Volume 11 Number 19 | October 2, 2017 | www.agrm.org  




This issue of Street Smart is sponsored by: 


Be in Prayer for Those Affected by Last Night’s Las Vegas Massacre
Most of us woke up today to news about an incident that has become all too common in our society: another mass shooting. AGRM has tried on a couple of occasions this morning to connect with Las Vegas Rescue Mission (Las, Vegas, Nevada) staff to see how they and their stakeholders might have been affected. As of this release, we have not been able to get through. We will keep the AGRM family posted with any pertinent news we receive.

Closure of Whiteclay Beer Stores Upheld; Task Force Works on Next Steps  
The Nebraska Supreme Court on Friday rejected a Lincoln judge’s decision to allow the Whiteclay beer stores to reopen. The unanimous order is a victory for opponents of beer sales in the tiny, unincorporated village in northwest Nebraska, just across the border from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. (See this report from the Omaha World-Herald for additional details.)

In anticipation of the pending decision, AGRM-member Lakota Hope Ministries (Whiteclay, Nebraska) hosted a dinner meeting last Friday for the Nebraska Legislative Whiteclay Task force to continue the discussion on the need for a collaborative effort to redevelop the community. Oglala Lakota Tribal President Steve Weston joined Nebraska state Senators Tom Brewer and Patty Pansing Brooks, ministry leaders, investors, and Whiteclay residents in the round-table discussions. On Saturday, many of the same leaders hosted a public summit where the senators shared some of the planned/proposed projects with the public and heard suggestions for other ideas. More details to come on the results of these meetings in the next issue of Street Smart.

In related news, Bruce and Marsha BonFleur, founders of Lakota Hope Ministries, confirmed at the mission’s board retreat last week that they will be leaving Whiteclay and the mission by mid to end of 2018. 

Same Kind of Different as Me Release Just Around the Corner
AGRM president John Ashmen and his wife, Judi, will be traveling to Hollywood for the October 12 premiere of the motion picture Same Kind of Different as Me. The Paramount and Pure Flix film’s stars—Greg Kinnear, Renée Zellweger, Djimon Hounsou, and Jon Voight—are all scheduled to be at the event, along with the folks from Pure Flix who are handling distribution and marketing.

A number of AGRM-member missions are holding red carpet premieres in their communities just two days before the film opens in theaters nationwide on October 20. Whether or not your mission is holding a red-carpet event, be sure to watch for the October 16 issue of Street Smart, which will largely be dedicated to the movie. We’ll provide some last-minute tips for ways your mission can use the opening weekend of the movie to help with your own volunteer and donor needs.

REGARDLESS of whether or not your mission is holding a red carpet event, please encourage your staff, your board, and your supporters (via email or snail mail) to see the movie (again, as the case may be for some) on opening weekend (October 20–22), as high attendance over those dates will determine how long the movie plays in the theaters where it opened and whether it will be sent to theaters in other markets across the country.


AGRM’s Snapshot Survey Moves to January
Just a reminder in case you are looking for information: After consulting 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.

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.

If you have any questions, please contact Director of Communications Brad Lewis at blewis@agrm.org.

Several District Conferences Still to Come
It’s October already, and AGRM’s district conferences have been in full swing. Just four district events remain in October. 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. 

To register, go to www.agrm.org>Events, and click on your district name.

  Liberty District 
October 2–4
Canadensis, Pennsylvania 

Evergreen District 
October 4–6
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho 
Rawhide District 
October 10–12
Mesquite, Texas 

Heartland District 
October 10–12
Omaha, Nebraska 


Looking Down the Street…

  • Long-time staff member of Winston-Salem Rescue Mission (Winston-Salem, North Carolina), Anne Parsons, passed away Tuesday, September 19, and her funeral was held September 23 at Triad Baptist Church in Kernersville, North Carolina. Please continue to pray for surviving family members, including her husband, Dan Parsons, director emeritus of the mission.

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AGRM Member Benefit: Video Licensing
If your ministry shows external movies in any capacity, whether for Bible studies; as a special event for clients, guests, or students; or even within a child care setting, a license is required by law. For many years, Christian Video Licensing International (CVLI) has worked to educate the faith-based community of the need for copyright compliance when motion pictures and other films are shown outside of the home. 

Through AGRM’s partnership with CVLI, member missions can save 35 percent off standard license fees and legally use movies to enhance programs and events.  Go to www.agrm.org/cvli to learn more.

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Homelessness Continues to Affect College Students
College students are notoriously strapped for cash: the bargain-hunting undergraduate has become a lighthearted figure of speech. However, according to a report in JSTOR Daily, youthful poverty often involves a steep drop from living on ramen noodles to not having a place to live at all.

Hundreds of thousands of students leave school each day without a home to which they can return. In 2015 and 2016, a staggering 32,000 college applicants were designated essentially homeless.

Homeless students are most often not what we expect them to be. They are frequently more like the general population that most would imagine. Sociologist David Harman found that the demographics of homeless students were at odds with societal expectations; while many had fallen victim to drug abuse, mental illness, or domestic violence, many others had college degrees or dropped out of school, were actively attempting to get qualified and back into the workforce, and cited economic difficulties as the reason for their lack of housing, rather than addiction, crime, or unwillingness to work.

FDA Warns on Mixing Opioid Addiction Treatments with Other Meds 
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued new warnings about the dangers of combining medication for opioid addiction with anti-anxiety medicines and other drugs that also slow breathing and brain activity.

As reported by ABC News, the FDA warns that mixing such drugs can cause difficulty breathing, coma, or death, so it should be done with caution.

The agency said a growing number of people fighting opioid addiction with methadone or buprenorphine also take other prescription drugs that slow action of the central nervous system. The warning lists several dozen brand-name and generic drugs that could be risky, including Ambien and Lunesta for insomnia; Valium and Xanax for anxiety; muscle relaxers Soma and Zanaflex; and antipsychotic drugs Abilify, Invega, Saphris, and others.

Massachusetts Opioid Relapse Case Could Change Drug Laws Forever
If addiction is a disease, is it fair to punish people for showing symptoms of it? This is a question covered by Vice and raised by a case going before the Massachusetts Supreme Court. 

The case involves 29-year-old Julie Eldred, who was put on probation for a year in 2016 for a larceny charge. Her probation conditions stipulated that she remain drug-free and submit to random drug tests. One of those tests taken 12 days after Eldred was placed on probation came up positive for fentanyl. Because that was a violation of her probation, she was sent to jail.

Eldred’s attorney argues that while a court may order a probationer to attend and adhere to treatment, a court cannot constitutionally order a medical/mental health outcome. If Eldred prevails, drug courts, parole, and probation systems in Massachusetts might be prevented from punishing people in similar situations—and a legal precedent set recognizing addiction as a disease that impairs self-control.

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Increased Number of Older Americans Plunge into Poverty
Data from a Census Bureau report reveals poverty among older Americans is rising, according to a report in Business Insider. 

Individuals age 65 and older had the unique distinction of being the only population segment to experience a significant increase in the number of individuals in poverty, with 367,000 more older Americans in poverty in 2016.

Part of the trend can be explained by the aging of Baby Boomers. But that doesn't tell the whole story. Issues such as inadequate safety nets, elevated healthcare costs, and longer lifespans are also playing a role. In addition, Americans 65 and older were the only demographic group where the proportion of people with income below 50 percent of their poverty threshold—a key measure known as the supplemental poverty rate—increased, to 3.3 percent in 2016 from 2.8 percent the year prior.

Homeless Shelter Demand Rises in Ontario 
According to a report by CBC News, more people are accessing shelters in Ontario than they were five years ago; however, with more facilities closing their doors, the remaining shelters are overflowing. 

In 2016, the province had 310 shelters in operation, 30 less than in 2011, according to Statistics Canada. The closures amounted to the loss of an estimated 1,000 shelter beds, a sizable chunk compared to the now existing 11,000 beds. The Canadian federal government says shelters are operating at 90 percent capacity. During the 2016 census, 8,780 people in Ontario declared a shelter as their primary residence, a 10 percent increase from 7,960 individuals in 2011, something shelter directors say is worrisome. 

Lack of Food Remains a Danger for American Seniors 
A significant number of older Americans are at risk of hunger, and malnourishment according to a Deseret News report

Those facing the threat of hunger dropped a statistically significant 1 percentage point between 2014 and 2015. However, it's still roughly 9.8 million seniors 60 and older, or 14.7 percent of that age demographic. 

The study credits an improving economy and financial markets for the small decrease, but they wrote that millions of seniors in the United States are going without enough food due to economic constraints. And they note that programs designed to help people get adequate food are not reaching all the senior adults who need them. For example, while 80 percent overall of low-income households that qualify are enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), only 40 percent of eligible low-income seniors are enrolled. Many older Americans don't know about the SNAP program, formerly called food stamps, according to surveys. 


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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

Chief Financial Officer: Jericho Road Ministries, Inc., Brooksville, FL

Client Support Specialist: Raleigh Rescue Mission, Raleigh, NC

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

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

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

Development Director: Jubilee Ministries, Inc., Lebanon, PA

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

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

Executive Director: Outreach Gospel Mission, Brookings, OR

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

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

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

Human Resources and Volunteer Coordinator: Jubilee Ministries, Inc., Lebanon, PA

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

Major Donor Representative: Union Rescue Mission, Los Angeles, CA

Major Gifts Officer: Buffalo City Mission, Buffalo, NY

Major Gifts Officer, The City Mission, Cleveland, OH

Overnight Supervisor: Hope Gospel Mission, Eau Claire, WI

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

Sous Chef: Open Door Mission, Glens Falls, NY

Thrift Store Manager: Jubilee Ministries, Inc., Lebanon, PA

Transportation Specialist: Union Gospel Mission (Spokane), Spokane, WA

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

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

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Jesus, Teach Us to Pray

One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.” (Luke 11:1).

As God, Jesus was prayed to. Yet as a man, He prayed. In today’s verse, the disciples ask Him how to pray. In fact, Luke’s gospel displays this time and again, for instance:

It makes sense for one of His disciples to inquire: “Lord, teach us to pray.”

With Jesus, the man who is God, standing before him the man didn’t ask, “Lord, teach us to work miracles,” or, “Jesus, teach us to preach with authority!”

These are great things. But they’re not the primary markers of men and women who know God.

Here we can learn the true place of prayer. It’s the place from which every part of Christian living and ministry should flow.

Jesus’ intimacy with the Father is seen especially when He said He “spoke just as the Father taught me” (John 8:28). He and the Father are still one (John 10:30), yet Jesus still thought prayer a noble use of a night.

Through this the disciples understood that prayer was more than an act of religion, but the very thing from which God empowers men to work His will.

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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