goal of moving the economic needle in a community.”
The Golden LEAF Foundation is a nonprofit organization established in 1999 to receive a portion of North Carolina’s funding from the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement with cigarette manufacturers. For more than 20 years, Golden LEAF has worked to increase economic opportunity in North Carolina’s rural and tobacco-dependent communities through leadership in grantmaking, collaboration, innovation, and stewardship as an independent and perpetual foundation.
The Foundation has provided lasting impact to tobacco-dependent, economically distressed and rural areas of the state by helping create 66,000 jobs, over half a billion dollars in new payrolls and more than 90,000 workers trained or retrained for higher wages.
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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 RogersExecutive Director Office: 828-398-6911Email: firstname.lastname@example.org