VRQ Resident Recognized for Volunteer Service

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Michael Koon, a Veterans Restoration Quarters resident and Army veteran, was recently recognized for accumulating 17,500 volunteer hours at the Charles George VA Medical Center. The award he recieved is just one of many accolades Koon has earned for his service to the the VA, including being named the 2011 Volunteer of the Year and honors for volunteering 7,500 hours, 8,750 hours, 12,000 hours, 14,400 hours and 15,000 hours. In 2015 he was recognized for his 45 years of service.

His volunteer responsibilities have included taking patients back and forth from their rooms to therapy sessions, delivering paperwork around the hospital and dropping off specimens at the lab.

“I felt like I wanted to give something back, so I decided to volunteer,” said Koon, who served in the Vietnam War. “One of the things that’s nice about being a volunteer is that you make everyone feel good. Volunteering has kept me out of trouble and kept me from doing some things I was doing.”

ABCCM is so proud of Michael Koon and all our veterans! We can't wait to congratulate him on his next volunteer milestone!

Family Has Hope After Fleeing Irma

Hurricane Irma evacuee Wren (left), whose home in Ocala, Fla., was destroyed, meets with a Crisis Ministry volunteer counselor to discuss affordable housing options in Buncombe County for her family.

Hurricane Irma evacuee Wren (left), whose home in Ocala, Fla., was destroyed, meets with a Crisis Ministry volunteer counselor to discuss affordable housing options in Buncombe County for her family.

Like many Florida residents, Wren and her family had lived through hurricanes. Many times, they rode out the storms in their rented home in the central Florida town of Ocala.

However, the Hurricane Irma forecasts last week felt different than previous storms. This time, Wren sensed the family would have to evacuate. She packed up her grown daughter and teenaged son, along with two young granddaughters, and they drove north.

It’s a good thing they did leave, because after the storm cleared Wren learned from her landlord that trees had fallen on the mobile home, and there was nothing left of it. There was nothing for the family to return to in Florida.

ABCCM was there to help Wren and her family at this desperate time.

As the family drove out of Florida, Wren – a history buff with an interest in geography – looked at maps to determine where they ought to go. She noticed Western North Carolina seemed protected by the mountains and it was likely the hurricane would be much weakened when it arrived. Wren and her family started to call social service agencies and were guided to Camp Cedar Cliff in Asheville for emergency shelter.

They stayed there several nights along with other evacuees, and were able to take their minds off the devastation with activities such as archery and ziplining. But when Wren learned her home had been destroyed, she was unsure where to go for help. She was directed to ABCCM and called the Crisis Ministry. Sheryl Olsen, the Crisis Ministry director, asked Wren to come meet with an ABCCM volunteer counselor to assess the family’s needs.

Although Wren knows that affordable housing is tight in Asheville, the family has decided to stay in Buncombe County for the time being, and is considering making it their new home. Sheryl gave Wren a comprehensive list of housing opportunities along with a quiet office in which to make phone calls to landlords and property managers, and some toys for her granddaughters. The Crisis Ministry also provided Wren and her family several nights in a local motel. The family also received food and clothing. Although they are still searching for a place to live, Wren is grateful that ABCCM has been standing alongside her and her family during this time.

“I’m worried about what to do next and what our future is, but I do feel like there is hope,” said Wren, who is already eager to find a church with an active youth group for her son. “I met with a counselor who was great.  I met with the staff, who was great. We can see that it’s hard to get into places to live, but I know ABCCM is working as hard as they can to help us.”

Do you know of anyone who can help this family with an affordable housing option? If so, email crisis@abccm.org to contact the Crisis Ministry.

Wren spent most of Thursday and Friday filling out paperwork and making phone calls in her family's search for affordable housing.

Wren spent most of Thursday and Friday filling out paperwork and making phone calls in her family's search for affordable housing.

Service to Hurricane Evacuees

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ABCCM was blessed on Tuesday, Sept. 12, to serve alongside our friends from New Life Church of Asheville as they provided breakfast to 250 Florida residents who evacuated their homes to escape Hurricane Irma. Camp Cedar Cliff at The Cove had graciously opened for the families to stay during the worst of the storm and the aftermath. Reverend Rick Schilling, ABCCM's ministry development officer, and Reverend Caleb Bradshaw, ABCCM's community outreach coordinator and himself a New Life Church member, joined others from New Life for the pancake breakfast.

There were plenty of leftovers, which New Life Church didn't want to see go to waste. Reverend Bradshaw transported the leftover breakfast to ABCCM's Veterans Restoration Quarters to be served later that day. Thank you New Life and The Cove for sharing this opportunity to serve and your support of our own ministry!

Hurricane Irma - How Can Your Church Help?

A message to church leaders from Reverend Scott Rogers, ABCCM's executive director:

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With Hurricane Irma breathing down our necks and the great compassion of our congregations who want to wrap their arms and resources around their neighbors, ABCCM has received a number of calls about what the City/County emergency plans are and asking: HOW CAN WE HELP?

ABCCM is tied in closely with the County FEMA Director, Jerry VeHaun, who is in charge of managing the City/County resources for opening emergency shelters. If he decides that we have stranded travelers from the impacted states or displaced homes locally from flooding, then he will decide where, when and how many emergency shelters to open. He will work initially with the Red Cross to open these emergency shelters in pre-determined schools and/or church gymnasiums that already have cots and food staged to meet needs. Jerry or the Red Cross will then get in touch with me at ABCCM and/or other agencies to draw on resources that we have committed to him.

ABCCM will join other shelter providers in declaring Sunday night and Monday a “Code Purple” and activate our vans to pick up homeless persons who are most at risk during the storms.   We will allow them to stay 24 hours a day at the Veterans Restoration Quarters and Steadfast House for the two- or three-day duration of this event. It will cost ABCCM about $25 per person each night that we do this. For example, 40 people will cost $1,000 that has not been anticipated for food, toiletries, water, extra staffing, etc.  

ABCCM’s Crisis Ministries that are downtown and around the county will be fielding requests from stranded families for financial emergency assistance. This could be help with gasoline, or an overnight stay in a motel, fixing a car, etc. We will have clothes, blankets and shoes, as needed.

What can churches do to help?  First, consider taking up a love offering for ABCCM to help cover the many unexpected costs which both homeless facilities and our four Crisis Ministries will incur. Second, collect food, blankets and clothes that can be taken to any of these sites to meet the needs of our neighbors. Third, contact volunteer coordinators at any of these locations to help with intake, cook teams, counselors, to be faithful friends. New volunteers will be trained and plugged in to help around these ministries.  

You may call ABCCM’s main number at 259-5300 and we will connect you with the ministry director or volunteer coordinator of your choice.  You may also go to ABCCM’s website: abccm.org – and click on the ministry to what to support and find the volunteer coordinator’s or program director’s name and phone number to connect directly with them.  Lastly, please pray for a glancing blow from these hurricanes so that we might be best equipped to meet the needs of those impacted by these storms. 

In His service,

Reverend Scott Rogers
Executive Director

Transformation Celebration is a Huge Success!

When did we see You, Lord – and feed or clothe You, or care for You? When did we visit You or welcome You in ... ?
Matt 25:37

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Many did just that on Friday, Aug. 25! The final tally for our Transformation Celebration Benefit was $221,798, which will provide food, clothes, medical care and medicine, visitation and Bible studies in the jail, and transitional housing for women, children and Veterans!

The Transformation Celebration Benefit will continue to impact hundreds of lives by equipping and empowering homeless women and moms with children. We saw and heard in a moving video the amazing story of Jessica, who had the courage to share how Christ found her in jail. Upon release, she wanted to avoid triggers from her past; so she went to a local halfway house and then was blessed to move in to Steadfast House. ABCCM’s Medical Ministry brought her health, as it does for so many in our community. The Crisis Ministry helped with furniture when she moved in to her new home. 

Volunteers kept encouraging her in Bible study at her new church home. Volunteers offered life skills training. A volunteer opened the door for her to get a job, and she now works in a supervisory role at three motels. She has inspiration in her church and a solid family. Now she gives back as a volunteer in the Jail Ministry and on our Steadfast House-Transformation Village Advisory Committee.

One auction gift resulted in two cars being given away: one to a Veteran and one to a mom and her child. They will drive to their new jobs and find homes they can afford, near their jobs. We are praising God with them! 

We celebrated a delightful evening with great food provided by local restaurants and from local suppliers. The room was elegant and many community leaders and other volunteers enjoyed finding special treasures given by almost 200 generous donors. The evening was topped off by an amazing musical group: Jett Edwards and the Believers.  

Whether you were present, or not, you can be a part of transforming lives. Please be an ambassador for ABCCM to spread the word about how many lives are transformed each and every day. Let others know what volunteers say when they serve: not only are lives transformed with a hand up, but their own lives are changed too. Last Friday, new sets of keys were put in ABCCM volunteer hands: to open a car door, to open a door to a new home, a new education, and open a heart to embrace a new future. Please keep us in your prayers.

Help Mitigate Trauma for a Child

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Each day our Steadfast House volunteers and staff see the impact that caring, consistent adults can have on a child who has experienced trauma in his or her young life. Volunteers who lead structured play tell us children become more open and comfortable when they see familiar faces in the playroom. Staff case managers witness changes in the children as their mothers become more confident in their own transformation, and therefore, more caring and consistent with their children.

A new program at Steadfast House will take a structured approach through play and learning in order to mitigate the effects of trauma. The Steadfast Partners Program, which will start with a day-long training session on Saturday, Sept. 23, is seeking volunteers who can commit for six months to be consciously paired with a child in the program with whom they will be a supportive, caring, encouraging, patient, safe and consistent partner each week.

The goals of the Steadfast Partners Program include:
•    Providing a safe space for children to play, learn, grow, build self-esteem and be encouraged by caring adults.
•    Helping mitigate the effects of trauma by helping children develop healthy responses and tools for dealing effectively with trauma and trauma-related stress.
•    Promoting community awareness and understanding of how to identify and positively respond to trauma-influenced behaviors in children.
•    Partnering with parents to set goals for their child’s participation, giving the parent an opportunity to advocate for, learn about and celebrate with their child.

Volunteers will eat dinner with their child’s family each week and will be responsible for leading group and one-on-one activities with their child. Volunteers will be expected to review the program curriculum in advance each week to revise/supplement activities as needed to fit their child’s individual needs. Please note that volunteers for this role must be able to commit to the program two hours a week for a minimum of six months.

Continuing education trainings and workshops are held periodically and some may be mandatory. 

Interested volunteers should fill out a volunteer application, which can be found online at https://abccm.volunteerhub.com/userregistrationwizard/usernamepassword. All program volunteers must consent to a background check, attend an in-person interview, and complete our two-part volunteer orientation and training session. Volunteers must be 18 years of age or older. 

Volunteer orientation and training sessions are held at ABCCM’s Servant Leadership Center located at 20 Twentieth Street, Asheville, NC. 

Can you be a caring, consistent adult for a child? Call (828) 398-6985 for more information about the program and training session on Sept. 23.

Serving in Times of Crisis

Jesus said to him, the foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the son of man has nowhere to lay his head.
Matthew 8:20

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Our fellow Americans in Texas are facing in Hurricane Harvey one of the greatest natural disasters this country has ever seen. It was just 12 years ago that we faced this with Hurricane Katrina. We watched from a distance as thousands of people who were already dealing with economic struggles, some with mental health and substance abuse issues, were abandoned by inadequate structures.

The end result was a plea from FEMA and the governor of Louisiana, asking the surrounding states and the country to take in the families who had no place to live. North Carolina took their share of homeless and Asheville was asked to take about 200 families. ABCCM worked with FEMA, the Red Cross and Salvation Army as the lead agency because their professionals and volunteers had been dispatched to the Gulf Coast. We could access information on those who were legitimately in need. ABCCM worked with individuals, churches and camps to house over 230 families.

In the coming weeks, the scope of this disaster will become more widely known. We are all praying for our fellow Americans, our neighbors in Texas and the Gulf region. We encourage you to support disaster relief efforts through your denomination, because every major denomination has a disaster relief arm; or through the Red Cross, Salvation Army or Samaritan’s Purse. With disasters of this scope and scale, we believe that you can get the greatest amount of resources to the largest number of people in need through those organizations that are already equipped.  

There are some things that we don’t want to do. We don’t want to just send clothes or household items because so much of that ends up overwhelming the disaster relief systems. We do want to support with financial assistance, or efforts to provide some of the basic necessities, such as water.

Scams always increase right after a disaster. ABCCM can help our pastors and local church leaders with this.  Please consider contacting one of our Crisis Ministries to check out the names of individuals or families claiming to be affected from the flooded areas. We will be able to connect with FEMA and/or the Red Cross in the national disaster database to identify those areas which are valid. Don’t be afraid to ask to see a valid driver’s license so that we can verify that someone actually lived in an affected area. Be skeptical of those who say that they have lost their driver’s license or have no way to prove where they lived.  

ABCCM will be prepared, as we were 12 years ago, to help house families that are legitimately fleeing the Gulf region. We will receive referrals directly from disaster relief providers like FEMA, the Red Cross and Salvation Army.  While our hearts go out to these needs and we want to respond, it is important to be responsible in meeting those needs. There are always legitimate cases that are easy to validate through family or friends. We certainly want to support those. But take an extra minute, when things don’t quite add up, so we can have the greatest resources meet the greatest number of needs.

Let’s also remember how homelessness produces isolation, fear and trauma. ABCCM needs volunteers more than ever right now. We need 500 additional volunteers over the next three months. Consider volunteering. Call and receive training as a volunteer, which will better equip you to go help those in the disaster region – or right here at home. Crisis comes in the form of lost jobs, broken marriages, abandonment and other depressing challenges. Life and death decisions are being made during this opioid epidemic. As God’s people, let us continue to work through our Crisis Ministries, our clinic, our transitional living facilities for the homeless and Jail Ministry to open the doors of grace and mercy. We want to give a second chance, offer a new strategy, and more importantly, let people know how much God loves them and cares for them. Thank you for your prayers and letting our neighbors know they are loved.

Reverend Scott Rogers
Executive Director

Publix Supports ABCCM's Crisis Ministry

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ABCCM is once again the beneficiary of a $20,000 donation from Publix Super Markets Charities to support our Crisis Ministry's food program that serves each year thousands of Buncombe County residents. The donation is part of $5 million donated this year by Publix.

Last year ABCCM's four Crisis Ministry centers distributed 28,677 bags of food to Buncombe County residents, which means this donation from Publix will have a huge impact on our ability to serve those in need. 

Over the past three years, Publix Super Market Charities has contributed more than $11.5 million to hunger related programs. This generous donation continues Publix Super Markets Charities’ commitment to meeting the basic needs of the communities it serves. The $5 million donation will benefit a total of 192 nonprofit agencies throughout the Southeast.

“For more than 50 years, we have been nourishing the communities in which Publix
operates,” said Carol Jenkins Barnett, president of Publix Super Markets Charities. “Through
these efforts, we’ve supported early education programs and the plight of the hungry and
homeless, recognizing the importance of education and proper nutrition. We believe every
child deserves to have hope, love and joy. Our Foundation is dedicated to giving these gifts of
nourishment and hope to our communities.”

According to the USDA, more than 42 million Americans live in food insecure
households, including 13 million children. One in six children may not know where their next
meal is coming from, and getting the energy they need to learn and grow can be a daily
challenge.

Click here to learn more about the Crisis Ministry and support ABCCM's efforts to fight food insecurity.

Reeve Foundation, ABCCM Improving Accessibility for Disabled Veterans

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More than one-third of residents at the Veterans Restoration Quarters are living with some kind of disability. Many of those men are dealing with PTSD, traumatic brain injury, knee replacements, amputated limbs, multiple sclerosis, cancer, ALS, severe arthritis, and other joint-deteriorating diseases leading to the need for mobility assistance such as canes, walkers, or wheelchairs.

Those issues can be stumbling blocks for men on the road to restoration and transformation. That’s why ABCCM is so blessed to join the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation on a project to improve accessibility for disabled veterans at the VRQ. Thanks in part to a grant from the Reeve Foundation, ABCCM is renovating in-suite bathrooms in two ground-floor rooms. These renovations will increase the accessibility of the residents’ living spaces.

As a former motel built in 1973, the bathrooms in each room at the VRQ do not meet accessibility standards and will not accommodate a wheelchair. For many of these men, it is very difficult to climb over the bathtub in order to shower. ABCCM’s executive director, Reverent Scott Rogers, said the renovations will open up the VRQ to more veterans ready to move from homelessness and instability to housing and hope.

“ABCCM believes that all veterans in need, including veterans who are living with disabilities, should have access to the programs and services at the VRQ,” he said. “Unfortunately, many of these veterans cannot be accommodated at the facility because of the lack of accessibility. However, through this project and generous support from the Reeve Foundation, ABCCM will be able to serve veterans who would not otherwise have access to these programs, and they would be included in and supported through the same community as all other residents.”

The $8,400 Quality of Life grant from the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation was one of 102 grants totaling $721,425 awarded by the Reeve Foundation to nonprofit organizations nationwide that provide more opportunities, access, and daily quality of life for individuals living with paralysis, their families, and caregivers. Conceived by the late Dana Reeve, the program has awarded over 2,900 grants totaling over $20 million since 1999.  Funding for the grants is made available through the Paralysis Resource Center (PRC) operated by the Reeve Foundation under a cooperative agreement with the Administration for Community Living in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

“It’s important to find balance while filling the needs of the community, especially those living in underserved areas,” said Donna Valente, Director of Quality of Life Grants. “People may live only a few blocks from an outstanding adaptive recreation program, but if they don’t have a ramp to get out of their homes or accessible transportation to get to that location, they can’t participate in the activity, and we really aren’t meeting the overall goal of this program. That’s why we examine every proposed project to see the impact it will have in the community, and try to determine how we can best help them reach their full potential.”

For more information about how YOU can help improve access for our veterans through volunteerism or other contributions, go to www.abccm.org/volunteer or www.abccm.org/donate.

ABCCM Hosts VETS Summit

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ABCCM's Veterans Restoration Quarters (VRQ) hosted on Thursday, Aug. 31, a state-level training event for Department of Labor workforce specialists with remarks by Matt Miller, White House advisor on veterans employment services.

Other speakers included Reverend Scott Rogers, ABCCM executive director; Lane Dyer,  US Department of Labor, Veterans Employment and Training Services state director for North Carolina; Department of Workforce Solutions Chief Operating Officer Mark Edmonds; and Archie Barrow, director of Veterans Employment Service at the North Carolina Division of Workforce Solutions. J’Metria Anderson, assistant state director of U.S. Department of Labor VETS, led table activities.

Other ABCCM speakers included VRQ Director Tim McElyea; Veterans Services of the Carolinas Director John Rakes; and VSC Assistant Directors Kristie Reisig, Susan Garrett and Brandon Wilson. Ilario Pantano, Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) senior director for programs and services also attended the summit. ABCCM is the network coordination center for IVMF's NCServes-Western network, part of the AmericaServes network. Click here to read more about NCServes-Western.

ABCCM, supported by nearly 300 local churches and 5,600 volunteers, launched the NCServes Western Network in August with 50+ provider partners. Led by the Reverend Scott Rogers, ABCCM is a national exemplar in the provision of homeless and work force services to veterans, service members and their families.

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ABCCM Expands Veterans Services of the Carolinas with NCServes - Western Network

 

ABCCM Expands Services for Veterans in Western North Carolina

 

ABCCM was excited to announce on Thursday, Aug. 3rd, a major expansion of its Veteran Services of the Carolinas with the launch of NCServes – Western.  This ministry is a coordinated network to provide support and information for veterans, active service members and their families in 12 Western North Carolina counties to more than 40 agencies and providers. The network launch was announced during an event at A-B Tech, which is one of ABCCM’s network partners.

The new network connects veterans with services in areas including health care, housing, education, job training, and legal and financial counseling. Click here to read about how NCServes-Western has already started touching lives!

The NCServes - Western network, which is part of the national AmericaServes network administered by the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University, joins 12 AmericaServes networks across the US currently. It serves as a coordinated network of public, private and nonprofit organizations working together to provide veterans, service members and their families access to services in a timely and efficient manner. Through a technology platform, NCServes - Western and its partner network guides veterans, service members and their families to the most appropriate services and resources available. NCServes - Western is funded by a two-year, $450,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation.

The Western network is the fourth in the state of North Carolina and extends coverage from the coastal region in the eastern part of the state to the mountains in the west, making North Carolina the most widely covered state in the nation. The Western North Carolina coverage area consists of the following counties: Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Transylvania, and Yancey.

ABCCM’s Veterans Services of the Carolinas (VSC) will handle the day-to-day management of NCServes - Western. Since 2002 VSC has administered education and employment training with job placement, housing and homeless prevention programs for veterans in 26 Western North Carolina counties. ABCCM is already part of the Charlotte-based NCServes - Metrolina network. While in the past the VSC’s focus has been on homeless veterans, NCServes - Western refocuses these efforts on connecting, equipping and empowering any veteran with a variety of opportunities.

“ABCCM, comprised of almost 300 local congregations and thousands of volunteers serving more than 40,000 people each year, has a national reputation for service to the Asheville community and especially to veterans throughout WNC,” said IVMF Managing Director Jim McDonough. “As we continue to fill gaps for those underserved through enhanced coordination of care and extend this first-of-its kind community network across an entire state, having ‘boots-on-the-ground’ servant-leaders like Scott and his team was a must.”

“North Carolina is fortunate to have NCServes and especially ABCCM Executive Director Reverend Scott Rogers and the compassionate team at ABCCM’s Veterans Services of the Carolinas leading this local initiative,” said Ilario Pantano, IVMF senior director for programs and services. “I had the privilege to work with Scott for three years as the former Director of Veterans Affairs for the state of North Carolina, and there is no one doing more for veterans anywhere in the country.”

“ABCCM is honored to serve veterans and military members and their families in Western North Carolina. We are thrilled to be working with visionary leaders such as retired General Jim McDonough and Ilario Pantano to extend this vital network across North Carolina,” Rogers said. “Our team, including VSC Director John Rakes and NCServes - Western Network Director Brandon Wilson, is building a strong network of providers to give our veterans and active service military families powerful tools to overcome barriers and achieve their goals in life.”

NCServes - Western is currently onboarding agencies and providers into the network through training and empowerment with technology tools.

Active duty, National Guard, Reserve Service members as well as veterans and their families who reside in the Western North Carolina region are eligible for support from the network. All individuals who have served in the military regardless of age, era, branch or discharge status are eligible for support from the coordination center. Although some services have limiting eligibility criteria, network care coordinators strive to find an appropriate local resource. NCServes-Western expects to eventually have participation from 40-50 providers.

With over 40,000 veteran organizations in the country offering medical, financial, employment, housing and other services, finding and accessing services has become the number one self-reported issue for veterans and their families, according to a recent Blue Star Families survey. IVMF’s AmericaServes’ networks solve this problem by bringing together a wide range of vetted, service providers. Veterans and their families work through the local NCServes coordination center to identify what they need, and the center matches them with service providers. Using HIPPA-compliant technology, each case is monitored to ensure people’s needs are met.

ABCCM’s other services for veterans include the Veterans Restoration Quarters for homeless male veterans and Steadfast House for homeless women, including female veterans, and their children. Both facilities are transitional housing programs that provide residents with basic necessities, access to the VA and case management support that leads to jobs in living-wage careers, stable housing and self-sufficiency.

Veterans, military members and families in need of assistance or more information should go to western.americaserves.org or call 1-855-WNC-VETS (1-855-962-8387).

Transformation Village Has Broken Ground!

We're excited to announce that on Thursday, June 29, ABCCM broke ground on Transformation Village, ABCCM's vision to end homelessness in our community. This transitional housing initiative will triple our capacity to house homeless women and children.

Transformation Village is a building project that will transform the landscape of homelessness in Buncombe County and allow hundreds of women and children to move from hopelessness to self-sufficiency. When complete, Transformation Village will be one of the largest emergency, transitional and permanent supportive housing facilities in North Carolina.

Nearly 80 members of the community, including clergy and volunteers from ABCCM churches; legislative, government and community representatives; builders, architects and subcontractors; ABCCM volunteers, board members and advisory committee members; donors to the Transformation Village capital campaign; staff and others attended the groundbreaking at the 24-acre site, which ABCCM purchased in 2015 and is located at 45 Rocky Ridge Road near the Asheville Outlets on Brevard Road.

“Thanks to our churches, our volunteers and all of you who are sharing your strength to solve a major community problem,” said Reverend Scott Rogers, ABCCM’s executive director.

“Our goal is to end homelessness in the Asheville area,” said Bob Rogers, an ABCCM board member and chairman of the Transformation Village capital campaign. “This is a huge step in making that happen. Once we Transformation Village complete, we think we can end homelessness in the entire area on a permanent basis because of the training and the programs that we have in place.”

To date ABCCM has raised nearly $4 million towards the Transformation Village project’s $7.5 million goal for Phase I. Funding is in place to build the project.

Transformation Village – a transitional living facility named by Steadfast House residents in 2011 in recognition of the transformative impact it will have on the lives of its residents and the community as a whole – is ABCCM’s vision to end homelessness for women, children and families. It will provide homeless individuals and families with a safe and secure living space, along with the skills they need to take steps to successfully move on with stable income and in their own home.

The facility will eventually replace ABCCM’s Steadfast House, which has a waiting list of more than 300 women and children. Steadfast House is a 43-bed transitional living facility for homeless women and children, including 10 beds for female veterans, all of whom will move to Transformation Village when it opens.

Phase I of the project includes the construction of a 43,000 square foot community center that will include 33 short-term apartments with a total of 90 beds. In addition, the community center will feature a central kitchen, dining area, training classrooms and client intake offices. Construction of 20 modular two-bedroom apartments will be done concurrently. Phase I is expected to be complete in Fall 2018. At that time Steadfast House will transfer operations to Transformation Village and residents will move into the new apartments. Phase II will create neighborhoods across the site to provide transitional, supportive housing to groups such as mother, single fathers, intact families, survivors of domestic violence and female veterans.

Transformation Village will also include outdoor green space with play areas for children and an indoor educational playroom.

Once open, residents of Transformation Village will receive the same education and training opportunities, life-skills classes, case management support to move to self-sustainability and permanent housing, and basic necessities such as food, clothing and shelter as current residents of Steadfast House do.

Transformation Village will mirror ABCCM’s Veterans Restoration Quarters (VRQ), a 248-bed transitional living facility for homeless male veterans. The VRQ opened in 2008.

Preliminary site development including tree removal, land grading and the creation of a service road has been completed. ABCCM has issued the contract to install sewer lines and all required pre-construction inspections and permits have been completed.

According to numbers recently released by the City of Asheville, there was a 10 percent increase in the number of people experiencing homelessness in 2017. The national Point-in-Time count, which is conducted at the end of January each year and is led by the U.S. Housing and Urban Development office, found 562 people experiencing homelessness, compared to 509 in 2016.

“We have been so pleased with the work that ABCCM has done in the city for years in many different areas and this is a really big kicker,” said Asheville City Councilman Cecil Bothwell. “From seven years on council, working toward affordable housing and working toward ending homelessness, it’s monumental task and it takes the whole community together. I’m really excited about this project, speaking for the mayor and other council members as well. This is important.”

Other speakers included Cindy Messer of A-B Tech’s Workforce Continuing Education; Jessica Stavish of Genesis Alliance and the Kiwanis Club; ABCCM board members Reverend Gerald Davis, Julie Singleton and Reverend Calvin Hailstock; Angela Catania, the director of Steadfast House and eventually Transformation Village; and Sheila Price, a veteran who spoke movingly of the transformation she has undergone while a resident of Steadfast House.

Congratulations Chef Cox and Rachel Wilson!

Congratulations to Chef Eric Cox, ABCCM's director of food service operations, and Rachel Wilson, a case manager with our Veterans Services of the Carolinas ministry!

Chef Cox, who is an instructor in A-B Tech's culinary program, was recently named the school's Continuing Educator of the Year and was recognized at A-B Tech's graduation ceremony in May. Chef Cox teaches his culinary courses at the VRQ and many of his students are VRQ and Steadfast House residents, including both veteran and civilian men and women.

Rachel works closely with Chef Cox to help veterans succeed in the culinary course and gain living-wage jobs in Asheville's busy culinary industry. She and the culinary program were profiled in a spotlight article in a National Veterans Technical Assistance Center newsletter. Thanks to the dedication of these staff members, the program's job placement rate is nearly 100 percent.

May Newsletter

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Work with Volunteers at Steadfast House!
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Do you have a heart for women and children? Do you want to make a difference for our veterans? Do you want to help create opportunities for volunteers to serve? ABCCM is seeking a volunteer coordinator for Steadfast House, our 43-bed transitional living facility where women, including female veterans, and children transform their lives to move from homelessness to self-sustainability. Click here to read about the position and how to apply.


Honoring Our Veterans

May is National Military Appreciation Month! Read below to hear from three veterans about how ABCCM's programs such as Veterans Services of the Carolinas, Steadfast House and the Veterans Restoration Quarters make a difference in our community and region.

Monique's Story

monique

Air Force veteran Monique was homeless and without a job when she started worked with ABCCM's Veterans Services of the Carolinas. She eventually got a job offer that allowed her to secure permanent housing - but without reliable transportation, she was still stuck. Click here to learn more about how ABCCM and community organizations came together to help this veteran. 

Toby's Story

Toby Bollinger

Veterans Restoration Quarters resident Toby was recently named the recipient of the academic achievement award in A-B Tech's hospitality management program. Click here to read more about how far this U.S. Navy veteran has come during his time at the VRQ! 

Darla's Story

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Darla, a veteran of the U.S. Navy, has been homelessis working as part of a jobs program, and was also recently the recipient of a new-to-her car! Click here to read more about how she is transforming her life through our programs.


Transforming a Building

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We know volunteers can transform the lives of the men, women and children that ABCCM serves every day. Volunteers can also transform a building! Click here to read about how a group of volunteers performed crucial maintenance work at ABCCM's South Crisis Ministry center in Arden. 
 


Help Support ABCCM's
Transformation Celebration Fundraiser!

Friday, Aug. 25 - Asheville Event Centre

Planning has begun for the 2017 Transformation Celebration Auction, and we need your support to make it another successful event!

Would you (or your church, business or group) consider:
  • Donating an item or service for the auction
  • Becoming an event sponsor to showcase your community support
  • Gathering a few friends to sponsor a table
All proceeds fund ABCCM's programs for the homeless, hunger, sick and incarcerated in our community! Contact Terri Bowman at terri.bowman@abccm.org or call 828-259-5326 for more information.
 
TCB2017
 

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General Assembly

Tuesday, May 23
6 p.m.
Arden Presbyterian
2215 Hendersonville Road, Arden
For more information or to RSVP:

kisha.blount@abccm.org


Operation Inasmuch United

May 12-21
Various locations
Get involved! Email
rick.schilling@abccm.org for more information.


South Crisis Ministry Yard Sale

Saturday, May 20
8 a.m.-1 p.m.
10 Buck Shoals Road, Arden
Furniture, electronics, home decor items, clothes, accessories and much more!
All proceeds benefit ABCCM's Crisis Ministry

 

Fourth of July Veterans Benefit

Tuesday, July 4
6:30 p.m.-10 p.m.
Asheville Tourists
McCormick Field

Click here for more information


Pancake Breakfast Benefit

Saturday, July 8
8 a.m.-10 a.m.
Fatz Cafe
$7 tickets available at the door
All proceeds benefit ABCCM's Hominy Valley Crisis Ministry Center

Click for more information


Needs

Food  - Help us fill the  pantry shelves of our four Crisis Ministries – Steadfast House and Veterans' Restoration Quarters.
There is always a need for basic staples like flour, sugar, oils; peanut butter, but there is also need for solid protein with canned meats like chicken, ham, pork, tuna or fish.  

Household Items  We help people who have gotten on their feet with a good job and  housing as they leave Steadfast House and the Veterans Restoration Quarters  as they set up their new home.  They always need household items like, dishes, pots and pans, flatware, linens. We need tables and chairs, chests of drawers, beds – so they have something to eat on, sleep on and sit on. 

Please take smaller items to one of our
four Crisis Ministries or the Veterans Restoration Quarters.

Call 828.259.5323 for more information.

Medical Ministry   We need volunteers who can be organizers.  We are so blessed that we receive so many left over medical supplies – from bandages to glucometers to blood pressure machines to hard equipment like shower chairs, walkers and wheelchairs. 
We need organizers who would give some time, three hours once a week or three hours once a month to help organize and store these materials so they can be easily distributed to the hundreds we see each month. 
Of course, there is always a space for physicians, nurses, dentists and assistants, pharmacists and techs
along with administrative volunteers
Call Maia at 828.259.5339.


Volunteers Needed!

We have many opportunities available and  heartedly invite  you come and work with us in serving our neighbors in need.  Individuals, families, church groups, businesses, groups of friends .... all are welcome!  

We need all talents and skills -  especially those who would like to be on a planning committee for any upcoming events!  Also, we are currently seeking volunteers who have experience in fundraising and marketing.  


Please click here for more information      on the volunteer opportunities available.


donate.red.button

Make a Difference...
Make a Donation

If you would like to make a donation - whether it be $5 or $5,000 there are a few
different ways:


Mail a check to:
ABCCM 
20 Twentieth Street
Asheville, NC 28806

Click here to donate online
or

Call  828-259-5300 to make
donation by phone


Our Ministry

For more information about all of the work we are doing in Asheville, Buncombe County 
and western North Carolina (SSVF) 
please click the links below!

Crisis Ministry

Jail Ministry

Medical Ministry

Steadfast House

(women and children)

Veterans Restoration Quarters

Veterans Services of the Carolinas


Our 'Shepherding Pastors' are always hard at work offering tours of ABCCM to the clergy and identifying church representatives for the General Assembly.  Representatives serve our church membership through recruiting volunteers, supplying resources, and supporting our mission in caring for our neighbors in need.

If you are a newly appointed representative or need to reconnect, please plan to join us at  the General Assembly meeting for a lovely meal and informative meeting on how we are providing outreach and vital services to our neighbors in need.  See current information at the top of this blue bar.

 

Tel: (828) 259-5300
Fax: (828) 259-5323
Address: 20 Twentieth Street
Asheville, NC 28806

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Doing Good for Our Soles!

We were thrilled to receive a donation of boat shoes from The Laurel of Asheville lifestyle magazine and BANGS Shoes, an Asheville-based company that has the vision of providing footwear to cultivate a meaningful community with lasting impact. The shoes were donated to the Veterans Restoration Quarters and Steadfast House, where they will be perfect summer shoes for the homeless male veterans at the VRQ and the homeless women, including female veterans, and children at Steadfast. The fact that they're slip-ons is really important for our veteran residents who have disabilities.

Do you have or know of a business that wants to make an impact in our community? We'd love to hear from you! Email info@abccm.org or call (828) 259-5300. 

Join us for Blessing of the Bikes

Rain showers, flowers, and the roar of motorcycle engines - all signs of spring! Start off the riding season right and join us for the annual Blessing of the Bikes on Saturday, April 29. We'll be at Harley-Davidson of Asheville (20 Patton Cove Road in Swannanoa) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

But it's not all about blessing bikes ... you can provide a blessing in return! We're collecting new packages of men's and women's underwear for the residents of the Veterans Restoration Quarters and Steadfast House.

We'll have live music from the Knuckleheads, food for purchase, and more. See you there!

Sunny Point Cafe Supporting ABCCM in March!

Sunny Point Cafe is one of the top dining destinations in Asheville, and for the month of March this wonderful restaurant will match 20 percent of donations collected up to a total amount of $1,000. Sunny Point is usually ranked in the top 5 of restaurants in Asheville on TripAdvisor.com, so check them out for delicious brunch, lunch or dinner! Sunny Point is located at 626 Haywood Road in West Asheville.

February 2017 e-newsletter

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Forward this message to a friend                                             Click to view this email in a browser
 

Celebrating Love in February

hearthands

Do you feel the tug of love? We all need to honor the love of those around us; and the love of those we depend on the most. Reverend Scott Rogers, ABCCM's executive director, shares images of love from around the ministry. Click here for more from Reverend Rogers.


ABCCM Servant Leadership Center
is now open

ABCCM office for newsletter 2
ABCCM's new administrative offices are now open to the public and will serve as a space for not only business, but a place to meet the needs of our neighbors. Read more about the new space.

Car donations transform lives!

Marye car 2

A donation of funds for two vehicles have a huge impact of the lives of a Steadfast House resident and her child, and a U.S. Navy veteran living at the Veterans Restoration Quarters. How can you help transform a life?


Golf Tournament -- sponsor or playFB-golf
 

Do you love to play golf? Join ABCCM on Thursday, April 27 for the 33rd Mountain Classic Golf Tournament at Etowah Golf & Resort. All proceeds go to our programs for the hungry, homeless, sick and incarcerated. Click here to register online or email ABCCM Special Events Director Terri Bowman at terri.bowman@abccm.org to learn how you can support ABCCM through sponsorships.
Not a golfer? We need volunteers to help on the day of the event! Email Terri Bowman to learn more.

Pulliam

Ace in the Hole Sponsor

Join us at Sunny Point to support ABCCM!

Sunny Point square

ABCCM is Sunny Point Cafe's Charity of the Month for March! For the month of March, the restaurant will leave envelopes on each table for cash or check donations. Sunny Point will match the final number up to $1,000! Sunny Point is open for breakfast and lunch seven days a week, and dinner Tuesday-Saturday.

Sunny Point is located at 626 Haywood Road in West Asheville.

Ranked No. 3 of 771 on TripAdvisor of  places to eat in Asheville!

 

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General Assembly

Tuesday, March 28
6 p.m.
Bent Creek Baptist Church
1554 Brevard Road, Asheville
For more information or to RSVP:
kisha.blount@abccm.org


Pancake Breakfast Benefit

Saturday, March 25
8 a.m.-10 a.m.
Fatz Cafe
5 Spartan Avenue, Asheville

$7 per person, benefits ABCCM's Hominy Valley Crisis Ministry


3rd Mountain Classic Golf Benefit

Thursday, April 27
1 p.m. start
Etowah Valley Golf & Resort
470 Brickyard Road, Etowah
All proceeds benefit
ABCCM programs
Click here to register a team or sponsor the tournament


Operation InAsMuch United

May 12-21
Various locations
Get involved! Email rick.schilling@abccm.org for more information.


Needs

Food  - Help us fill the  pantry shelves of our four Crisis Ministries – Steadfast House and Veterans' Restoration Quarters.
There is always a need for basic staples like flour, sugar, oils; peanut butter, but there is also need for solid protein with canned meats like chicken, ham, pork, tuna or fish.  

Household Items  We help people who have gotten on their feet with a good job and  housing as they leave Steadfast House and the Veterans Restoration Quarters  as they set up their new home.  They always need household items like, dishes, pots and pans, flatware, linens. We need tables and chairs, chests of drawers, beds – so they have something to eat on, sleep on and sit on. 

Please take smaller items to one of our
four Crisis Ministries or the Veterans Restoration Quarters.

Call 828.259.5323 for more information.

Medical Ministry   We need volunteers who can be organizers.  We are so blessed that we receive so many left over medical supplies – from bandages to glucometers to blood pressure machines to hard equipment like shower chairs, walkers and wheelchairs. 
We need organizers who would give some time, three hours once a week or three hours once a month to help organize and store these materials so they can be easily distributed to the hundreds we see each month. 
Of course, there is always a space for physicians, nurses, dentists and assistants, pharmacists and techs
along with administrative volunteers
Call Maia at 828.259.5339.


Volunteers Needed!

We have many opportunities available and  heartedly invite  you come and work with us in serving our neighbors in need.  Individuals, families, church groups, businesses, groups of friends .... all are welcome!  

We need all talents and skills -  especially those who would like to be on a planning committee for any upcoming events!  Also, we are currently seeking volunteers who have experience in fundraising and marketing.  

Please click here for more information      on the volunteer opportunities available.


donate.red.button

Make a Difference...
Make a Donation

If you would like to make a donation - whether it be $5 or $5,000 there are a few
different ways:


Mail a check to:
ABCCM 
20 Twentieth Street
Asheville, NC 28806

Click here to donate online
or

Call  828-259-5300 to make
donation by phone


Our Ministry

For more information about all of the work we are doing in Asheville, Buncombe County 
and western North Carolina (SSVF) 
please click the links below!

Crisis Ministry

Jail Ministry

Medical Ministry

Steadfast House

(women and children)

Veterans Restoration Quarters

Veterans Services of the Carolinas


Our 'Shepherding Pastors' are always hard at work offering tours of ABCCM to the clergy and identifying church representatives for the General Assembly.  Representatives serve our church membership through recruiting volunteers, supplying resources, and supporting our mission in caring for our neighbors in need.

If you are a newly appointed representative or need to reconnect, please plan to join us at  the General Assembly meeting for a lovely meal and informative meeting on how we are providing outreach and vital services to our neighbors in need.  See current information at the top of this blue bar.

 

Tel: (828) 259-5300
Fax: (828) 259-5323
Address: 20 Twentieth Street
Asheville, NC 28806

5 S