Volume 11 Number 17 | September 1, 2017 | www.agrm.org  



This issue of Street Smart is sponsored by: 


Buffalo Hosts AGRM’s CEO Summit
Leaders from large and small rescue missions across North America joined together at the Embassy Suites in downtown Buffalo, New York, earlier this week for AGRM’s 2017 CEO Summit. Many voiced that the honest dialogue made this the best summit they could remember. Participants, via an anonymous survey, listed their most pressing issues and the concerns that “keep them up at night.” (If you are a CEO who didn’t attend, you can still get the results of this survey by contacting Lisa Miller at lmiller@agrm.org.) Speakers and facilitators included Andrew Timbie of World Relief, Bill Anderson of Bill Anderson Leadership, AGRM attorney Jonathan Ruybalid, plus AGRM President John Ashmen. The group also enjoyed devotionals presented by two different chaplains from Buffalo City Mission (Buffalo, New York). 

Fellowship and connection were a big part of the event, especially Wednesday afternoon when the group took a voyage on the “Maid of the Mist” for a close-up, bottom-up look at Niagara Falls. That was followed by a driving tour of Niagara Falls and a look at Niagara Gospel Rescue Mission (Niagara Falls, New York). The event ended with a wing party with Buffalo Wings from Anchor, the originator of the delicacy, compliments of Buffalo City Mission. 

If you are a mission CEO and you missed this event, mark your calendars right now for the 2018 CEO Summit, which will take place August 28–30.

AGRM Continues to Provide Updates in Harvey’s Aftermath
AGRM member missions in the Houston area are hanging in there following the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, which dumped up to 50 inches of rain in just a few days in the city. Visit www.agrm.org/harvey for information (scroll to the bottom of the page and find the heading “News from AGRM Member Missions” for their most recent updates).

If you want to help a specific mission in the path of Harvey, go to www.agrm.org/locate and search for the mission you want to assist. Many mission member profiles include both a donation link and a volunteer link. As the remnants of Harvey continue to dump rain on a path that could include parts of Louisiana, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Ohio, we urge any member missions along that path to provide updates as well so fellow members can be supporting them in prayer. Submit updates to our Disaster Response Connect Group.

You can also donate to missions affected by Harvey through AGRM. Visit www.agrm.org/donate. Log in and on the online form, simply enter the amount you would like to give in the “Special” field, and type “Disaster Relief” in the "Instructions" field. AGRM will disperse the funds to our member missions in the Houston area and other areas affected by ramifications of the storm.

At this time, the mission leaders we have spoken with say they are not in great need of physical labor or distribution of goods and services for themselves. As you can imagine, there are many people—and you might be one—who want to travel to South Texas and be part of assistance efforts. Most disaster relief agencies are strongly encouraging people to send funds (see above paragraph) and goods through the proper channels, but not to travel to the area as that can cause more congestion and bog down relief efforts. For example, our friends at the humanitarian organization Convoy of Hope are asking that hands-on volunteers be from two hours or less of the Houston area. If this changes, and there is an opportunity for AGRM to organize some larger work efforts through one or more of our member missions, we will let you know.

AGRM’s Snapshot Survey Moves to January
After consultation with a number of mission CEOs, AGRM has decided to move our annual Snapshot Survey to the last 10 days of January. This coincides with the dates that many missions participate in the HUD/local Continuum of Care survey of homeless and sheltered people in their communities. The goal is to make it more convenient for mission staff members to interview guests, clients, and residents in all facets of their programs. In addition, the past dates of our survey—usually late September/early October—often conflicted with busy fundraising times at many member missions, as well as with AGRM district conferences.

So please save the dates January 22–31, 2018, for AGRM’s 28th Annual Snapshot Survey. The survey provides a look at one day at our member missions, so the official survey date will be January 25, but missions will have flexibility to conduct the survey any single day in the 10-day span surrounding that date. Forms and instructions will be available in early January, so you can prepare staff members and add volunteers as needed to interview all of those your mission is serving.

District Conferences Start This Month
It’s September, and AGRM’s district conferences start in just a few weeks. Be sure to register right away. Visit www.agrm.org/events for details and registration. These gatherings offer fellowship, training, and networking opportunities on a geographic basis, and provide an opportunity for downline staff to connect with their peers and receive training. 

An AGRM representative (noted below) will attend each meeting and bring an update on the association.

Bluegrass District
September 18–20
Hendersonville, North Carolina (Tom Zobel)

Northern Lights District
September 19–21
Toronto, Ontario (Jere Schertzer and Selena Hayle)

Sierra District
September 20–22
Commerce, California (Ken Peterson)

Deep South District
September 26–28
Live Oak, Florida (Tom Zobel)

Great Lakes District
September 27–29
St. Charles, Illinois (Jere Schertzer and John Ashmen)

Liberty District
October 2–4
Canadensis, Pennsylvania (Jere Schertzer)

Evergreen District
October 4–6
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho (Ken Peterson)

Rawhide District
October 10–12
Mesquite, Texas (Tom Zobel)

Heartland District
October 10–12
Omaha, Nebraska (Ken Peterson and Justin Boles)


AGRM Welcomes New Staff Member
We are pleased to welcome Malcomn Jamal Mitchell to our staff, starting work Tuesday, September 5. He comes to us from Oglethorpe, Georgia, by way of New Mexico where he worked for the Southern Baptist denomination. Malcolmn is a graduate of Georgia State University (philosophy major) and is musically talented. He will be getting married next May to Gracie Bray, whose father is the CEO of Safe House Outreach in Atlanta. To start, Malcomn will be working with business members (including managing the convention exhibit hall), assisting with our publications (including handling our social media), and helping with some critical data projects. You can contact him at mmitchell@agrm.org.

Beth Hall, who previously held a lot of this work, has moved “back home” to Knoxville, Tennessee, with her husband, where she had continued to work part time for AGRM. Thanks, Beth, for your faithful service to AGRM over the past two-plus years.

Looking Down the Street…

  • Phoenix Rescue Mission (Phoenix, Arizona) is opening Mission Possible Cafe this fall and will offer Southwestern cuisine, specifically Mexican grilled items, as part of its already successful food service manager’s training program, according to an article in Phoenix Business Journal. President and CEO of the mission, Jay Cory, adds that in September, the mission will also be taking over a food bank operation in Glendale, purchasing the building next to the restaurant to be our new Mission Support Center, and they are awaiting the outcome of our zoning request to construct a 360-bed facility for residential solution programming. The restaurant is scheduled to open October 2.

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AGRM Member Benefit: Business Member Directory
Looking for mission furniture? Wonder what to do with excess clothing and other items from your thrift store? Need help with your mission’s finances or fundraising? Searching for curriculum for an educational program? AGRM has some 90 business members that are available to help with these areas and many more. 

The online business member directory is accessible via an easy-to-enter URL: www.agrm.org/business-members. If you don’t remember that the next time you need to search, the directory is also available in two places on every page of AGRM’s website. You can click on Locate in the blue menu bar at the top of every page, or you can click on the Business Directory mini-banner under Quick Links at the bottom of every page. When looking, you can simply search all, or you can search by the type of business you are hunting for.

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Google Adds Depression Checks to Searching
Google has announced on its blog a partnership with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) to offer screening for depression, Business Insider reports. A mobile Google search for “depression” or “clinical depression” will bring up an option to “check if you are clinically depressed.” That leads users to a clinically validated version of the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9). 

The questionnaire can be self-administered and helps people figure out if they should be evaluated by a mental health professional. Some common symptoms that the PHQ-9 checks for include a lack of interest in or pleasure from doing things, feeling down or hopeless, trouble concentrating, or thoughts of self-harm.

According to the blog post, one of the main reasons Google and NAMI are offering this screening is that only about half of people who suffer from depression actually get help. They hope to help people get treatment sooner and improve their quality of life.

Groups Join to Help Hawaii’s Homeless Population
Hawaii’s growing homeless problem has prompted the state’s largest health care companies to join forces with the city to provide medical services, respite, and housing to some of Oahu’s most needy residents, the Star Advertiser reports.

A group composed of mostly private-sector leaders is moving forward with a plan to turn a four-story city building in Iwilei into a center for homeless services that will include a 24-hour urgent care center with primary and mental health services; a rapid detox and wound care center; and a place for the most critical patients to stay for up to 30 days while being treated for chronic diseases, mental illness, and other serious health conditions.

The project, known as H4—hygiene, health, housing, and humanitarian—targets the highest users of services at Hawaii’s hospitals in hopes of diverting them to more appropriate and less expensive treatment. The group plans to raise $5 million from the private sector to open the facility in 2018.

Connection Exists Between Mental Health and Financial Health
The World Health Organization notes that one in four people will experience a mental or neurological disorder at some point in their life, yet according to Mental Health America, only 44 percent of adults suffering from a mental health condition are currently receiving treatment. Unfortunately, the relationship between your money and your mental health is actually physical, Peter Dunn writes in USA Today.

A person’s mental health challenges can create financial challenges, those financial challenges can create more mental health challenges, and the cycle rarely stops. Financial hardships often surpass the mental hardships, which is what set the whole thing off in the first place. 

The stress that triggers all of this can show up for a variety of reasons, but the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau reports that 71 percent of Americans cite their finances as the key source of stress. Prolonged stress can lead to increased occurrences of heart disease, depression, anxiety, diabetes, obesity, and Alzheimer’s disease. Not only do these health conditions cause even more stress, but they’re cripplingly expensive to treat. 

Stress can also create problems in a person’s ability to earn income. Stress and other mental health conditions impact productivity at work. These productivity issues can lead to job insecurity and eventually job loss. Bottom line: If mental health conditions aren’t treated, there will be financial consequences. 

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Opioid Deaths Reach an All-Time High
The latest government numbers reported find that drug overdose deaths in 2016 continued to climb despite ongoing efforts to stem the overdose epidemic. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, estimates for the first nine months of 2016 were higher than the first nine months of the previous year, which had already reached an all-time high of 52,404, CNN reports. Of those, more than 33,000 were attributed to opioid drugs, including legal prescription painkillers as well as illicit drugs like heroin and street fentanyl.

Another report earlier this week in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that the number of drug overdoses involving opioids between 2008–2014 was likely underestimated by 24 percent. When looking at overdose deaths involving heroin, the percent of overdose deaths were underestimated by 22 percent. Experts have previously said the reported numbers of deaths were underestimated, but this is the first study to quantify just how much. All these numbers seem to indicate a worsening trend in the drug overdose epidemic.

Female Teen Suicide Rate Rises to Highest in 40 Years
In 2015, five girls out of every 100,000 between the ages of 15 and 19 committed suicide in the United States. That rate is double what it was in 2007, and the highest in 40 years for that age group, according to newly released data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and reported in the Chicago Tribune. Unfortunately, suicide-prevention advocates and researchers weren’t shocked by the announcement about the 40-year high. Some experts fear that the numbers will continue to rise.

Study Shows Relationship Between Rising Rents and Higher Homelessness
In a recent study by real estate organization Zillow Research, experts created a framework for investigating how changes in rent would affect the size of the homeless population. They chose 25 major metro areas around the country and investigated the relationship between increases in the Zillow Rent Index and increases in the homeless population.

Among large metros, New York, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and Seattle showed the strongest relationship between rising rents and increased homeless population. In New York, the model showed that a 5 percent average rent increase would lead to nearly 3,000 more people falling into homelessness. A 5 percent increase in Los Angeles rents would lead to roughly 2,000 additional people experiencing homelessness. Rents there rose 4.2 percent over the past year.

In Washington, D.C., the model showed that a 5 percent average rent increase in 2016 would have translated to 224 additional people experiencing homelessness, for a total of 8,722. In Seattle, that increase would add 258 people to the homeless population for a total of 12,498.

Some areas, including Houston and Tampa, offer services that disrupt the connection between rising rents and growing homeless populations. Even as rents rose in Houston and Tampa from 2011 to 2016, the numbers of people experiencing homelessness dropped.

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ACTS Workshop
The Association of Christian Thrift Stores (ACTS) will hold their Annual Workshop January 14-17, 2018 in Durham, NC. Participants will be staying at the Hilton Durham near Duke University. You can register online and get the hotel reservation information at actswebsite.com.

Cost of the Workshop and membership is $315.00 per person. The room rates for 2 double beds is $99.00 per night.

The Workshop cost includes eight training sessions, six meals, a tour of the Durham Rescue Mission’s Thrift Store Operations, and a dessert reception with our vendors. We hope to see you there if you have a thrift store or are considering opening a store to help fund your ministry. 


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.

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

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

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

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

Development Director: Home of Grace, Vancleave, MS

Development Director: Waterfront Rescue Mission, Inc, Pensacola, FL

Development Officer: Good News Rescue Mission, Redding, CA

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

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

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

Director of Major Gifts: Waterfront Rescue Mission, Inc., Pensacola, FL

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

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

Food and Beverage Driver: San Francisco City Impact, San Francisco, CA

Food Service Manager: Union Gospel Mission of Salem, Salem, OR

Foodservice Manager: Open Door Mission, Glens Falls, NY

Grant Writer: San Francisco City Impact, San Francisco, 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

Kitchen Supervisor at Women's Recovery Center: Union Gospel Mission, Spokane, WA

Lead Cook: Open Door Mission, Glens Falls, NY

Major Gifts Officer: Buffalo City Mission, Buffalo, NY

New Day Program Team Member: Safe Harbor Rescue Mission, Hickory, NC

Overnight Supervisor: Hope Gospel Mission, Eau Claire, WI

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

Program Manager: Central Coast Rescue Mission, Santa Maria, CA

Program Manager Transitional Housing Manager: Denver Rescue Mission, Denver, CO

Recovery Program Coordinator: Westminster Rescue Mission, Westminster, MD

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: Rockford Rescue Mission Ministries, Inc., Rockford, IL

Transportation Specialist: Union Gospel Mission, Spokane, WA

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

Women's Recovery Counselor: Union Gospel Mission, Spokane, WA

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A Call to Courage

Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid” (Matthew 14:27).

Does life frighten you? Do you feel surrounded by those who would do you harm—computer hackers, dishonest business people, and even neighbors who take advantage of you? The easiest thing in this type of environment would be to hide behind the walls of our homes and protect ourselves from the dangers that lie in wait.

But Jesus called His disciples to something different. He asked them to have courage and strength in the face of some very frightening situations. When Jesus walked on the water toward them as they sailed across the sea, He asked them to believe that this ghost-like figure was really their Savior. He asked them to go out in pairs and preach in His name. And finally, He asked them to go to Jerusalem with Him for His final days.

The opportunities that God wants to bring your way will take courage. When faced with opportunities that frighten us, we should remember that God makes us strong in our weakness. God uses the very challenges that make our knees tremble to use us for greatness and as His hands and feet on earth. Step out today in courage, no matter what you’re facing, and know that God has you.

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.

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.