Volume 11 Number 9 | May 1, 2017 | www.agrm.org  



This issue of Street Smart is sponsored by: 

AGRM Introduces Digital Memberships!
We told you we’d be making an announcement on May 1 regarding AGRM membership…and that missions would benefit from what we would be announcing…and it had something to do with 2X (two times). 

Here’s the news: We are doubling the number of individual members every mission receives with their organizational membership by introducing digital memberships. That’s right. Think twice as many. This will allow every AGRM-member mission to get more down-line staff connecting via online networking groups, getting the immediate benefit from electronic publications (such as Street Smart) and email notices, plus access to all of the resources on the members’ side of our extensive website. The only difference between digital members and full members is that the latter will receive a hard copy of Rescue magazine and be allowed to vote in association elections. 

The membership changes are set to take place in June, pending completion of software development. Mission executive directors, billing contacts, and profile managers will be notified with instructions for updating their organization profiles and member seats when the changes are live.


Act Now! Convention Registration Rates Increase May 10

We are counting down to your last chance to save $30 per person from your mission on convention registration. The price increases again May 10. The good news? You still have time to save big!

To register, head right to our online registration page.  Do it now before you forget!


Convention Hotel at 114 Percent of Contracted Room Block!
As we mentioned in the last issue of Street Smart, each year, AGRM has increased the contracted room block at our convention hotel. However, even with this increase, this year’s hotel—the Hyatt Regency Dallas at Reunion—is well over our block for this year. Fortunately, they are still taking reservations at our contracted rate (for now!). Please note that the hotel is sold out of rooms with two queen beds, and only king rooms remain.

Bottom line: Be sure to book your room quickly if you haven’t yet. Visit www.agrm.org/2017hotel, or call (888) 421-1442. The AGRM convention rate is $121 per night. State and local taxes apply.

Orlando Mission Rocked the Cowboy Hats
About a month ago, AGRM members received a “cowboy hat” in the mail, urging you to register for the annual convention. (If you tried one on, you’ll understand why cowboy hat is in quotation marks.) For fun, we asked you to send us photos or videos via email or social media. 

The gang at Orlando Union Rescue Mission (Orlando, Florida) submitted a video featuring members of their staff paying homage to famous Western movies while wearing their convention hats. The video is complete with music and Western backgrounds. For their creativity, they will receive a $50 Starbucks card. 

Worldwide Forum Held in London
Leaders from four U.S. AGRM-member missions and four Canadian member missions—plus one from Jamaica—were at London City Mission last week for the Global City Mission Network’s Worldwide Forum. They joined city mission leaders from five continents to network and explore the “theology of immigration” and talk about ministry to displaced people groups, whether they are from the Middle East, West Africa, Mexico, Central America, or wherever. Our colleagues at the London City Mission did a great job organizing and running the event. AGRM President John Ashmen will be sharing some of the key takeaways with all CEOs in an upcoming issue of Executive Session

Invisible Neighbors Headed into Its Third Printing
Orders are still coming in for Invisible Neighbors, the small-group study guide written by AGRM President john Ashmen. So it’s back to the presses. The latest version will have a few updates to keep statistics fresh, plus it will have a foreword by Ron Hall, author of Same Kind of Different as Me. You will hear more about the 3.0 version just prior to and during AGRM’s Annual Convention.

Pine Ridge Update: Historic Closing of Whiteclay Beer Stores
On April 19, the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission announced its unanimous decision to close the four beer stores in Whiteclay, Nebraska, by denying them licenses to operate. The stores could remain open until their licenses expired on April 30. Attorneys for the beer store owners immediately filed an appeal in district court asking for a delay in the Commission's decision and to allow the beer stores to remain open while a full appeal could be considered. A week later Judge Andrew Jacobsen overturned the Commission's decision and ruled that the Commission overstepped its bounds and ordered regulators to let the beer stores automatically renew their licenses. But just as the beer store owners and their attorneys began celebrating this brief victory last Thursday, the Nebraska Attorney General's office quickly challenged the judge’s ruling, citing a section of law that puts decisions by lower courts on hold for up to six months whenever a state agency appeals to the Nebraska Supreme Court or Court of Appeals. This allowed the Liquor Control Commission to revert to its unprecedented decision to deny renewal of the beer store owners' licenses. Consequently, the stores could only remain open until April 30 when their licenses expired.

Whiteclay saw widespread media coverage on April 30 to record the historic day. However, the owners did not open for business on their last day. As of today, alcohol sales in Whiteclay are now at a halt. Lawyers on both sides agree that the appeals process could take between six months and two years. The stores also face allegations from the Attorney General's Office that they sold alcohol to bootleggers and violated other state liquor laws. A hearing on those citations is expected to take place in coming months. 

Opportunity to Further Capitalize on Baylor-AGRM Study
Assessing the Faith-Based Response to Homelessness in America, the study conducted by Baylor University Institute for Studies of Religion, confirmed that in some communities rescue missions and other faith-based organizations are often hindered in their ministry efforts from opposition to the ministry approach to assisting homeless people in their communities. The report looked at 11 sample cities across the United States—all cities where ARGM-member missions participated in the study and play a significant role in addressing homelessness.

William and Alfreda Wubbenhorst, consultants from Harvest Home Institute, LLC and Social Capital Valuations, LLC (SCV) and co-authors of the Baylor study, will have a booth in the Exhibit Hall at this year’s convention. AGRM members are invited to ask questions about the report and discuss ways SCV can help local rescue missions leverage the study’s findings and develop data specific to their program outcomes, including estimated taxpayer ROI (Return On Investment). SCV’s unique methodology, called Expected Value Return On Investment (EV-ROI) is a tool that faith-based organizations can use to highlight or defend their significant contributions in their communities. 

Looking Down the Street…

  • Please welcome AGRM’s newest mission member, Winchester Rescue Mission (Winchester, Virginia). Brandon Thomas serves as executive director. 

  • Knox Area Rescue Ministries (Knoxville, Tennessee) held a groundbreaking ceremony last Thursday for $1.3 million in renovations and additions to its highly successful Serenity women’s residential recovery facility in East Knoxville. Area dignitaries helped break ground for major changes and upgrades to the 100-year-old property. Construction is expected to take nine to 12 months. 

  • Today is the first day for Sue Shirek as CEO of Northlands Rescue Mission (Grand Forks, North Dakota). Congratulations, Sue!

  • Greg Stetski has announced his retirement from Union Gospel Mission (Winnipeg, Manitoba), effective at the end of April. The mission’s new executive director is Frank Ulrich.

back to top

AGRM Member Benefit: Sample Documents
When you’re part of an association that shares ideas, tools, and other resources, there’s often no need to start from scratch.  When you’re developing job descriptions, policies, forms, manuals, annual reports, plans, and more, begin with AGRM’s bank of sample documents. This collection of hundreds of samples—some created by member missions and others developed by AGRM and like-minded organizations—is continuously growing to give AGRM members a head start on mission-critical documents. 

To see what’s available, go to www.agrm.org, log in with your email address and password, mouse over Resources > Samples, then choose your category. 


back to top

New App Helps Businesses Curb Food Waste and Fight Hunger
The biggest hunger relief organization in the U.S. is using technology to help restaurants, grocery stores, and other businesses fight food waste, reports Mashable. 

Feeding America has launched a new tech platform called MealConnect. As the name implies, the free service taps into the organization's large network, connecting businesses that have surplus food with thousands of food banks and other meal programs. MealConnect lets stores and other donors post when they have food that would otherwise go to waste. The platform's algorithms figure out the best local food pantry or program to pick up the extra food and distribute it quickly to those in need.

The platform is a web-based app, which means employees at food businesses of any size can use it on a desktop, laptop, or smartphone with any web browser. It's still rolling out across the U.S., so it might not yet be available in your community, but you have the option to sign up for updates.

Opioid Drugs Laced with Elephant Tranquilizers Add to Crisis
A substance used to tranquilize elephants is presenting a new and difficult challenge in the nationwide opioid epidemic, reports The Houston Chronicle.

The exotic and toxic sedative named carfentanil has been linked in recent weeks to fatal overdoses in Illinois, Colorado, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. About two milligrams of fentanyl—equivalent to what comes out with a single jiggle of a salt shaker—is considered lethal; carfentanil is 100 times as strong, and requires even more aggressive treatment than a typical opiate overdose to reverse. 

First responders are getting burned out answering back-to-back overdose calls rising because of carfentanil and other synthetic opioids, and they worry about falling ill after exposure while answering calls. The drug is so new that some medical examiners don't have the tools to detect it in autopsies.

Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery Holds Burial for Homeless Veterans
At Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery recently, 20 veterans were laid to rest with military honors, although most of them didn’t have the honor of a family member witnessing their burial, reports WFAA-TV.

Every year the Dallas County Medical Examiner's Office delivers the remains of homeless U.S. veterans to DFW National Cemetery for burial. But 13 of the 20 this year, despite exhaustive work by medical examiner investigators, were buried without any next of kin having been found.

On average, 40 unclaimed veterans are buried at the cemetery each year. Thousands more are buried at cemeteries across the United States. They are veterans who might have been homeless, veterans who died in nursing homes without any descendants, or veterans who may have simply lost contact with their extended families.

back to top

Millennials Feel Good about Ministry Donations
Millennial donors associate more positive emotions with giving to ministries than non-Millennials. Millennials are also more motivated by internal desires to give as opposed to external requests and do more research before giving than older donors, reports The NonProfit Times.

Millennials were more likely to experience a positive feeling than donors ages 35 and older across the board. Those feelings include “hopeful,” experienced by 69 percent of Millennials compared to 60 percent of older donors; “connected,” 50 percent to 48 percent; “invested,” 53 percent to 46 percent; “satisfied,” 48 percent to 42 percent; and “generous,” 45 percent to 25 percent.

And Millennials do their homework before making a gift; 96 percent reported that they checked a ministry’s website before giving as compared to 88 percent of non-Millennials. Millennials were also more likely to research ministries on third-party sites, 73 percent to 61 percent, and ask people that they know before giving.

Most Americans Have Positive Feelings Toward the Bible
Only 20 percent of Americans have read the Bible in its entirety, according to a new survey, which also found that most Americans have positive feelings toward the Bible and would describe it as a "good source of morals,” reports The Christian Post.

LifeWay Research revealed that 10 percent of respondents have read none of the Bible, 13 percent said they have read only a few sentences, 30 percent said they knew of several passages or stories, 15 percent have read at least half the Bible, and 12 percent read almost all of it. Overall, only 20 percent of the respondents said they read the entire Bible. 

The small percentage of Americans who have read all the scriptures is not for a lack of Bibles, LifeWay pointed out, with close to nine out of 10 households owning a copy. The average household owns three Bibles. Of those who read a little bit of the Bible each day, 49 percent were evangelicals while 16 percent were not evangelicals. Those who attended church at least once a month were also more likely to read the Bible every day (39 percent), compared to those who attended less often (13 percent).

Greater Risk of Child Abuse Deaths in America’s Poorest Communities
Growing up in a poor family is a well-known risk factor for child abuse, but a new analysis suggests it may also raise a young child's chances of dying from that abuse, reports U.S. News & World Report.

More than 11,000 children, from newborn to age 4, died of physical abuse in the United States during the 15-year study period. In U.S. counties with the highest levels of poverty, rates of child abuse fatalities were more than three times greater than in counties with the lowest levels of poverty. Infants accounted for 20 percent of children in the study, but 45 percent of child abuse deaths. In high-poverty counties, there were 9.6 infant deaths per 100,000.

back to top


The following job positions are currently open at AGRM member missions. Please visit www.agrm.org/careers to view full descriptions and to apply. Click here for instructions on using AGRM's Recruiting Center to post open positions for your mission.

Accounting Assistant: Light of Life Ministries, Inc., Pittsburgh, PA

Assistant Director: Rescue Mission Alliance, Oxnard, CA

Bridge Program Administrator: Seattle's Union Gospel Mission, Seattle, WA

Care Support Specialist: Light of Life Ministries, Inc., Pittsburgh, PA

Case Manager, Men's Ministries: Seattle's Union Gospel Mission, Seattle, WA

Cook: Light of Life Ministries, Inc., Pittsburgh, PA

Data Analytics Coordinator: Seattle's Union Gospel Mission, Seattle, WA

Development Assistant: St. Matthew's House, Inc., Naples, FL

Development Associate: The Path of Citrus County, Beverly Hills, FL

Development Director: Open Door Mission, Glens Falls, NY

Development Officer: Good News Rescue Mission, Redding, CA

Development Director: Winston-Salem Rescue Mission, Inc., Winston-Salem, NC

Director of Development: Rockford Rescue Mission Ministries, Inc., Rockford, IL

Director of Development: Union Gospel Mission of Salem, Salem OR

Director of Development & Community Relations: Good News Rescue Mission, Redding, CA

Director of Development Operations: St. Matthew's House, Inc., Naples, FL

Director of Emergency Services: Denver Rescue Mission, Denver, CO

Donor Services Associate: The Bowery Mission, New York, NY

Driver, Food Pantry & Distribution Center: Bay Area Rescue Mission, Richmond, CA

Executive Assistant & Office Manager: The Bowery Mission, New York, NY

Finance Director: Open Door Mission, New York, NY

Full-Time Truck Driver: Jubilee Ministries, Inc., Lebanon, PA

Health and Wellness Center Manager: San Francisco City Impact, San Francisco, CA

Men's Night Shelter Manager: Fairbanks Rescue Mission, Inc., Fairbanks, AK

Ministry Development Officer: St. Matthew's House, Inc., Naples, FL

Ministry Director: Campus of Hope Rescue Mission, Conroe, TX

Overnight Supervisor: Hope Gospel Mission, Eau Claire, WI

Program Director/Associate Director: King's Gospel Mission, Hanford, CA

Recovery Program Coordinator: Westminster Rescue Mission, Westminster, MD

Regional Representative: The Merriam Agency, Schenectady, NY

Rescue Mission Director: San Francisco City Impact, San Francisco, CA

Resident Advisors: Hope Gospel Mission, Eau Claire, WI

Resident Assistant, Center for Women & Children: Bay Area Rescue Mission, Richmond, CA

Residential Coordinator_Cornerstone Manor Facility: Buffalo City Mission, Buffalo, NY

Senior Director Of Women's Ministries: Downtown Rescue Mission, Inc., Huntsville, AL

Senior Director, Programs: Nashville Rescue Mission, Nashville, TN

Senior Grant Writer: Seattle's Union Gospel Mission, Seattle, WA

Senior Video Producer: Seattle's Union Gospel Mission, Seattle, WA

Shelter Desk Manager: Jericho Road Ministries, Inc., Brooksville, FL

Thrift Store Supervisor: Central Coast Super Thrift, Santa Maria, CA

VP of Advancement :Water Street Ministries, Lancaster, PA

Women's Night Shelter Manager: Fairbanks Rescue Mission, Inc., Fairbanks, AK


back to top

Battling Discouragement

The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them;
    he delivers them from all their troubles.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
    and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
The righteous person may have many troubles,
    but the Lord delivers him from them all
(Psalm 34:17–19).

Ever get discouraged?

Of course you do. You might wake up feeling discouraged. Like the world is against you, and you are overcome with feelings of “nobody really likes me.” Sometimes you might get discouraged because of past regrets, while other times you can get discouraged because God so clearly has not answered your prayers and cries for help in the time and way you want Him to. Or maybe you get discouraged when you put too much trust in people and expect them to do or say something that you’ve been longing to hear.

Discouragement is a real feeling, and it’s a real tool of the enemy to come against the child of God. If you let it sink in, discouragement will press you down, and it can hinder you from doing what the Lord has called you to do.

What do you do?

One simple idea is to find Bible verses that encourage you in the Lord. Find out what God says about any given situation and then trust His Word. It has power to give life if you let it penetrate your heart. 

If you are discouraged today, may Jesus lift your spirit and whisper truth in your ear. He knows your pains; He cares and he will answer!


Used with permission from Daily Devotionalswww.shortdailydevotions.com.

To contribute: If you would like to write a devotional thought for StreetLight, please make it about 200 words and include at least one Bible verse or passage, and submit via

back to top

AGRM is a nonprofit organization committed to furthering rescue missions. AGRM provides limited space in "Market Street" for advertising opportunities, services, and products to advance the cause of rescue missions. AGRM is not responsible for the claims made by its advertisers and reserves the right to select or reject any advertising, in the sole discretion of AGRM, for any or no reason.

PRIVACY: Protecting your privacy is very important to us at AGRM. We will not rent, sell, or exchange your e-mail address with a third party for any purpose.

All Scripture quotations taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, unless otherwise noted. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.

Street Smart is sent to you as a member service of AGRM, and is published on the 1st and 15th of each month (unless those dates fall on a weekend or holiday). The content does not necessarily represent the views of or imply endorsement by AGRM. To submit items for publication, e-mail editor@agrm.org. To unsubscribe, email unsubscribe@agrm.org.