Press release from ABCCM
The Cannon Foundation has awarded a grant of $92,600 to the Asheville Buncombe Community Christian Ministry (ABCCM) for upgrading rooms at the Veterans Restoration Quarters into permanent supportive housing for veterans.
Veterans Restoration Quarters (VRQ) is a converted hotel with 117 rooms available for occupation. Most veterans utilize VRQ as transitional housing, but 47 veterans live at VRQ in permanent supportive housing (PSH). Veterans living in PSH face significant mental, emotional, social and physical issues and need the ongoing supportive services provided at VRQ. With 130 veterans on the waiting list for PSH, ABCCM wants to convert 50 rooms to permanent supportive housing. To qualify as PSH, the units must meet HUD’s 13 housing quality standards, which establish the minimum criteria necessary for the health and safety of program participants. Until these improvements are made, ABCCM cannot provide its veteran housing services to accommodate veterans with HUD-VASH Housing Choice vouchers. Cannon’s gift of $92,600 will provide some of the renovation costs in a project totaling $393,280.
In order for veterans to have greater self-determination, VRQ units need to be updated with electrical wiring and infrastructure, a kitchenette, wall and floor repairs, and plumbing that are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Each unit will be updated to have two dedicated electrical circuits, including one ground-fault circuit interrupter, to meet standards. Funds will bring the units up to HUD standards and provide veterans with independence and self-sufficiency, with ongoing support services for up to 18 months. Updating the units will allow ABCCM to reach more veterans on the waitlist.
“ABCCM is so thankful for the Cannon Foundation joining us to bring 50 units of affordable permanent supportive housing to homeless veterans at the Veterans Restoration Quarters,” said Rev. Jim Brewer, ABCCM Altruism Officer. “ABCCM’s VRQ restores Veterans lives and Cannon is restoring these older units with updated electrical systems to better equip each veteran with independent living. Thank you, Cannon Foundation, for the vison of a brighter future for veterans.”
Veterans will receive supportive services that promote self-sufficiency and independence, such as case management, counseling, education, job skills training, community cafeteria, laundry facilities, computer lab, chapel, transportation and more.
The VRQ restoration project is consistent with ABCCM’s mission to support the holistic needs of area veterans, and with VRQ’s mission to create a principle-based, structured environment and comprehensive residential program so that veterans achieve residential stability, higher levels of skill and income, and greater self-determination.
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.