Volume 5, Number 15 • August 1, 2011 • www.agrm.org        



Webinar explores Invisible Neighbors curriculum

Join AGRM President and author of Invisible Neighbors on Thursday, August 11, at noon (Mountain Time) for an informative 60-minute webinar as he takes you through this ministry-catalyzing curriculum. You’ll learn about the curriculum features and components, and how your mission can customize them to fit your ministry. If you haven’t done so yet, go to the Invisible Neighbors website and order a preview kit, see the curriculum packages, read excerpts, and watch the Invisible Neighbors promotional video. The webinar is free for AGRM members and $20 for non-members. When you register for the live webinar, you’ll receive an email with a toll-free number, access codes, and a link to the online presentation. All you need to participate is a phone and a computer with an Internet connection. If you’re not familiar with how a webinar works, you can log in 20 minutes early (at 11:40 a.m. Mountain Time) for an overview and tutorial.

Ashmen visits missions this week

AGRM President John Ashmen is traveling through the eastern part of the U.S. this week visiting member missions and meeting with executve directors and other mission staff. Today, John spent time with Tom Laymon, president/CEO of Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission Inc. (Wilmington, Del.). Tomorrow, he is visiting Jere Shertzer, president/CEO of Water Street Ministries (Lancaster, Pa.); Paul Gorog, executive director of York Union Rescue Mission (York, Pa.), and Bob Gehman, executive director of Helping Up Mission (Baltimore, Md.). John notes, “It’s always great to see firsthand the incredible work taking place at AGRM missions.”

Important reminders…

Participate in the 2011 AGRM Compensation Survey
You still have time to complete the 2011 AGRM Compensation Survey. All survey participants will receive a copy of the survey results for free (normally $149). Don’t miss this opportunity to contribute to this valuable resource by completing the survey online with your mission’s data. Please complete the survey as soon as possible! If you need more than one week to complete the survey, please contact AGRM’s Data and Distribution Manager, Amy Chen.

CEO Summit just around the corner
Many rescue mission presidents/executive directors are all set to travel to Colorado Springs August 23–25 for AGRM’s CEO Summit. Outside consultants Brad Smith from Bakke Graduate Institute, Larry Johnston from McConkey-Johnston, and Jerry White from The Navigators will speak into our contemplations and discussions. Click here for a complete schedule and description of the event. If you are a rescue mission CEO/president and you haven’t registered yet, please register online.

Looking down the street…
  • A fire destroyed two of three buildings that make up the Lighthouse Apartments, the transitional housing facility at Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission (Seattle, Wash.) on Sunday, July 24. President Jeff Lilley reports that everyone was able to get out, but two people were sent to the hospital with minor injuries. You can watch a local newscast’s report on the fire, and you can also read additional details on the mission’s website.

  • World Magazine continues to feature AGRM member missions in a big way! The previous issue of Street Smart noted that Victory Trade School, the hospitality trade school operated by Springfield Victory Mission (Springfield, Mo.), was named the magazine’s Midwest Compassion regional winner, one of four regional winners that will face off to be named the national winner of the award. In the latest issue of World, the Bowery Women’s Center, operated by The Bowery Mission (New York, N.Y.) has been named the award’s East Compassion regional winner. That means two of the four finalists are AGRM mission members! You can vote for your favorite here.

  • Andy Bales, CEO of Union Rescue Mission (Los Angeles, Calif.) is featured in a six-segment cable TV and online video series titled “County of Los Angeles Versus the Union Rescue Mission: Souls or Housing.” You can view the eight-minute video segments at the Full Disclosure Network website.

  • Jay Cory, who has served Atlanta Mission (Atlanta, Ga.) for 16 years in various capacities—including most recently as executive vice president—has been named president/CEO of Phoenix Rescue Mission (Phoenix, Ariz.) and will begin his new duties in September.

  • Bill Roscoe, executive director of Boise Rescue Mission (Boise, Idaho) received the Faith, Family, and Freedom Award, which is given annually by the God and Country Rally festival. The award, given to a notable member of the community, was given to Roscoe in recognition of his lifetime of service.

  • AGRM business member Career Cross Training and owner Angie Braio West have a new telephone number: (719) 201-6392. This new contact information serves as a good reminder that you can find a listing of all AGRM business members—including contact information, website addresses, company descriptions, and more—in AGRM’s online Business Directory.
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Campus Crusade drops ‘Christ’ from name

Campus Crusade for Christ International has announced that it will change the name of its U.S. operations to “Cru” early next year. According to a Fox News report, the ministry’s research found that 9 percent of Christians and 20 percent of non-Christians were alienated by the current name. In spite of the name change, the ministry will still be committed to “proclaiming Christ around the world.”

IRS adjusts standard mileage rates

The IRS increased the optional standard mileage rates for the final six months of 2011, according to a June 23 report by the IRS. According to an ECFA report, the standard rate will increase to 55.5 cents a mile for all business miles driven from July 1, 2011, through Dec. 31, 2011. This is an increase of 4.5 cents from the 51-cent rate in effect for the first six months of 2011. The rate for providing services for charitable organizations is set by statute, not the IRS, and remains at 14 cents a mile. The IRS made the adjustment for the second half of 2011 in response to increasing prices at the pump; it normally updates the mileage rates once a year in the fall for the next calendar year. The optional business standard mileage rate is used to compute the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business use in lieu of tracking actual costs. This rate is also used as a benchmark by the federal government and many businesses to reimburse their employees for mileage. Taxpayers always have the option of calculating the actual costs of using their vehicle rather than using the standard mileage rates.

President Obama defends religious hiring

At a town hall meeting held July 22, a prominent atheist activist urged President Obama to reverse a policy that allows some federal grant recipients to consider a candidate's religion in their hiring practices. According to a CBS News report, Amanda Knief, a lobbyist for the Secular Coalition for America, complained that the President has "not rescinded the executive order that permits this type of discrimination." Obama said the question was a "tricky" one, telling Knief his administration has struck the right balance between freedom of religion and separation of church and state. "It doesn't satisfy everybody," he noted. "I will tell you that a lot of faith-based organizations think we are too restrictive in how we define those issues. There are others, like you obviously, that think we are not restrictive enough. I think we've struck the right balance so far, but this is something we continue to be in dialogue with faith based organizations about to try to make sure that their hiring practices are as open and as inclusive as possible."   

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Recent war veterans face increased risk of homelessness

More than 10,000 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans are homeless or in programs aimed at keeping them off the streets, a number that has doubled three times since 2006, according to figures released by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). According to a USA Today report, the rise comes at a time when the total number of homeless veterans has declined from a peak of about 400,000 in 2004 to 135,000 today. The VA blames the increase on a poor economy and the nature of the current wars, where a limited number of troops serve multiple deployments. The result is a group of homeless veterans where 70 percent have a history of combat exposure with its psychological effects. Among all homeless veterans, perhaps 20 percent to 33 percent were in combat. As of May, 10,476 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans living on the streets, in temporary housing, or receiving federal vouchers to help pay rent for an apartment; about 13 percent are women. The VA and the Department of Housing and Urban Development are spending $46.2 million to expand the voucher program, and the VA is has announced that nearly $60 million will fund a program of grants to veterans with families who are homeless or at risk of losing their homes. According to the VA, more than 2,400 nonprofit organizations across the country now have homeless veteran programs.

Charitable giving by corporations recovers slowly

Charitable giving by America’s biggest companies will probably be flat in 2011, after a sharp rebound in 2010, according to a survey of 180 businesses conducted by The Chronicle of Philanthropy. While cash giving rose by 13 percent in 2010—a relief to charities after the recession caused a decline of 7.5 percent by companies in 2009— big companies expect a flat year ahead. Seventy-four of the 107 companies from the Fortune 500 that provided projections said they expect this year’s giving to remain about the same as last year’s; 27 expect total giving to increase, while six expect a decrease. Among the survey’s other findings: Cash donations totaled $4.9 billion last year, up from $4.3 billion in 2009, according to figures provided by 113 companies; Wal-Mart’s $319.5 million in cash giving was higher than all other companies in the survey; when ranking companies by the combined total of their cash and products, Pfizer topped the list by giving $3 billion in cash and products; 58 companies increased their overseas giving by 20 percent last year, donating $3.8 billion, compared with $3 billion in 2009.

More grandparents serve as parents

Although it's a family dynamic filled with complexities, more grandparents than ever are finding themselves in the throes of parenthood yet again. According to a USA Today report, census data released recently found that 3.1 million children in the U.S. are living without a parent present in the household. Of those, 59 percent live with grandparents. Many grandparents step in when parents are out of the picture due to substance abuse, physical or mental illness, financial problems, incarceration, death, and more recently, military deployment, and the recession. An analysis by the Pew Research Center found that grandparents who are primary caregivers of grandchildren are relatively young: 67 percent are under 60 and 13 percent are under 45.

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Little girl with a big heart

Charlotte, an eight-year-old girl in Houston, was troubled by seeing the same homeless man on the streets day after day—caring for his dogs without anyone to take care of him. So she decided to do something about it. On National Lemonade Day, Charlotte opened up Sharkie’s Lemonade Stand and went into business—not just to make a profit, but to help change a life. Throughout the day she sold her homemade lemonade to passersby, and then gave all the money to charity—a total of $65 to Star of Hope (Houston, Tex.) to help feed the homeless. Charlotte said, “I wanted to do this because I see people that stand on the street and I wanted to help…help them have a better life.” Her donation of $65 will feed one person for two weeks at the mission.           

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Washington, Pennsylvania: Director of Programs—Washington City Mission seeks an experienced leader to serve as a member of the Executive Leadership Team and oversee its men’s and women’s programs. Successful candidate will have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, an exemplary character, and a proven ability to lead a team in diverse yet related services to the homeless and hurting. Responsible for directing and managing program staff, including resident staff support personnel, medical clinic, case management, and counseling personnel. Requires excellent management, organizational, and staff development skills. The qualified candidate will have a bachelor’s degree in ministry, psychology, or other related field plus five or more years’ leadership experience in a faith-based social-services ministry. To submit a résumé and for more information, email Dean Gartland. Added 7/1/2011

To advertise in future Market Street Classifieds:
Members of AGRM can place a 30-word classified ad listing available positions in two consecutive issues of Street Smart at no charge; additional words will be charged at 50 cents per word. Non-members can place an ad for $25 per issue for a 30-word ad; additional words will be charged at 50 cents per word. AGRM members can renew ads after the second placement at $15 per issue for a 30-word ad. Ads are also placed on the AGRM website. Members can also sponsor Street Smart for $350 per issue. Email desired ad placement to Brad Lewis (subject line: Street Smart advertising). Ads are subject to editing to conform to Street Smart style, and AGRM reserves the right to reject any ads or sponsorships it deems inappropriate for members. All ads are due one week before issue date.

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Storms give way to hope

Hasn’t this been a year for storms? Even though I don’t care for gloomy days, I do look forward to how everything seems to come alive again after a summer storm. The sun shines a little brighter. The flowers seem more vibrant. The bird’s song is more melodious. And yes, the grass is even greener.

It’s no different in our own lives or among the people we serve at our missions. The storms come. We all experience hard circumstances that we find difficult and discouraging. Yet those same storms can stretch and mature us. The truth is, how could we understand the rich blessings of life unless we’d known the darkness and despair? How could we accept God’s love and the care of others unless we’d experienced brokenness and hopelessness?

There is hope after the storms: “For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6, NKJV).

Contributed by Sherry Pitney, executive director of Rockford Rescue Mission (Rockford, Ill.). Reprinted with permission from The Rescuer newsletter.

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

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Is something unique and exciting going on at your mission? Share your news with fellow AGRM members by emailing items for "Our Street" to Brad Lewis
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.  
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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. 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.             

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