Volume 11 Number 20 | October 16, 2017 | www.agrm.org  


This issue of Street Smart is sponsored by: 


What’s All the Buzz About?
Well, the current buzz is that the Hollywood premiere happened this past Thursday. And this coming Wednesday will be local events—about 170—from coast to coast! The movie then opens nationwide in the U.S. and Canada on Friday, October 20. In short, Same Kind of Different as Me is finally here!

The movie is based on the true story that largely took place in AGRM-member Union Gospel Mission of Tarrant County (Fort Worth, Texas). The film from Paramount and Pure Flix features a star-studded cast that includes Greg Kinnear, Djimon Hounsou, Renée Zellweger, and Jon Voight. The inspiring movie is the film adaptation of the New York Times bestseller of the same title, about an international art dealer’s life-changing friendship with a homeless man. 

What Can Our Mission Do in Conjunction with the Movie?
First, you can make sure your staff is prepared for inquiries about volunteering, donating (gifts-in-kind and finances), helping people who are homeless, and so forth that you will likely receive after the movie is released to the public this Friday. Don’t shoot from the hip on this. Make sure you have a plan to meaningfully engage everybody who wants to know more and do more. 

Opportunities like this are rare. Make sure your website is up to date and your best communicators are answering your mission phone line this weekend and next week. Capture names and contact information and get back to people in a timely manner. Let people know all that you do—many folks think a rescue mission is just a soup kitchen and a shelter—and how they can engage. Seeking donations for your work should come after you establish relationships.  

Second, you can take your family and all of your friends to see the movie on opening weekend (even if you have already seen it at the AGRM Annual Convention or at a local red-carpet event). The number of tickets sold on opening weekend helps determine how long the movie stays in theaters, as well as if it gets an expanded release to other theaters in other cities. 

Along this line, use your website and social media to urge donors and followers to see the movie on opening weekend. Use a movie ticket selling site such as Fandango.com to see where the movie is playing near you. List locations and times for your community on your website and in social media posts.

We Heard Something about Red-Carpet Events. Can We Do One of Those?
As noted above, Pure Flix has arranged for nearly 170 local events around the country; 127 are red-carpet events and the rest are theater buy-outs. Of course, as you can guess, it’s too late to arrange anything now. For the red-carpet events, missions committed to sell approximately 500 tickets, or to get a large donor to secure 500 seats at a local theater. 

One of the exciting things is the buzz this created locally for many missions. Use your favorite search engine to search for the movie title and “red carpet premiere.” You will see results of local press coverage from many missions across North America. 

If We Missed the Red-Carpet Event Opportunity, What Can We Do?
You can still visit the Pure Flix Events website at www.pureflixevents.com. While many of the downloadable items on this site were developed for organizations holding red-carpet events and are therefore no longer available, there are items you can use—such as some of the local media memes—simply to let donors and social media followers know that the movie is out and to urge them to attend. One video by AGRM President John Ashmen also includes some great yet simple ways that churches and families can reach out to homeless people. (Please be aware that you cannot customize these resources; all are approved by the studios to use as they are given.)

Another option is to invite Ron Hall—who co-wrote the book and the screenplay for the movie—to speak at your mission’s next banquet, special community event, milestone anniversary celebration, or building dedication. In the 10 years since the book first came out, Ron has raised more than $85 million for homeless causes. If interested, contact Mark P. Fisher at mark.fisher@pureflix.com.

Any Other Ways to Connect to the Movie? 
Whether or not you are doing a red-carpet event this week, you can connect the film with the third edition of Invisible Neighbors by AGRM President John Ashmen. (This edition includes a foreword written by Same Kind of Different as Me author Ron Hall.) If you are doing a red-carpet event, mention the opportunity to get the book during your presentation; otherwise, you can promote it on social media and your website. 

The film offers a great time to restart the purpose of Invisible Neighbors and to raise awareness of homelessness in your community, as well as the unique role that rescue missions are doing to not only resolve homelessness, but also to help formerly homeless people re-enter society as they use the power of the gospel—and a lot of hard work from themselves and rescue mission staff—to gain new life skills, addiction recovery, job training, employment, and much more.

The Film Has Some Big Stars in the Cast. What Do They Say about the Movie?
The main stars have been very supportive of the film and its message. Here are a few quotes from them:

  • “I deeply admire what Debbie, Ron, and Denver have been able to achieve on behalf of people in need. Their determination to make a difference has inspired people around the world to recognize in themselves an ability to implement invaluable changes through seemingly small kindnesses. I’m honored to share in telling Debbie’s story and to be part of this beautiful effort to perpetuate the legacy of her work.”
    —Renée Zellweger 

  • “It’s a rare opportunity for an actor to be blessed with a role so soulful. To embody Denver’s spirit was at once an emotional challenge and an extreme privilege, learning the story of a man who came from so little and gave so much. The givers truly are the gate-openers for the world. I hope that we all can find the best parts of Denver’s life and continue that work to benefit humanity.”
    —Djimon Hounsou 

  • “Homelessness is epidemic and anyone who fights the battle to help correct the problem deserves our respect and appreciation. Denver Moore and Ron Hall did more than most to try to shine a light on this plight and, in doing so, revealed that perhaps the most powerful tool in battling homelessness is to simply engage the people around us whose circumstances have left them with less. Working with an excellent cast and crew to help tell the story of Ron’s challenging personal journey was a creative joy.”
    —Greg Kinnear

We Heard There Was a Hollywood Premiere. What Happened at That?
AGRM President John Ashmen, along with his wife Judi, were in Hollywood (actually Westwood) this past Thursday for that event. They had an early lunch with Ron Hall and his wife Beth, and then were among the guests at the premiere and after-party that evening. When Ron Hall introduced the movie to the celebrities, dignitaries, and others present for the showing, he specifically thanked AGRM for its ongoing support for the project. 

At the after-party, John and Judi had an opportunity to spend time with most of the cast and were struck again by how deeply this story connected with them. John answered questions about the work of city missions these days and listened to their stories about their own efforts to lift people out of poverty. Some of the things they have done and are doing are quite impressive. John thanked them and reminded them that their performances will continue to be the catalyst for people’s involvement at missions in the days and years ahead as this movie is viewed over and over again.

What Do Those Not Connected with the Movie Think of It So Far?
Again, you can search online for this information. Here are a few we found.

From an article in Hollywood’s main industry publication, Variety:
Ann Mahoney, who plays a homeless prostitute named Clara in the film, referred to the recent allegations against Harvey Weinstein, saying she hopes that the movie will be a turning point for women in Hollywood, opening up “casting for women across age, color, and what we typically talk about as beautiful.”

From a report on the Hollywood premiere in People magazine:
This online article focuses on what Renée Zellweger wore to the premiere, but also tells of her return to acting in this movie, as well as her own charity and volunteer efforts.

From Renee Zellweger’s appearance last week on Jimmy Kimmel Live! 
Watch her whole appearance on the program at about 18:00 into the show, or when they briefly but positively discuss the movie at about 24:00. The actress says great things about the film and about Ron Hall and his efforts to raise money for homeless causes. 


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Fire Affects Staff at California Mission
No doubt you’ve heard about the sudden firestorms in Northern California. AGRM spoke with Jeff Gilman, CEO of Redwood Gospel Mission (Santa Rosa, California). The mission was spared—although a building they recently sold to another ministry was lost—but several of his staff (including Chris Keys, the mission’s director of shelter and recovery ministries) lost their homes in the blaze that devastated Santa Rosa’s residential neighborhoods. Please be in prayer for Jeff and his team as the focus for so many of them has shifted significantly. 

District Events Report Great Camaraderie and Attendance
All of AGRM’s nine district conferences are now in the history books. Overall attendance was consistent with last year’s events. In addition to inspirational speakers, the events offered plenty of opportunities for networking among peers, as well as a number of workshops and seminars directly related to rescue mission work and ministry. 

Whiteclay Beer Stores Close for Good
As reported in the last issue of Street Smart, in a unanimous decision, the Nebraska Supreme Court ruled against the owners of four beer stores in  Whiteclay, Nebraska, from having their liquor licenses reinstated.

According to a Lakota Times report, the store owners appealed to the state’s Supreme Court on August 29, arguing that the state’s liquor commission lacked the jurisdiction to decide on the status of the stores’ liquor licenses; they cited a previous case where a liquor license holder was permitted to keep its license because the Nebraska Supreme Court had ruled that the holder has a constitutionally protected interest in having the license renewed for as long as the business qualifies for the license and for as long as the business premises don’t change.

Although the Nebraska Supreme Court didn’t rule on that argument, it did state the Whiteclay liquor store owners had failed to notify county residents who had protested against their businesses that they were appealing the Commission’s decision. This nullified the appeal.

This left the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission’s decision not to renew the stores’ licenses standing. Nebraska State Senator Patty Pansing Brooks noted that the store owners could now appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, but probably won’t.

Final Opportunity to Participate in AGRM’s Compensation Survey
A few missions have reported that they have been unable to access the form to submit data for 2017 Compensation Survey. The link was sent via email to CEO’s of member missions in early September. 

Any mission that contribute a sufficient amount of data will be able to receive the final report for free (a $119 value), so if you manage these projects for your mission, please complete the survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2017agrmcompsurvey. We’re asking all missions to complete the survey by October 18.

Editor’s Note
From Brad Lewis, Director of Communications: As close as I can figure—hey, I am a communications guy, not an accountant—this is my 200th issue of Street Smart. I began writing them in June 2009, and it has been my privilege to serve AGRM members ever since with both association and industry-related news and information that you can use in your ministry. Here’s to 200 more!

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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 atactswebsite.com.

Cost of the Workshop and membership is $315.00 per person. The room rate 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 visitwww.agrm.org/careersto view full descriptions and to apply.Clickherefor 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: Home of Grace, Vancleave, MS

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

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

Director, Lighthouse for Women & Children: Rescue Mission Alliance, Oxnard, CA

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

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

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

 Major Gifts Officer: Buffalo City Mission, Buffalo, NY

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

Transportation Specialist: Union Gospel Mission, Spokane, WA

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

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"Shout for joy in the Lord, O you righteous! Praise befits the upright" (Psalm 33:1 ESV).

Imagine being offered a unique opportunity at the end of your life.

You get the chance to hear what the people in your life have to say about the way you lived.

What would characterize your life? How do you hope others would describe you? What do you hope your life would be noted for?

Would your friends and neighbors say, “He always seemed to notice what was wrong with everything first, complained, and was overly critical.” Or “She never appeared to be satisfied with what she had, was ungrateful, and always wanted more.”

Hopefully it would be neither of those responses, but read today’s verse again and dwell on what it calls us to. Will your life have been lived in a matter that “befits the upright”?

Those of us counted as righteous in Christ should live a lifestyle of praising, honoring, and worshiping our God. We should have God’s praise always on our lips, salting our speech.

In short, “praise befits the upright,” and our lives should be characterized by such living and speaking.

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.