Volume 11 Number 12 | June 15, 2017 | www.agrm.org  



This issue of Street Smart is sponsored by: 

Annual Convention Brings Rave Reviews
A capacity crowd was on hand to experience AGRM’s big event in Dallas, May 31–June 3. In fact, the Exhibit Hall was the largest in our history. Moreover, the notes of appreciation for the general sessions, seminars, and themed activities (including live animals in the Exhibit Corral and a crazy Challenge of the Districts event!) have been numerous, enthusiastic, and heartfelt. Here is a small glimpse of what went on.


Ashmen Announces Interesting Rebranding/Refocusing Opportunity
AGRM President John Ashmen used the Thursday night general session at AGRM’s Annual Convention to talk to those in attendance about a plan to tie long-overdue association rebranding to the possibility of expanding the association and the association’s influence. An underlying goal is to bring about greater collaboration on the part of faith-based organizations to respond to the plethora of needs of hungry, homeless, abused, and addicted people in North America. The presentation was met with quite a positive buzz; there were many comments of affirmation and encouragement. 

For those who were not at the convention, details from John’s presentation will be available soon in a document that will go to all members. That will be followed by a webinar to provide even more information. Watch for an announcement. 

Also at the convention, AGRM Board Chair Jim Reese, from Atlanta Mission (Atlanta, Georgia), presented John with an engraved glass plaque as a symbol of appreciation for his 10 years of service to AGRM. 

AGRM Invited to Small-Group Meeting with Secretary Price
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tom Price has shown that he is committed to doing everything within his department’s power to combat the country’s opioid epidemic. You might have seen that he has recently visited five states to hold roundtable talks with people whose lives have been affected by opioids, and with those working to turn the tide on this crisis. 

AGRM President John Ashmen has been invited to a meeting in Washington, D.C., early next week for an exchange of information. Here is the core of what will be discussed with the Secretary and the representatives of the five or six organizations present at the meeting: 

  • What initiatives and work does your organization and members have underway to address the epidemic?
  • What would you would identify as the biggest barriers or challenges in fighting this epidemic?
  • What steps would you recommend for HHS to consider that fall within the Department’s administrative authority?
  • What do you see as the keys to success in turning the tide on the epidemic?

If your mission is heavy involved in opioid addiction recovery and you would like to weigh in on this issue, John would love to hear from you by this weekend. He desires to take as many member perspectives as possible to the table. Please look at the bullet points above and respond ASAP with an email to John at jashmen@agrm.org.

Host a Red-Carpet Advance Screening of Same Kind of Different as Me
Pure Flix is working to reach a goal of 200 AGRM member missions hosting red-carpet advance screenings of the movie Same Kind of Different as Me on October 18, two days before the national release of the movie on October 20.

For information, please visit www.pureflixevents.com.

Digital Memberships Means Double Your Member Seats
Effective immediately, your available mission member seats have doubled with the introduction of “digital memberships.” Digital memberships give twice as many people in each mission access to website resources, AGRM Connect Groups, and electronic newsletters. 

Executive directors, billing contacts, and profile managers can log in at www.agrm.org, click on My Organization Profile, and click the green Members button to review your list of members. You will be able to add additional digital members and select up to half of them for “full member” status. (Full members also receive Rescue magazine and association voting privileges.) Your mission’s existing members have already been converted to the new digital/new member format, so please be sure to log in and verify that your members are correct. 

If you need further information or assistance, please contact Director of Operations Stacie Hughes at shughes@agrm.org or Data and Member Support Manager Marcy Sandoval at msandoval@agrm.org.

Registration Open for AGRM’s District Conferences
Registration is now open for AGRM’s fall district conferences. Each of AGRM’s nine districts will hold conferences in September and October, and AGRM’s regional coordinators and/or an AGRM staff member will be at each meeting to bring greetings and an update of what’s going on in the association.

To register for these grassroots conferences, visit www.agrm.org>Events and click on your district’s link. Check these out right away, as many have early-bird registration deadlines of July 31. 

Note to business members: Sponsorship/exhibitor information for district conferences will be available in July.

Convention Lost and Found
Please claim your lost items from the convention! We have a beige women’s blouse, a red-rimmed pair of eyeglasses, and an Ibanez acoustic electric bass. Contact Director of Operations Stacie Hughes at shughes@agrm.org if one of these items belongs to you.

Looking Down the Street…

  • Please welcome into AGRM membership Love-A-Child Missions (Bay Point, California). Jerome Knott serves as executive director. 

  • Don Evans has been named executive director of Union Gospel Mission of Missoula (Missoula, Montana).

  • Bill Roscoe, president/CEO of Boise Rescue Mission (Boise, Idaho) was the recipient of the 2017 Social Responsibility Award given by the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce. Congratulations! 

  • Please keep the family and friends of Dr. Robert (Bob) Rich, executive director emeritus of Central Union Mission (Washington, D.C.) in your prayers. Bob passed away May 29.

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AGRM Member Benefit: Mission Directory

AGRM provides a public connection point to your mission. The AGRM website is well traveled by people searching for information about gospel rescue missions. Visitors to the AGRM website can simply click the “Find a Mission” link at the bottom of every page to be taken to the most comprehensive search engine available for gospel rescue missions. They can search for mission members by name or by location using the basic search function, or they can use the “Advanced Search” function to also search by services.

To see this tool for yourself, go to www.agrm.org/locate

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VA Says Zero Homeless Veterans Not ‘the Right Goal’ 
The Veterans Affairs administration is backing off the department’s seven-year-old target of reaching zero homeless veterans across America, but insists they aren’t giving up, reports Military Times. VA Secretary David Shulkin said he no longer sees zero as “the right goal” for his department’s efforts, and is now focused on cutting the current number of homeless veterans down from about 40,000 to somewhere below 15,000. 

Federal officials have certified 52 metropolitan areas and three states—Virginia, Delaware, and Connecticut—as essentially ending homelessness among veterans by providing adequate shelter and rapid response programs for every impoverished individual. But problem areas still remain. Nearly a quarter of all the homeless veterans in America are in California, and about another 25 percent are in six other states: Texas, Florida, New York, Colorado, Washington, and Oregon. He said targeting those regions will be a priority in the coming years, as officials look for ways to help hard-to-reach populations. 

“There is going to be a functional zero, essentially somewhere around 12,000 to 15,000, that despite being offered options for housing and getting them off the street, there are a number of reasons why people may not choose to do that. We do have to respect the wishes of people who are adults and able to make their own decisions,” Shulkin says.

“This is going to be a continued commitment,” he adds. “The issue of homelessness isn’t solved when you put a person into a home. It’s a constant, vigilant battle to make sure you maintain the conditions for them to maintain housing permanently.”

Journalist Stylebook Adopts New Language Surrounding Addiction
The Associated Press recently took a major stance on language usage, referring to addiction as a medical problem, not a moral one, reports undark.org. The new edition of its widely used AP Stylebook declares that addict should no longer be used as a noun. “Instead,” it says, “choose phrasing like he was addicted, people with heroin addiction, or he used drugs.” In short, separate the person from the disease. 

This “person first” language has become common for people with other diseases, disorders, and situations—including changing references to “the homeless” into phrases such as “homeless people.”

“We noticed that there was a hole in our guidance on addiction,” says Jeff McMillan, an AP enterprise editor who was the lead author of the new section. He adds, “As we began talking to experts, we learned that the language that was traditionally used is changing, and we thought it would be good to give people a vocabulary.”

The stylebook also directs its users to “avoid words like abuse or problem in favor of the word use with an appropriate modifier such as risky, unhealthy, excessive, or heavy. Misuse is also acceptable.” Notably, it adds that not all risky use involves addiction.

The AP provides news to around 15,000 media organizations and businesses, and its stylebook is highly influential in setting standards for usage. Not just a matter of style, these changes aren’t about semantics or political correctness. Adopting more accurate terms by institutions such as The New York Times and CBS News could improve drug treatment and policy. 

High School Club Gives Solar Power to Needy 
In Washington state’s Interlake High School, geometry teacher Walt Hickey is showing students how to design, wire, and build solar panels. One of his students, Youri Babakoff, 16, is the co-founder of the club Community Impact Activists. Inspired by Hickey’s work in Mexico—where he has been installing solar panels for families there for the last 15 years—20 high school students formed the club to help families in their own community. “We come from an area that's really lucky and have a lot of opportunities that a lot of people don't have, and I find that just small actions make a big impact on the world,” Babakoff said in an interview with King 5 News.

Hickey’s nonprofit Camino Maestro donates the parts to students. Each solar panel costs about $115 to build and $10 to ship via Amtrak. However, Babakoff says he is now creating a student-run nonprofit group to build more panels for families in need in the Seattle area. The solar panels are used to power tiny house villages in several Seattle neighborhoods. Hickey says the solar panels come with USB charging ports so tiny house residents can charge their phones for job interviews, to arrange transportation, and to get in touch with family.


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NYC Poverty Rates Equal Total Populations of Other Major Cities
More New Yorkers live in poverty than the total number of people living in Philadelphia or Phoenix, according to a new report released by the NYU Furman Center, the Gothamist reports.  The Focus on Poverty study looked at data pertaining to NYC’s most impoverished areas from 2011 to 2015, and found that out of a total of 8.5 million residents, nearly 1.7 million New Yorkers live in poverty. And the number of impoverished New Yorkers exceeds the population of Philadelphia (an estimated 1.5 million in 2016) and Phoenix (1.6 million), estimated to be the fifth and sixth most populous cities in the nation in 2016.

The study also found that in 20 percent of NYC’s neighborhoods, at least one-third of the households are poor, and the concentration of poverty has worsened since 2010. The study also found that the poverty rate is becoming more concentrated in an increasing number of neighborhoods, while lessening in a smaller percentage of other neighborhoods.

This high concentration of poverty is troubling for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that neighborhoods with more poor residents have more violent crime, worse schools, fewer adults with college degrees, and higher unemployment rates than areas with lower concentrations of poverty. Only a quarter or less of fourth grade students in high and extreme poverty neighborhoods performed at grade level in math in 2014.

More than half of the Bronx's neighborhoods are high or extreme poverty areas. Fewer than 4 percent of Queens’ neighborhoods are high or extreme poverty areas. Meanwhile, eight out of the country’s 10 most expensive areas to rent an apartment are in Manhattan. 

Early Alcohol Consumption Raises Diabetes Risk in Women
Regular high alcohol consumption and binge drinking from age 16 is associated with higher glucose concentrations in women's blood—an important risk factor for type 2 diabetes—later in life, reports Science Daily. This study—completed at Sweden’s Umea University, is the first to assess alcohol consumption data, starting in adolescence, in relation to blood glucose levels taken when the women were 43 years of age.

In women, total alcohol consumption and binge drinking behavior throughout the 27 year period was significantly associated with higher blood glucose levels independent of BMI, hypertension, and smoking status at age 43. This association was not true for men, for whom only BMI and hypertension remained associated with increased blood glucose levels.

The study’s lead author said, "Our findings show that high alcohol consumption from ages 16 to 43 is associated with higher blood glucose levels in women but not in men. Because higher blood glucose is a risk factor for the development of type 2 diabetes, our data suggest that informing people about the risk of high alcohol consumption at a young age could have positive health impacts further down the line."

The study shows an association between alcohol consumption and higher blood glucose but cannot show cause and effect. The data is limited by the fact that information on alcohol consumption comes from self-reported questionnaires and could be subject to bias. However, the long-term nature of the study, which includes multiple follow-ups, offers a unique insight into the drinking behaviors of people throughout their life.

Low-Income Adults with Disabilities Face High Food Insecurity
According to a report just released by the Greater Chicago Food Depository, low-income adults with disabilities face many obstacles to acquiring adequate nutrition. Food insecurity is disproportionately high among adults with disabilities in Cook County, especially among working-age adults. Based on 2015 U.S. Census Current Population Survey data, an estimated 31 percent of households with a working-age member with a disability in the Chicago metro area are food insecure, compared to 8 percent of households with a working-age adult with no disabilities. In addition, food-insecure adults with disabilities are also more likely to experience higher levels of very low food security, the most severe category of lack of access. These data are on par with national level figures.

Low-income adults with disabilities face many obstacles in getting healthy diets, and current supports are not sufficient to provide for adequate nutrition. Barriers include inadequate financial resources to cover the full cost of living, lack of affordable and accessible transportation to get groceries home, difficulty accessing food assistance programs, difficulty obtaining food appropriate for special diets required by their medical conditions, and more. 

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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.

Advanced Relations Officer (Major Donor Rep): City Gospel Mission, Cincinnati, OH

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

Case Manager: Panama City Rescue Mission, Panama City, FL

Case Manager - Men's Center: Everett Gospel Mission, Everett, WA

Community Life Associate: The Bowery Mission, New York, NY

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

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

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

Development Director: Modesto Gospel Mission, Modesto, CA

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 & Community Relations: Good News Rescue Mission, Redding, CA

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

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

Executive Director: Career Cross Training for Open Door Mission, Rochester, NY

Faith Community Nurse - Guest Services: Good News Rescue Mission, Redding, CA

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

Guest Services Assistant - Women's Shelter: Good News Rescue Mission, Redding, CA

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

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

Night Supervisor: Bread of Life Mission, Holbrook, AZ

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

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

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

Social Worker: The Bowery Mission, New York, NY

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

VP Development: San Diego Rescue Mission, San Diego, CA

VP of Advancement :Water Street Ministries, Lancaster, PA

VP Programs: San Diego Rescue Mission, San Diego, CA

Women's New Life Recovery Program Case Manager: Good News Rescue Mission, Redding, CA


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“These things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did” (1 Corinthians 10:6).

As we read the Bible, we can often imagine it as a far off place and culture that has nothing to do with us. We might imagine the people in the Bible having no idea of the struggles or sins we deal with today. The Bible might be used just as a tool to encourage and inspire you instead of bringing you to repentance. We can miss so much in our walk with Jesus by just focusing on the righteousness instead of realizing the sinfulness that is also represented in the Bible.

Our minds can take us to places we would otherwise be unable to physically go. Here, Paul is describing one of the benefits our intellect affords us. This means that as we read the Old Testament, and even sections of the New Testament, we can see the outcome of sinful living. In fact, in the verses following, Paul lists examples of what happens when people desire evil and habitually pursue it.

When you read the Bible then, do so with an engaged mind, realizing that God has included true accounts of evil thinking, acting, and living. Because Scripture has honestly recorded both righteous and unrighteous living we can clearly see the effect of living contrary to God’s Word. These true life events haven’t been recorded in the Bible to make you feel as though you would never fall into a certain sin, but to warn you of the contrary.

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

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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, 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.