ABCCM Blessed with Walmart Grant for Women
ASHEVILLE, N.C. – Asheville Buncombe Community Christian Ministry (ABCCM) has been named the recipient of a state grant from the Walmart Foundation that will increase access for homeless women to essential professional training, certification programs and employment opportunities in order for them to transition into living-wage employment and permanent housing.
The $50,000 grant was awarded by the Walmart Foundation and the North Carolina State Giving Advisory Council through the State Giving Program.
Funding from Walmart will allow ABCCM to expand the Transitional Workforce Investment Program (TWIP) already in place for male veterans at ABCCM’s Veterans Restoration Quarters, female veterans at ABCCM’s Steadfast House, and veterans served through ABCCM’s Veterans Services of the Carolinas (VSC). The expanded program will now include around 50 civilians, most of whom are female civilian residents of Steadfast House. About half of these women are survivors of domestic violence and/or single mothers who are transitioning into permanent housing and job placements.
“We are blessed to receive funding from the Walmart Foundation that will help the women at Steadfast House gain the skills they need to advance into living-wage careers and enable them to move on into safe, stable housing and live self-sufficiently,” said Reverend Scott Rogers, ABCCM’s executive director. “Our job training programs have been remarkably successful, but limited in dollars, and now we can serve more residents at Steadfast House.”
“Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are pleased to support Asheville Buncombe Community Christian Ministry and their Transitional Workforce Investment Program,” said Brooke Mueller, Director of Government Relations and Public Affairs for Walmart. “Through this grant, ABCCM will be able to expand their outreach to women in the community and help them receive access to programs to help them build skills needed to enter the workforce.”
TWIP will focus on the needs of each participant though extensive case management and will tailor services and assistance to help each participant address individual barriers, such as housing and transportation, as they complete job skills training programs. ABCCM staff works to link participants with access to health and human services, training opportunities, and jobs. Funding is available for short-term certification courses at our community college and coverage for licensure fees are also provided, so participants may qualify for living wage jobs. ABCCM works with 114 employers to place participants in six different career areas, including small manufacturing, culinary and hospitality services, retail services, transportation and truck driving, internet technology, and health care. Once the participants’ income is stabilized, ABCCM focuses on helping them find private, affordable, and sustainable housing.
ABCCM provides educational opportunities at no cost to participants, and offers extensive case management with free counseling in job-seeking and financial literacy. Each participant enrolled in TWIP receives 18 months of direct case management support and personal follow-up. Approximately 85 percent of men and women who complete the program are able to remain stably housed and employed during their follow-up period.
Asheville Buncombe Community Christian Ministry (ABCCM) is one of the key nonprofit organizations addressing poverty, hunger, homelessness and access to health care for the under-served in Buncombe County, serving around 50,000 individuals each year. 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 of 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 26 WNC counties. ABCCM is generously supported by 281 congregations of all denominations and faith groups; plus more than 6,000 trained volunteers and provides emergency assistance to anyone in need regardless of age, sex, religion or ethnic background.