Begun as a small collaboration of churches in 1969, ABCCM (Asheville Buncombe Community Christian Communities) serves individuals, Veterans, and families in crisis regardless of race, religion, sex, or nationality.
Now supported by over 300 churches of all dominations, ABCCM plays a significant role throughout Buncombe County, N.C., meeting emergency assistance needs for families in crisis, coordinating religious services and education activities for the incarcerated, providing eviction prevention, transitional and permanent housing for those experiencing homeless, increased access to health care at no cost for the uninsured, work readiness, counseling, mentoring, and job placement services. Beginning in 2022, ABCCM began to provide services for Veterans throughout all 100 North Carolina counties.
Thanks to the gifts of food, clothes, household items, medicine and time, every dollar given has a $2.77 value for direct help and services. ABCCM has a stewardship track record with 94 cents of every dollar donated going directly to serve those in need, compared to the national average of 75%. Listening and caring by 5,528 volunteers, giving over 97,100 hours helped with the needs of every person coming to ABCCM for help.
The Rev. Scott Rogers, the executive director of ABCCM, said, "Everybody says, 'Why doesn't somebody reach out to those who are homeless? Why doesn't somebody help struggling moms feed their kids and provide them with assistance? Why doesn't somebody create housing that lets people get on their feet and break the cycle? Why doesn't someone reach out to those in prison or care for the sick and provide healthcare when nobody else will?'"
He continues, "In a nutshell, that's what ABCCM and local churches have done over the last 53 years! We've created services under one umbrella that everybody wishes could be done. If you want to volunteer, we will give you the training and means to make an impact."
Making an impact
ABCCM does its work through six ministries: Crisis, Jail, Medical, Transformation Village, Veteran's Restoration Quarters, and the Veteran's Services of the Carolinas.
The numbers speak to ABCCM's impact on the community. In just the past few years, the organization grew from having 250 beds to 400 beds for those experiencing homelessness.
In 2021 alone, ABCCM served 28,343 people, or one in 11 people in Buncombe County. During a time when the cost of housing was rising, ABCCM assisted 810 families with rent to prevent eviction. ABCCM served 269,785 pounds of food to those in need. Volunteers helped 5,870 patients, coordinated 4,000 telehealth visits, and distributed nearly 3 million free prescriptions.
Almost 100 women have transformed their lives through programs at Transformation Village since March of 2021 and 87% of residents at Veteran's Restoration Quarters were discharged into permanent housings with a sustainable income. ABCCM has an 85% success rate in helping the homeless with training, education and a new direction in life – not just help for a day but for life.
It's clear that ABCCM has much to celebrate in its upcoming Transformation Celebration Gala & Auction, happening both online & in person at 6:30 p.m. at The Rock Church on Friday, Aug. 26. The event, however, is more than just a celebration. To support its mission, the organization is also looking to raise funds by holding a silent auction of items donated from local businesses and artisans.
Join ABCCM for a night of celebration, good food, fun, and entertainment, and in doing so, help the organization continue to grow and impact the community. Details provided below:
Transformation Celebration Gala & Auction
Aug. 26, 6:30 p.m.
The Rock Church, 273 Monte Vista Rd.
Register for bidding or purchase Gala tickets here.
Aside from the gala, ABCCM is always in need of donations and volunteers. To learn more about becoming a volunteer or to make a donation, visit ABCCM.org.