Volume 11 Number 14 | July 17, 2017 | www.agrm.org  



This issue of Street Smart is sponsored by: 

Ashmen to Address Attendees at NAEH
AGRM President John Ashmen has been invited to bring an update on the work of rescue missions during this week’s National Alliance to End Homelessness (NAEH) conference in Washington, D.C. John will be speaking tomorrow during a plenary session. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Dr. Ben Carson is also on the program. John will also be spending time with NAEH President Nan Roman to talk about organizational collaboration in the future.


CEOs Invited to Gathering in Buffalo
Rescue mission executives, remember to register for AGRM’s CEO Summit, which will be held August 29–31 in Buffalo, New York. This is a unique opportunity for leaders to discuss key issues and examine trends and opportunities ahead for the ministries they shepherd. Register online now.

District Meetings Offer Staff Members Inspiration and Education
Registration also continues for AGRM’s fall district conferences. For many districts, you can catch a price break if you register by July 31. For information, click here and then select your district. These regional events offer great opportunities for networking and education, and missions are encouraged to consider what down-line staff could benefit from meeting their counterparts and others who serve at missions in their geographical area. An AGRM regional coordinator and/or an AGRM staff member will be at each district meeting to bring greetings and an update of what’s going on in the association.

Note to AGRM business members: Sponsorship and/or exhibit opportunities are available at many of AGRM’S district conferences. Visit our Events page, and click on the district where you are interested in showcasing your product or service.

Customizable Together CD Available for AGRM Members
Need music for a video or presentation your mission is doing? Or maybe you would like a whole CD that your mission can use for fundraisers or as donor gifts. The Together CD might be just what you need. This unique album features 11 songs. The CD packaging can be customized with your mission logo, and instrumental versions of the songs are available to use in marketing, promotional, and fundraising efforts. Learn more at www.agrm.org/together.

Rescue Missions Represented at Capitol Hill Panel on Charitable Giving
Late last month, AGRM President John Ashmen took part in U.S. House of Representatives panel discussion in Washington, D.C., that highlighted the importance of charitable giving for local communities and the sensitivity of such giving to potential changes in the tax code (see next paragraph). John provided a distinctly faith-based perspective on the event’s panel, explaining the presence of rescue missions and other religious ministries in local communities, and highlighting how a drop in giving could have a significant effect on how many people such groups can serve. Others on the panel were representatives of the United Way and the League of American Orchestras.

With the tax reform plan, as it now stands, the number of Americans who itemize could be reduced from 33 percent to 5 percent. A new research project out of Indiana University (funded by Lilly Endowment) shows that without the incentive for charitable contributions found in the current tax codes, Americans will likely give $13.1 billion less per year (every year). And faith-based giving (to churches and rescue missions and other ministries) will suffer just as much as giving to the arts and sciences. While that is roughly a 5 percent decrease in giving, it could have a significant effect on ministries that operate on break-even budgets. AGRM is seeking to get a universal deduction for all taxpayers.

Looking Down the Street…

  • On Tuesday, July 11, George Simonka, who served as executive director of Salem Union Gospel Mission (Salem, Oregon) from 1952–1989, passed away after a brief illness. You may read a full obituary here.

  • Larry Arce has been named acting CEO at Mission Solano (Fairfield, California). Larry, a member of the Mission Solano board, was previously CEO at Fresno Rescue Mission, Inc. (Fresno, California). A full-time CEO is being sought for Mission Solano; founder and executive director Ron Marlette has retired after nearly 20 years of service.

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AGRM Member Benefit: Discounted Planned Giving Services
An estimated $60 trillion will be passed down from older generations to families and charities over the next 45 years. That’s why AGRM partners with The Orchard Foundation to offer quality planned giving services at substantial discounts exclusively for AGRM member missions.

The Orchard Foundation offers software platforms to support your mission’s philanthropic constituency and to make planned giving seamless. The organization also provides training in gift acceptance and processing, along with marketing tools to jumpstart your planned giving efforts.

To learn more, visit www.agrm.org/agrm/Planned_Giving.asp or contact Joseph Padilla, The Orchard Foundation's vice president of development and ministry services, at (719) 268-7214 or padillaj@theorchard.org.

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ECFA Warns GuideStar on 'Hate' Labels
The Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) this week admonished GuideStar, the widely used charity tracker, for its temporarily halted decision to attach “hate group” labels to organizations so designated by the controversial Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). According to a report from NRB, ECFA President Dan Busby wrote a letter to GuideStar stating, “The practice by GuideStar of labeling any 501(c)(3) organization as a ‘hate group’ undermines GuideStar’s credibility among nonprofit leaders as a neutral, objective source of information about the nonprofit sector.”

While GuideStar removed the hate tags after objections from a number of those smeared and their allies, the charity information aggregator indicated it was doing so “for the time being” as it re-evaluated the situation. GuideStar also said it will provide SPLC’s designations to those who ask for them.

ECFA’s letter reminded GuideStar that nonprofits and donors rely on it “precisely because of its neutral and objective approach to providing information.” Noting that labeling “hate groups” is subjective, Busby added, “We believe it would be very damaging to the public service reputation of GuideStar for it to be viewed as just another advocacy organization.”

Girl Scout Troop Gives Homeless Girls Pride and Leadership
A Girl Scout troop established in February at a homeless shelter in Queens will expand to 14 additional shelters throughout New York City and is expected to serve about 500 girls, The New York Times reports.

Five members of Troop 6000 announced the expansion themselves during a news conference at City Hall on Wednesday. The girls take pride in wearing the uniforms, in earning badges, and in being pioneers of their troop. One girl, who was a scout before becoming homeless, said Troop 6000 taught her what it means to be a sister to every Girl Scout and how to emotionally support others.

Troop 6000’s 27 members live with their families in a budget hotel that was converted into shelter space in Long Island City. The members’ stories have resonated with city officials and donors worldwide, and the publicity has brought more attention to the city’s homeless children, who make up nearly 40 percent of the shelter system in New York.

Refugees Find Shelter From Airbnb Hosts
Airbnb is aiming to help temporarily house 100,000 refugees over the next five years via a new site called Open Homes that lets anyone sign up to volunteer their space as a temporary landing place for refugees, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The website is partnered with resettlement agencies so case managers can log on, see what housing is available, and book it.

The idea came from Airbnb’s host community. Now Airbnb is expanding their program in response to the global refugee crisis of 65 million displaced people worldwide. Some 6,000 hosts globally have volunteered—about a third of them in the U.S.—but it’s only a small percentage of Airbnb’s 3 million-plus hosts worldwide, and includes some who joined just to host refugees.

The International Rescue Committee, which helps resettle more than 10,000 families a year in the United States, is working with Airbnb on the program. Airbnb does not charge a fee on the free transactions; it otherwise gets about a 12 percent cut of paid rentals. But the hosts make a much bigger donation by foregoing income they’d otherwise get from travelers.


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NAEH Critiques House Committee’s Proposed Spending Bill
Last week, the House Appropriations Committee released the draft of its spending bill for fiscal year 2018. As the appropriations process continues, details will be revised. But the National Alliance to End Homelessness reports that the following are among the things to note, from their perspective, regarding government programs that focus on Americans with the lowest incomes:

Proposed spending for homeless assistance is level, which allows for programs to maintain capacity, but falls further behind the actual need. Homeless assistance would be funded at $2.383 billion, the same as in fiscal year 2017. The two moderate-sized set-asides for specific purposes in 2017, however, are not in this bill, which means there would be money to pay for increased market rents, and to help the same number of people. However, the number of people who become homeless has been going up by about 40,000 each year, so NAEH notes that this funding would mean more people who are homeless and can’t get help.

Nominal increases for Section 8 don’t keep up with rent increases, so fewer people will get housed. The amount the House bill includes for renewals of existing vouchers in the Tenant Based Rental Assistance account is an increase over fiscal year 2017. The increase, however, is too small to keep up with rising rents, and preliminary estimates from outside groups indicate that about 140,000 fewer households will receive assistance. 

Public housing continues to be funded below maintenance level. One national organization of public housing officials estimates that 10,000 units of public housing are going offline each year because of underfunded maintenance, repairs, and upgrades. According to NAEH, the House bill could exacerbate this situation by reducing public housing capital spending.

Canada’s Cancer Rates Increase as Population Ages
Almost one in every two Canadians is expected to be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime and one in four Canadians will die from the disease, predicts a new report by the Canadian Cancer Society, and reported on Yahoo News. In 2017, an estimated 206,200 Canadians will be diagnosed with some form of cancer and an estimated 80,800 will succumb to their malignancy—making cancer the leading cause of death in Canada.

The number of cancer cases in Canada is increasing, which is a reflection of the larger aging population. Because of that, officials expect to see a dramatic increase in the number of cancers diagnosed in Canada over the next 15 or so years. About 90 percent of all cancers that are expected to be diagnosed in 2017 will be among Canadians 50 years of age and older, and about 45 percent of those cases will occur in people age 70 and older.

Despite the projection that cancer will cause the deaths of one in four Canadians, cancer mortality rates have been declining since their peak in 1988. Over the last three decades, deaths due to cancer have fallen by more than 30 percent among males and by about 17 percent among females. Survival rates for some cancers have improved dramatically. Overall, 60 percent of Canadians diagnosed and treated for cancer will survive five years or longer.

Life Purpose Leads to Better Sleep
According to a new study, the best way to get a good night’s sleep may be to simply have a solid sense of purpose in your life. The study, conducted by Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, found that people who felt their lives had purpose experienced better sleep quality than those who didn't, Newsweek reports. They were also 63 percent less likely to suffer from sleep apnea, and 52 percent less likely to suffer from restless leg syndrome. 

To conduct the study, researchers gathered 825 people between the ages of 60 and 100. Participants were given surveys on their purpose in life and their sleep. The average age of the participants, 79, was intentionally high because people have more trouble sleeping as they get older (almost 40 percent of older adults suffer from a sleeping disorder). Trouble sleeping is also more common among African Americans, which made up more than half of the pool of participants. 

Through establishing a link between purpose in life and sleep quality, the study points to more psychological treatments that can be used to curb issues such as sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome, instead of relying on prescription pills to get quality sleep.

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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

Assistant Director - Ventura County Rescue Mission: Ventura County Rescue Mission, Oxnard, CA

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

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

Chief Executive Officer: Union Gospel Mission of Salem, Salem, OR

Christian Life Recovery Program Supervisor, F/T: Open Door Mission, Rochester, NY

Christian Life Recovery Program Supervisor, P/T: Open Door Mission, Rochester, NY

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

Detail Supervisor Technician: Union Gospel Mission (Spokane)

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

Development Director: Open Door Mission, Glens Falls, NY

Development Director: Home of Grace, Vancleave, MS

Development Officer: Good News Rescue Mission, Redding, CA

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

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

Director of Finance: Jimmie Hale Mission, Birmingham, AL

Donor Relations Coordinator: Jimmie Hale Mission, Birmingham, AL

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

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

Facilities Maintenance Associate: The Bowery Mission, New York, NY

Facilities Manager: The Bowery Mission, New York, NY

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

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

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

Hearten House Director: Hearten House Gospel Rescue Mission, Auburn, IN

Kitchen Manager: Bread of Life Mission, Holbrook, AZ

Lead Cook: Open Door Mission, Glens Falls, NY

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

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

Vice President of Finance & Administration: Milwaukee Rescue Mission, Milwaukee, WI

VP of Advancement :Water Street Ministries, Lancaster, PA

VP of Women and Family Programs: Los Angeles Mission, Los Angeles, CA

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

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God’s Kindness Leads to Repentance

Do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance? (Romans 2:4).

Unfortunately, most of us know parents who want to be their children’s best friends. They let their kids get away with everything or give them whatever they want, and observing that might even make us mad. We look at the child and call him or her “spoiled.” We might say, “He sure will be in for a shock when he gets into the real world,” or even that “the child should be more grateful and learn that when he does wrong he won’t be rewarded.” The parent’s kindness toward the child isn’t helping him at all. On the outside it might look like kindness, but in actuality, it is hurting the child. 

Many in the world expect God to act like this parent we all question. They look at the hurt in the world or catastrophic events and ask, “Where is God?” They hold the belief that this God cannot truly be a loving God when these devastating events occur. Yet, when good things happen—when there’s money in the bank and food on the table—there is no change in their lives, no repentance. They continue to live in sin.

Romans tells us that God’s kindness toward us should lead us to repentance, not continual sin. When we truly understand how the God who made the world gives every good gift to us, then we will desire to live a life that is pleasing to him. 

Examine yourself in this light. In good times and bad, repent of your sin and delight in the riches of God’s kindness.

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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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.

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