AGRM Publications

Please enjoy AGRM's many publications. If you have questions or would like to submit information to one of our publications, please email Director of Communications Brad Lewis.


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Street Smart

Street Smart: December 1, 2014

Posted: 12/01/2014
Participate in AGRM elections next week; don’t let Early Bird convention registration rates slip away; homeless vet attempts bank robbery to get help; teen starts charity from his love of sneakers; fewer Americans struggle to afford food

Street Smart: November 17, 2014

Posted: 11/17/2014
Be among the first to register for the 2015 AGRM Annual Convention; Snapshot Survey finds that homelessness is at a stalemate; AGRM achieves Charity Navigator’s highest rating; GoPro videos put viewers in the shoes of homeless; vets struggle with money management once home

Street Smart: October 15, 2014

Posted: 10/15/2014
2015 convention early bird registration begins November 17; AGRM board moves to make changes to AGRM districts; woman creates new use for grocery bags to help the homeless; alcohol a factor in 10 percent of all U.S. deaths; poor give more generously than the wealthy

Street Smart: October 1, 2014

Posted: 10/01/2014
AGRM’s Snapshot Survey takes place October 6–10; association’s board meets next week; researchers work to improve food bank operations; couple faces fines for helping homeless people; small businesses eliminate health coverage

Street Smart: September 2, 2014

Posted: 09/02/2014
It’s now or never for the CEO Summit; Oglala Sioux tribal leaders excited about possibilities; Loggins joins AGRM team as minister-at-large; Ice Bucket Challenge is changing how nonprofits raise funds; data shows decrease in number of homeless vets

Street Smart: August 15, 2014

Posted: 08/15/2014
Register now! AGRM’s CEO Summit is just a few weeks away; AGRM Data Task Force meets in Philadelphia District Conferences offer great regional connections; coffee shop intentionally hires the homeless; record-high income gap threatens housing recovery

Street Smart: August 1, 2014

Posted: 08/01/2014
AGRM president speaks at NAEH conference; order latest issue of Rescue for your board; former San Antonio mayor sworn in to lead HUD; professor buys signs from homeless for art project; could corporate charity come to an end?

Street Smart: July 15, 2014

Posted: 07/15/2014
AGRM team visits Denver Rescue Mission; CEO Summit details coming Thursday; Ashmen to address NAEH; education dictates composition of America’s cities; number of homeless students increases dramatically

Street Smart: July 1, 2014

Posted: 07/01/2014
U.S. Supreme Court upholds business owners’ religious freedom; Ashmen represents AGRM in Malaysia; fine could change how fundraisers operate; coming soon: An amazon-like shopping experience for social services; homeless most at risk of poor oral health

Street Smart: June 16, 2014

Posted: 06/16/2014
AGRM convention wraps up in St. Louis; Ashmen invited to speak at NAEH Conference; AGRM’s District Connect Groups go live; increase in minors left at border called ‘crisis’; child poverty in U.S. higher than most developed nations

Rescue Magazine

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Housing First Data

Rescue Magazine
Publish Date:

Rescue - Mar/Apr 2011 (Volume 25, Number 2)

Rescue Magazine
Publish Date: 7/9/2013
A Healthy Approach: How People?s City Mission?s free health clinic is closing the gap for those who can?t afford health care by Sue Rosenfeld + Caught the Vision?(pg.4) Steps of Promise: People City?s clinic helps one woman find help, hope, and healing by Sue Rosenfeld (pg.10) Breaking Chains of Destruction: A complete approach to addiction recovery combines clinical methods with the gospel message by Terri Leveton (pg.20) Urging a Shift of Power: Recovery programs must focus solely on spiritual...

Rescue - Jan/Feb 2011 (Volume 25, Number 1)

Rescue Magazine
Publish Date: 7/9/2013
Features- Fighting for Hope: How Boise Rescue Mission is helping veterans discover true freedom. by Sue Rosenfeld + Caring for Warriors (pg.4) Winning the Battle: Boise?s veterans program helps one man find hope and healing by Sue Rosenfeld (pg.10) Maturity Versus Youth: 20 Tried and True: Seeing the value of tradition and experience in mission ministry. by Herb Opalek (pg. 20) Power and Passion: Understanding the importance of enthusiasm and energy in mission work. by Sabrina Burkiewicz (pg.2...

Rescue - Nov/Dec 2010 (Volume 24, Number 6)

Rescue Magazine
Publish Date: 7/3/2011
Features: A New Chapter Addicted for 40 years, a man is now penning lines of liberty. By Sue Rosenfeld (pg.4) Hope for the Holidays- Warm and creative ways to celebrate the season. By Natalee Roth (pg.14) A Soul Fill-Up Caring for yourself so you can care for others. By Kevin Houk (pg.20) Cultivating Commitment- Smart strategies to find effective volunteers. By Jon McKee and Tom McKee (pg.32) The Heart of the Donor- Why donors choose to give to specific organizations. By Lyric Murphy (pg.39) A G...

Rescue - Sept/Oct 2010 (Volume 24, Number 5)

Rescue Magazine
Publish Date: 7/3/2011
Features: A Journey to Unity How two former addicts grew toward freedom and lasting love. By Natalee Roth (pg.4) High-Speed Contributor Connections- Use these eight strategies to reach donors via the Internet. By Dave Raley (pg.12) Building Board Bonds- Principles to help CEOs strengthen a relationship with the mission board. By John R. Frank (pg. 18) Human Resources 101- Important ways to care for ministry staff members. By Angie Braio West (pg.22) Helping the Potentially Homeless- Effective pr...

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Executive Session Blog

                                                                                      
   

 
   
 
August 2014
 
     
 

On Behalf of the Conquered
By John Ashmen

I just drove away from Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and an all-day meeting of 15 influential leaders of the Oglala Lakota Nation. While sitting beside and across from Native Americans including Wilbur Between Lodges, Paul Iron Cloud, Rebecca Chief Eagle, Doyle Pipe On Head, and Duane Shot With Arrow, the ideas flowed and the excitement rose.

Selena Hayle, AGRM’s director of member engagement, and I were there at the invitation of the Tribal Housing Council and native social workers to discuss various ways AGRM might be able to bring help and hope to 40,000 people who are living in what is generally agreed to be the worst poverty in the Western Hemisphere, outside of Haiti. (If you are not familiar with the conditions at Pine Ridge, note the statistics at the bottom of this article.)

Throughout the day, I jotted down some of their quotes. They were heartbreaking and caused me to ponder deeply.

  • “The Sioux were really sent to this place to die. Pine Ridge was supposed to be a death camp, but we have survived…if that is what you want to call it.”
  • “It’s not just the historic treaties from Washington that have been broken. It still goes on. Help that we were promised to get as recently as last year still has never arrived.”
  • “Church youth groups who come here pity our people…for a week. Then they return to their normal suburban lives and forget about us.”
  • “You have to understand that we are a conquered people. That is why so many of our men hide in a bottle.”

I wondered what I could say that would show that I understood their situation and could empathize with their pain. But as my friend Leon Blunt Horn explained to me on a prior visit, feeling empathy for the Lakota is a nearly impossible undertaking for an ordinary white man. The Bible alone can best speak into the life of the conquered.

I recently read an insightful article that explains why this is generally the case. I strongly encourage you to not skip this link below, but click it and read why Brian Zahnd says he, as an ordinary white man, has “a problem with the Bible.” I believe Brian’s discernment will help you put your arms around the perspective of the enslaved and persecuted, past and present.

Please go now to “My Problem With The Bible,” by Brian Zahnd.

May the blood rush to your head.

 ________________________________________________________

It’s difficult to be in Pine Ridge (S.D.) and White Clay (Neb.) and not get torn up emotionally by the devastation and poverty. Here are some of the statistics:

  • Reservation size: 2 million-plus acres (11,000-plus square miles)
  • Population: Approximately 40,000
  • Number of houses (including trailers): Approximately 4,500
  • Median annual income: $3,200 
  • Unemployment rate: 85% (summer) to 95% (winter)
  • People below federal poverty level: 97%
  • School dropout rate: 71%
  • Teen suicide rate: 150 times the national average
  • Homes without electricity: 39%
  • Homes infested with black mold: 66%
  • Families affected by alcoholism: 80%
  • Rate of diabetes: 37%
  • Cervical cancer rate: 500% higher than the national average
  • Life expectancy: Age 48 for men and 52 for women
  • Infant mortality rate: 300% higher than national average

 
 
   
     

There’s Still Time to Register for the CEO Summit
You don’t want to miss the CEO Summit, September 9–11 at Mount Hermon Conference Center in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California. Executive directors from across North America will gather to reflect on the current condition of rescue mission ministry and to ponder emerging trends and changes in our culture. They’ll also discuss how savvy followers of Jesus can get serious about the issues affecting our ministries.

During the three-day event, participants will dig down into the theological and legal aspects of some major cultural shifts and how they will affect what missions do every day.

AGRM will also release information at this event about two new initiatives, including one that involves citywide prayer initiatives in multiple locations.

Can you really afford to miss this opportunity to meet, fellowship, and brainstorm with your peers and the astute consultants that will be on hand?

Go to the CEO Summit event page for all the details and to register. Time is short, so register today!

Prayer Is Key: Introducing Robert Loggins
You’re hearing a lot these days from AGRM about HUD-driven approaches to housing, gender-neutral accommodations, data collection, best practices, and other matters related to government relations, public image, and operational expertise. It would be easy for someone to surmise that the association’s spiritual agenda has taken a back seat to various aspects of professional practice.

Nothing would be further from the truth.

AGRM’s mission statement includes the phrase: to accelerate quality and effectiveness in member missions. As we strive to live out our purpose, many of the areas where we offer services will focus on professional practice. But make no mistake, the core of AGRM is—and will continue to be—the gospel of Jesus Christ that has the power to change and redirect lives that have gone terribly off course.

Still, the more we work on professional practice, the more we need to be devoted to prayer—for thanksgiving, discernment, protection, resources, and more. To remind us and assist us in this area, we have recently asked Rev. Robert Loggins, Sr., to join the AGRM team as minister-at-large. Many AGRM members met and engaged with Robert at our convention in St. Louis. He spoke briefly in the first general session and was visible at various times throughout the event.

Originally from Winona, Mississippi, Robert received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern Mississippi and his master’s of divinity from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He is presently enrolled in the doctor of ministry program at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Robert served as a pastor in several states and most recently was the African-American Strategist for The St. Louis Metro Baptist Association, working in church planting and racial reconciliation. He has also served as professor of New Testament Greek, Baptist History, and Philosophy at Union Theological Seminary.
He presently serves as founder and president/CEO of RF Loggins Ministries and as executive director of Mission Metro St. Louis. Previously, Robert was the prayer and spiritual awakening specialist for the Missouri Baptist Convention and the North American Mission Board. Additionally, he served as the national prayer coordinator for the National African American Fellowship of the Southern Baptist Convention.

As minister-at-large for AGRM, Robert will focus on five areas:

  • Being a pastor-at-a-distance for members who need divine guidance and would like to process heart matters with someone who is both spiritually savvy and “safe.”
  • Overseeing a healthy prayer network throughout AGRM, keeping us focused on the purpose and power of prayer, and keeping us informed and encouraged by regularly communicating what God is doing in our association. 
  • Representing AGRM at various denominational and quasi-denominational meetings, ensuring that the cause of the poor and powerless is a priority “agenda item” in the work of the church in North America.
  • Preparing the cities where our annual conventions will be held by connecting with pastors and Christian organizations’ lay leaders, and forming prayer teams to support our events in critical behind-the-scenes efforts.
  • Contributing to AGRM publications by writing white papers, articles, and columns on subjects that pertain to matters of the heart. 

You’ll see Robert at various AGRM events. In the meantime, you can connect with him at rloggins@agrm.org, or call him at (573) 301-7439.

 
 
 
 
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Executive Session: On Behalf of the Conquered

Posted: 08/01/2014
I just drove away from Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and an all-day meeting of 15 influential leaders of the Oglala Lakota Nation. While sitting beside and across from Native Americans including Wilbur Between Lodges, Paul Iron Cloud, Rebecca Chief Eagle, Doyle Pipe On Head, and Duane Shot With Arrow, the ideas flowed and the excitement rose.

Executive Session: The Mission District: Map View

Posted: 03/01/2014
I recently sketched out a conjectural map. It’s how I envision every city’s Mission District. By "Mission District," I mean that conceptual community throughout the city—in reality, it doesn’t have to be contiguous—where intensive programs and services outlined in Matthew 25:34–36 are offered, or from where they emanate.

Executive Session: Coming to Terms with Housing First

Posted: 02/01/2014
Very few issues have dogged traditional rescue missions in recent years more than Housing First. Looking only at the schematics, one might assume a sole reason why: Housing First steps around the conventional continuum of care, taking homeless individuals straight from the street and putting them into government-run or government-subsidized apartments.

Executive Session: The Next Big Thing (Part 2)

Posted: 08/15/2013
Earlier this month, in Part 1, I pointed out that homelessness has worked its way into the everyday vocabulary of rescue mission leaders. It’s front and center on the stage we’re viewing. But as history has shown us, at some point, we are going to rotate past homelessness to the next big thing. So what might we be moving toward?

Executive Session: The Next Big Thing (Part 1)

Posted: 08/01/2013
The primary assignment of an association is to be prophetic. Unquestionably, producing relevant resources and advocating on members’ behalf are essential tasks. And setting a spiritual tone for everyone connected is a fundamental charge. But prophecy is job one.

Executive Session: Coming to a Church Near You

Posted: 04/01/2013
It’s a typical suburban church building in a typical suburban neighborhood. It sits on a sometimes-busy street lined with ranch-style houses. But what’s going on these days at Redemption Church in Olathe, Kansas, is far from typical.

Executive Session: Dust in the Wind

Posted: 01/01/2013
My brother traveled to Schopfloch, Germany, to explore the hamlet of our ancestors. His tour of the medieval town brought him to the Lutheran church cemetery. When he couldn’t find any headstones for Eshelman—our family name before colonial relatives Americanized it—he asked the vicar where they might be. Gesturing like a song leader with fidgety fingers, he said, “Sie sind pulver in der brise.” Translation: They are powder in the breeze.

Executive Session: A Christmas Gift for Your Board

Posted: 12/01/2012
For this last Executive Session of the year, I decided to give you a present you can re-gift and stick under your board chair’s Christmas tree. It’s something I hope is not needed anytime soon (especially for your sake). And unfortunately, it’s something he or she might not want to accept from you at the time it is needed. My present is six “don’ts” wrapped in advice gleaned from 30 years of experience in association management.

Executive Session: Righteous or Obnoxious?

Posted: 11/01/2012
The midday sun was intense and the midtown sidewalks were crowded. Smartly dressed office workers wove their way through the onslaught of oncoming humanity in search of a quick sandwich and a brief respite from daily duties. Atop a milk crate near a crosswalk, head and shoulders above all the passersby, stood a wild-haired man in a dark wool blazer, dress shirt, and clashing tie. Sweat poured down his face as he waved a closed Bible.

Executive Session: A Sprinkling of Notes

Posted: 08/01/2012
Earlier this month, Willow Creek Association held its annual Global Leadership Summit. An estimated 160,000 church and ministry leaders attended via satellite linkup in various cities. Several antidotes and one-liners from keynote speakers hit their mark with me.

Executive Session: A Burning Passion to Serve

Posted: 07/01/2012
This issue of "Executive Session" is coming to you from a Starbucks located on Alpine Shadows View in Colorado Springs. The landscape outside the window is as black as the Grande Americano I’m sipping. Just a few blocks away, the recent Waldo Canyon fire did some of its heaviest neighborhood damage.

Executive Session: Meanwhile, in Another Part of the World

Posted: 03/01/2012
The month of March has been a blur of distant airline terminals, littered city streets, and a whole lot of unfamiliar faces. I’ve been gone more than I’ve been home. That’s never fun, but it comes with the job. But the lessons I learn on the road are particularly powerful. For this issue of Executive Session, I thought I would take a different course and share two special experiences from my March travels abroad—and the thoughts God impressed upon me.

Executive Session: They Found Dave Dead

Posted: 11/01/2011
Every night on my homeward commute, I notice more and more houses adorned with colorful blinking bulbs. With Thanksgiving now a memory but Christmas looming large, there seems to be a scramble in the neighborhoods to illuminate lawns and brighten spirits. Despite the lights and the abundance of public festivities, psychologists tell us that the end-of-year holidays yield the most depressing days of the year for far too many people.

Executive Session: Praising from the Proper Position

Posted: 09/01/2011
Nebuchadnezzar II excelled at grandiose expressions of anger, beauty, and pride. He was the unassailable king of the Neo-Babylonian Empire who destroyed Israel’s first majestic temple, built the wondrous Hanging Gardens of Babylon, and set up a nine-story image of gold on the Plain of Dura, commanding everyone to worship it.

Have You Met Your New Director?

Posted: 07/29/2011
No one can deny that we live in changing (and contentious) times. In this issue of Executive Session, I discuss the need for leaders to change with the times, or face the possibility of being replaced. Incidentally, this topic is something that will be on the table during the AGRM CEO Summit, held next month in Colorado Springs. Also in this issue of the newsletter is a list of the CEOs who have already signed up for this important event

Executive Session: Looking Global

Posted: 06/30/2011
North America is not the rest of the world, and when we compare our missions to those in other countries, it is obvious that there are many differences. But this doesn't mean we can't learn from other nations---especially from places that have already experienced cultural shifts that are most certainly coming our way...

Executive Session - One’s the Limit

Posted: 02/28/2011
With millions of people across North America falling victim to abuse, getting caught in the grip of addiction, and finding themselves on the streets, the problems of those in need can be overwhelming. Fortunately, God—knowing our energy and our empathy have limits—called us to a specific community to reach out to certain individuals.

Executive Session: Words That Wound

Posted: 01/31/2011
The Scriptures speak of the untamable tongue, which some use to praise God and others to spread corruption. This is a truth we experience every day in a continent saturated by strong and loudly voiced opinions.

Executive Session - A Gift of Words

Posted: 12/08/2010
Meaningful giving at Christmastime sometimes gets lost in frantic shopping trips, stressful schedules, and commercial holiday hype.With so great a need and so many people demanding of your time and energy, it may be extra challenging to experience this aspect of holiday joy.

Soap Box Blog

Rescue Missions Meet Needs During Christmas Season

 

Association of Gospel Rescue Missions Reports Variety of Efforts to Brighten Holidays for Homeless and Hungry

COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO—Rescue missions across North America have planned a variety of Christmas activities to meet some very specific needs of hungry, homeless, and at-risk individuals present in their communities, according to The Association of Gospel Rescue Missions (AGRM). 

“Christmas resonates with extraordinary depth at rescue missions,” notes AGRM President John Ashmen. “Some of that can be traced to our common history as faith-based organizations focused on the life and work of Jesus. There is also the reality that the holidays, especially Christmas, can be exceptionally challenging for those facing hunger and homelessness. You remember better times, and naturally wonder why this year is so difficult. It’s especially tough on children, who often don’t understand why their Christmas can’t be like that of their peers at school.” 

The more sophisticated some Christmas gifts have become for children in recent years, the more pronounced a family’s needs can become to a child, Ashmen adds. “Think of the number of gaming systems, computer equipment, and electronic toys that so many children will find under their tree on Christmas morning,” he says. “The practical realities of homelessness—or even being at risk of homelessness—make those impractical to even think about for the children our missions serve. Yet those are the very things that will probably be talked about most in schoolyards and classrooms in January. “

He continues, “That’s one reason why it’s important to offer the things that can make the Christmas holiday special for everyone our missions reach. That begins by securing basics like food and warm clothing—traditional mainstays of Christmas drives and events at rescue missions—and often quickly expands to special items like toys and games for children like that are both enjoyable and portable.”  

This reality is reflected in rescue mission Christmas events across North America this year.

The Las Vegas (Nevada) Rescue Mission is typical of many rescue missions that actively collect both food and toys during the holiday season. The Las Vegas mission conducts these drives through collection points located throughout the greater Las Vegas community. Dozens of local businesses host the collection points. Many of the goods received will be part of the food and gifts distributed at the mission’s annual dinner on Christmas Eve.

Mission of Hope in Mobile, Alabama is conducting its annual “Children of Hope Tree.” The online event allows donors to provide gift cards that will secure Christmas gifts for children of mission clients currently enrolled in its addiction recovery programs. Prospective donors can choose one such child to support, and then send the gift card into the mission. This year’s effort has already provided assistance to more than 100 children. 

Kokomo (Indiana) Rescue Mission’s Red Ribbon Christmas Outreach provides boxes of toys, gifts, food, and toiletries for families throughout the six-county area served by the mission.  The Kokomo mission is orchestrating volunteer drivers to deliver more than 1,000 Red Ribbon Boxes again this year. The delivery is scheduled for Saturday morning, December 19. 

The Crossroads Mission of Yuma, Arizona has spread its Christmas meals service to three days in 2014. From 11 am – 1 pm on December 23, 24 and 25, the mission will host Christmas celebrations, where it anticipates serving more than 1,000 meals each day. The Yuma mission has extended an invitation to those in need and community members for the meals, where volunteers provide the desserts. 

“It’s always fun to see how creativity blends with rescue mission tradition in so many holiday events,” Ashmen says. “Christmas offers a truly remarkable opportunity for our members to extend the radical hospitality of Jesus across the continent. Once again, we are grateful for people in the communities where our missions serve who so generously give of their time and resources to make our outreach possible.” 

Volunteer and donation opportunities through local AGRM-member rescue missions can be found at http://www.agrm.org/agrm/Locate_a_Mission.asp. 


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Now in its 102nd year, AGRM has nearly 300 rescue mission members across North America. AGRM members serve approximately 50 million meals, provide 25 million nights of shelter and housing, distribute 30 million pieces of clothing, bandage the wounds of hundreds of abuse victims, and graduate more than 20,000 homeless men and women from addiction recovery programs into productive living. 

Rescue missions have been providing hospitality to the poor in America since the 1870s. They are experts at providing effective care for men, women, and children who are hungry, homeless, abused, or addicted. 

AGRM is North America’s oldest and largest network of crisis shelters and rehabilitation centers, offering radical hospitality in the name of Jesus. For more information, please visit www.agrm.org.

Photo: nicandres via photopin cc


Rescue Missions Meet Needs During Christmas Season

Posted: 12/17/2014
Association of Gospel Rescue Missions reports variety of efforts to brighten holidays for homeless and hungry

Smoking in U.S. Hits an All-Time Low

Posted: 12/10/2014
Cigarette smoking has hit the lowest point ever among American adults, a new report finds. The percentage of U.S. adults who smoke cigarettes was 17.8 percent in 2013, a drop from 20.9 percent in 2005, and the lowest rate of smoking since researchers began tracking this figure in 1965, according to the report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Volunteers Give Thanks through Rescue Missions

Posted: 11/25/2014
Community support, involvement of volunteers are vital to reaching people in need. So this Thanksgiving, the Association of Gospel Rescue Missions (AGRM) is recognizing the importance of volunteers in the success of rescue missions across North America.

Report Details Rise of Child Homelessness in U.S.

Posted: 11/18/2014
The number of homeless children in the U.S. has surged to an all-time high, amounting to one child in every 30, according to a comprehensive state-by-state report that blames the nation’s high poverty rate, the lack of affordable housing, and the impacts of pervasive domestic violence.

Health Officials Urge Prevention

Posted: 10/15/2014
The arrival of Ebola in the U.S. is sparking some panic, although health officials say there is little cause for concern. Health officials say that the approach of flu season, along with the Ebola scare and the D68 virus sickening children across the country is causing a lot of concern because the symptoms can be similar. But common sense practices can help keep you well. Certainly, these measures can be adapted for the close quarters found in many rescue missions too.