Volume 11 Number 18 | September 15, 2017 | www.agrm.org  




This issue of Street Smart is sponsored by: 


If You’re Able to Go, Member Missions Could Use Your Help in Florida
Almost all of AGRM’s 15 member missions in Florida—some with multiple campuses—sustained damage or had interruption of services during Hurricane Irma. A few of our missions have even taken their guests and clients into their city’s surrounding neighborhoods to help people get their lives back together.

If some of the people from your mission would like to go help another member mission, AGRM is organizing an effort to connect those who need help with those who have able-bodied workers who want to be down there. This will be a missions-serving-missions initiative. 

  Right now, the mission that jumps out as urgently needing help is St. Matthews House (Naples, Florida). This city was right in the path when Irma first hit the mainland. Since days before Irma, CEO Vann Ellison and his staff have been going 20-plus hours every day with no relief. While the mission sustained some damage, Vann says the biggest need is for people who can spend time with guests/clients who lost everything and have nowhere to go. He also needs people to help with food service. To put it bluntly, the mission needs people to help bring a sense of stability and hope in a most-difficult situation. They are serving double their normal amount of people and are exhausted.

Also, CEO Ron Brummitt at Miami Rescue Mission (Miami, Florida) can use some help with clean-up of water damage, and debris at any of their several locations and neighborhoods. Others are sending us their needs and requests.


If you want to put together a group to help (and take your own tools, supplies, and anything else that might be needed), send an email to our regional coordinator for the Deep South District, Tom Zobel, at tzobel@agrm.org. He will connect you with a mission that can use your help. 

District Conferences Begin Next Week
Don’t forget to register for your district conference—the first ones are being held next week! These gatherings offer fellowship, training, and networking opportunities on a geographic basis, and provide a unique opportunity for downline staff—those who usually don’t get to attend an AGRM Annual Convention—to connect with their peers and receive training. Here are the district events for September.

Bluegrass District
September 18–20
Hendersonville, North Carolina
Northern Lights District
September 19–21
Toronto, Ontario 
Sierra District 
September 20–22
Commerce, California 
Deep South District 
September 26–28
Live Oak, Florida
Great Lakes District 
September 27–29
St. Charles, Illinois 


Remaining districts will be gathering in October. To register for your district event, go to www.agrm.org>Events, and click on your district name.

AGRM Signs Amicus Brief in Religious Freedom Case
Last week, AGRM filed a friend of the court brief for the Masterpiece Cakeshop case, which the Supreme Court has agreed to hear. The case arose when two men filed a complaint with the state of Colorado after they asked cake artist Jack Phillips to design a wedding cake to celebrate their same-sex ceremony. In an exchange lasting about 30 seconds, Phillips politely declined, explaining that he would gladly make them any other type of baked item they wanted, but that because of his faith, he could not design a cake promoting a same-sex ceremony.

The legal issues related to religious freedom and protections presented to the Supreme Court through this amicus brief are very important to AGRM and its members. They are religious freedom issues that AGRM supports. The true legal issues here are not saying same-sex married persons should not have protections or should not be served. The legal issues are protecting rights of choosing service options for faith-based reasons.

Joining AGRM in this brief were the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Christian Care Ministry, Eco: A Covenant Order of Presbyterians, Focus on the Family, Kanakuk Ministries, Pine Cove, Samaritan’s Purse, The Christian & Missionary Alliance, The Navigators, The Orchard Foundation, Tyndale House Publishers, and Association of Christian Schools International.

It’s National Recovery Month
National Recovery Month is an observance held every September to educate Americans that substance use treatment and mental health services can enable those with a mental and/or substance use disorder to live a healthy and rewarding life.

The observance is sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Visit www.recoverymonth.gov for tools—including logos, banners, flyers, and posters—that your mission can use as part of the observance. In addition, you can find and post Recovery Month events in your area and learn more about local activities to support recovery efforts.

Same Kind of Different as Me Red Carpet Videos
AGRM has joined with Pure Flix to provide member missions with several videos featuring messages from AGRM President John Ashmen. You can use these brief videos both to promote and to thank people engaged in your Red Carpet event for the movie Same Kind of Different as Me. Here are the links:

Use this video with your invitation for people to attend the Red Carpet event you are holding.

Use this video with businesses and companies that might be considering helping you out by sponsoring tickets for your Red Carpet event.

Use this video later to further engage those who attended your Red Carpet event.

As Red Carpet events (held just prior to the movie’s release on October 20) get closer, you can get more information on this Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/PureFlixEvents/.

  NOTE: Watch for a special movie edition of Street Smart on October 16 that will cover ideas about how to make the most of the film—which opens in theaters October 20—whether or not your mission is holding a Red Carpet event.  


Looking Down the Street…

  • Tim Moseley, CEO of Wayside Christian Mission (Louisville, Kentucky), is on a 1,000-mile bicycle trip from Florida to Houston, Texas. He is raising money for the food budget for a team of the mission’s recovery residents who are helping with post-hurricane work in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. They are helping with house “de-muddling,” drywall repair, etc. An anonymous donor funded the mission trip.

  • Welcome Hall Mission (Montreal, Quebec) made the news recently when it changed the way it hands out food to clients, switching from a traditional food bank to a grocery store-like system. The goal is to give clients a more dignified experience.

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AGRM Member Benefit: Compensation Report
Every two years AGRM conducts a survey to gather data about each mission’s employee compensation, benefits, and turnover rate. The data is analyzed and cross-tabbed to produce a comprehensive report covering common rescue mission positions, all broken down by mission size and location. Data collection is currently underway for the 2017 AGRM Compensation Survey, which will be published later in 2017. This valuable information is provided for free to AGRM member missions that contribute a sufficient amount of data. The link to the survey was sent to every mission CEO. If you’re not sure your mission CEO received the link, please contact Director of Member Services Justin Boles at jboles@agrm.org.

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State Law Could Help Young Harvey Victims Get Back to School Quickly
The Texas Homeless Education Office estimates that 35,000 to 40,000 students have been affected by Hurricane Harvey, The Denver Post reports. In addition, more than 200 school districts and charter schools statewide canceled or delayed classes, some indefinitely. While some families have relocated to Dallas and San Antonio, Houston is sure to see their already large number of homeless children increase even more.

Federal protections require schools to immediately enroll children who have lost their regular homes, including those affected by a natural disaster. That law allows homeless children to either stay in the school they were attending or enroll in the neighborhood school where they’re currently staying, with transportation costs divided equally between the two districts if there’s a funding dispute.

Texas takes it a step further, allowing homeless students the choice to enroll in any school district in the state, regardless of their school of origin or the location of the place where they are staying. However, the state law doesn’t require transportation to be provided. For Houston, the transportation issue could be even more difficult as many displaced families are likely to have to commute across the metro area, between where they want to go to school and where they’re stuck sleeping at night.

Assessment Helps Predict Who Is at Risk of Developing PTSD
Mental health professionals may soon be able to screen soldiers to determine who might be more likely to cope with the stresses of a dangerous mission—and who might be better off working away from the front lines, the Genetic Literacy Project reports. One characteristic that makes assessment of risks to mental health so challenging is that social factors always come into play. 

However, rapid advancement in the understanding of genetics recently has shed light on various markers affecting a range of psychiatric conditions, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Mental health researchers have known for decades that tolerance for experiencing or witnessing potentially traumatic events varies greatly throughout the human population. What traumatizes one person for life may be just a minor or transient blip for somebody else. But only after such an event did a person’s susceptibility come to light.

Now, comprehensive work by the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium, published recently in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, suggests that genetic factors account for as much as 30 percent of the PTSD risk. Social factors are still important, but there might be a point where genetic testing can help the military—and other high-risk employers—determine which soldiers would be at particularly high risk during battle or in its aftermath.

E-cigarettes Cause Damage to Blood Vessels
A recent report has found that e-cigarettes containing nicotine cause serious impacts in the body, including arterial stiffness, increased heart rate, and raised blood pressure, The Science Times reports.

The report notes that for the last couple of years, the number of e-cigarettes users has grown dramatically. Many people think e-cigarettes are almost harmless, and they’re marketed from the stance that they decrease harm and help prevent smoking tobacco cigarettes. But the safety of e-cigarettes is still a matter of debate, and new information indicates they may have adverse health impacts.

The report says that arterial stiffness, although temporary, is also visible during the use of the conventional cigarettes. In addition, chronic exposure to passive and active cigarette smoking causes permanent arterial stiffness. That means chronic exposure to e-cigarettes containing nicotine can cause permanent arterial stiffness as well.

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Poverty Level Decreases as Wages and Jobs Increase 
Census data released Tuesday brings good news on income, poverty, and health coverage. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities reports that the typical household’s income rose more from 2014 to 2016 than in any other two-year period on record (with data back to the 1960s), poverty declined, and the share of Americans without health insurance fell to a record low. This marks the first time on record, with data back to 1988, that all three measures of well-being improved for two years in a row.

Broad growth in jobs and wages in 2016 produced improvements in living standards. The typical household’s income rose by 3.2 percent or $1,800 from 2015 to 2016, after adjusting for inflation, while the official poverty rate fell from 13.5 percent to 12.7 percent. Coming on top of 2015’s progress, this means that over the two-year period from 2014 to 2016, household median income rose significantly—by 8.5 percent or $4,600—while the poverty rate fell by 2.1 percentage points or 6 million people. However, median income appears to have returned only to roughly its pre-recession (2007) level. And poverty, which also returned to its 2007 level, remains well above the level of most other wealthy nations.

College Students Are Hungry for More Than Knowledge
A 2015 study found that college students were far more likely than the general population to suffer from food insecurity. And according to a 2016 report called “Hunger on Campus,” which surveyed almost 4,000 college students, 22 percent of college students in the U.S. are hungry, philly.com reports.

Other findings from the survey:

  • Food insecurity was more prevalent among students of color: 57 percent of African American students reported food insecurity, compared to 40 percent of white students.
  • More than half (56 percent) of first-generation college students were food-insecure, compared to 45 percent of students who had a parent who attended college.
  • Almost two-thirds (64 percent) received some form of financial aid.
  • More than half (56 percent) of food-insecure students reported having a paying job but were still food-insecure.
  • Students at community colleges are even more likely to be hungry. A recent survey of more than 33,000 community college students found that 33 percent were hungry.
  • Almost two-thirds (64 percent) of food-insecure students also reported housing insecurity.

Students who reported food or housing insecurity felt that these problems caused them to not buy a required textbook (55 percent), miss a class (53 percent), or drop a class (25 percent).

Opiod Stash Hidden All Around America
Around 200 million opioid prescriptions are written each year. That’s as many prescriptions as there are adults. Up to 92 percent of patients don’t finish their painkillers, and less than 10 percent dispose of them properly—either flushing them down the toilet or returning them to a hospital, pharmacy, or law enforcement—according to a new study published in the journal JAMA Surgery and reported by CNBC.

The Johns Hopkins pain-management specialist who led the study explained that for almost every injury they looked at, patients had pills they didn’t use. At least two-thirds of a total of 810 patients didn’t use their entire opioid prescription but kept the unused pills, according to the data, and roughly 75 percent of patients ignore warnings to keep opioids in a locked cabinet. This rogue supply of painkillers becomes a source for illicit use by other adults, and children and adolescents can find them around the house.

Most patients have more than 10 pills—almost the entire prescription—lying around the house. Many patients hoard the drugs, not to get high but so they can treat a relapse of pain or a new injury without seeing a doctor again.


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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.

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

Client Support Specialist: Raleigh Rescue Mission, Raleigh, NC

Consultant for Fundraising & Nonprofit Management, Advocace Media, Coppell, TX

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 Director: Jubilee Ministries, Inc., Lebanon, PA

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: Outreach Gospel Mission, Brookings, OR

Executive Director: Union Gospel Mission of Salem, Salem, OR

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

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 Donor Representative: Union Rescue Mission, Los Angeles, CA

Major Gifts Officer: The City Mission, Cleveland, OH

Major Gifts Officer: Buffalo City Mission, Buffalo, NY

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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The Dynamite Gospel

“Because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake” (1 Thessalonians 1:5).

The gospel is characterized by power. Whether miraculous power, or power in preaching, it brings the explosive might of heaven to bear on the heart of man. This power, like dynamite, utterly changes that which surrounds it.

It crumbles our hardness of heart at the realization of our guiltiness and sin, and ignites in us a love for the One who reconciles us to the Father.

Paul and his fellow missionaries didn’t merely write about what it must be like to be changed by this gospel of power. No, quite the contrary! There is an intense ownership occurring here as he writes it was “because [of] our gospel.” For them, it was not a vague theological term detached from reality and void of meaning.

It was their “good news,” their gospel. So too can it and should it be ours! Not that we are its creators or originators, but we do serve as its mouthpiece when we are changed by the “renewing of our minds” (Romans 12:1–2), and “the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:5). This gospel changed these men to the core, making an enemy of God and persecutor of the Way like Saul of Tarsus (Acts 9) into his friend and herald.

We must first ask ourselves if the gospel has power in our own lives. If we have not been radically changed by the explosiveness of the gospel, then how can we preach it others? Go back to the scripture and spend time in prayer, asking God to bring remembrance of how the gospel of Jesus Christ radically changed your life. Let this be the fuel that feeds the words you share with those around 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.