ABCCM calls on community for donations and volunteer service

Press release from ABCCM: 

The ongoing COVID-19 crisis is seriously affecting ABCCM’s ongoing efforts to provide food, medicine, healthcare and emergency assistance (rent, gas, and utilities) to the most vulnerable in Buncombe County. While the need for food and assistance has nearly doubled, volunteers have dropped off 70%. ABCCM is calling on the community for donations and volunteer service.

ABCCM is designed to help in times like these with 5 ministries structured to provide immediate help to those in need of emergency assistance, food, shelter, and medical care.

ABCCM began as a collaboration of a small group of churches in 1969 to address food and clothing needs.  ABCCM now has a significant role in meeting the emergency assistance needs of families, individuals and Veterans in crisis including hunger, homelessness and access to health care for the underserved and uninsured in Buncombe County. About 21,764 souls, or
1 in 12 persons were served in 2019.  The numbers needing food and medicine due to Covid19 are growing at a rate difficult to measure.  Of every dollar donated to ABCCM, 93.1¢ goes directly to families in need.

Crisis and Medical Ministries

Current distribution:

  1. Hot meals in carry out bags up from 75 to 100 bags for the homeless downtown each day.
  2. Families seeking food, we were serving about 85/day and now helping 150/day.
  3. ABCCM’s clinic was helping with 1,100 prescriptions/mo., now helping with over 1,700 medications a month

Future, increased needs as a result to the coronavirus (COVID-19):

  1. Hot meals: the need for hot meals is anticipated to grow 30% from 100/day to 130/day.
  2. Food boxes: the need is anticipated to grow from 85/day to 120/day, or 600 per week.  ABCCM can double the impact of your gift. The cost of purchasing food for 1,000 families is $30,000 or $30 each; whereas, if individuals bought this in the stores, it would cost $60 each box.
  3. Emergency financial assistance is anticipated to increase dramatically when the moratoriums are removed.  An average cutoff notice now is $150; an average eviction is $1,000.  Each month these are delayed, they double.  By May, those affected would essentially be three months behind and facing cutoffs and evictions.

Transitional Housing and Emergency Shelter

Transitional Housing:

  1. VRQ has 250 residents; Steadfast House has 50 residents, a total of 300 (includes emergency shelter)
  2. Meals prepared: 3 meals x 300 = 900 daily, or 27,000/mo.  Cook teams are needed to prepare hot meals and drop them off, or join us to prepare meals in a serve-safe environment.
  3. The cost of meals is $54,000 per month at $2 per meal.

Emergency shelter:

  1. Currently limited to 18 at the VRQ (Veteran’s Restorations Quarters), and 4 at Steadfast House (for women and children).
  2. ABCCM will no longer participate in Code Purple on life threatening nights.

Future projected need:

  1. Safe rooms and places for residents to quarantine for two weeks, if they are tested positive for COVID-19.

Medical Ministry:

  1. The clinic is open and serving about 60 patients a week, utilizing safe distancing.  ABCCM is serving only current patients; no new patients, except as referred by Mission’s ER or other community clinics.
  2. Pharmacy: both the clinic pharmacy and mental health pharmacy are open.  They were purchasing medications for high risk patients at $2,000/month; new costs are $3,000/month.

Future projected need:

  1. Personal protective equipment (PPE) at 10 units per week at a cost of $100/unit/week; or $1,000 per week.
  2. ABCCM projects that our costs for pharmacy will increase 50% to $3000 a month.
  3. COVID-19 tests cost $51.30 per test.  We expect needing 100 tests a month or $5130.

You may donate to provide essentials for those in need, or sign up to volunteer:

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