Volume 5, Number 21 • November 1, 2011 • www.agrm.org        



Get a first look at AGRM’s 99th Annual Convention

Be sure to watch for the upcoming issue of Rescue magazine for details about the AGRM 99th Annual Convention, being held May 20–23, 2012 at the Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando, Florida. Here’s a preview of just some of what’s in store for you.

Convention speakers, presenters, and musicians include:

  • Kelly Willard, composer, recording artist, and beloved soloist of Maranatha! Music fame
  • Ray Bakke, chancellor and professor of global urban ministry at Bakke Graduate University
  • Marcia Pally, professor at New York University and author of America’s New Evangelicals
  • Bobb Biehl,  executive mentor and consultant to national and international ministry leaders
  • Judy Bailey, high energy, London-born, Barbados-raised musician and worship leader
  • Ryan Dobson, national radio host, impassioned speaker, and author of Humanitarian Jesus
  • Marty Berglund, teaching pastor of New Jersey’s innovative Fellowship Alliance Chapel.

You’ll have plenty of opportunities to hear these presenters, catch up on all the latest happenings with the association, enjoy valuable educational seminars presented by your peers and other professionals, and make valuable connections with AGRM business members and other vendors in the exhibit hall.

And don’t forget about all the great attractions central Florida has to offer, including Animal Kingdom, Back to Nature Wildlife Refuge, EPCOT at Disney World, Harry P. Leu Gardens, Hollywood Studios, Holy Land Experience, Kennedy Space Center, Magic Kingdom, Ocala National Forest, Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, Sea World, Titanic: The Experience, Typhoon Lagoon, Universal Studios, Wet ‘n Wild, and many more.

Don’t miss this exciting event and all the fellowship and fun that surrounds it. Early bird rates will run November 15 to December 15.

Missions participate in AGRM’s 2011 Snapshot Survey

To provide ministries and the media a nationwide picture of those in need, AGRM conducted its 22nd annual national Snapshot Survey, October 21. More than 110 missions participated in this year’s survey to collect information from more than 18,000 guests across the country. Participating missions will be among the first to receive the published results of the 2011 survey, along with a media release to help them share the story with their local media outlets and donors. Local and national media outlets use the demographic results as a resource for their stories about people currently experiencing homelessness. AGRM will compile the data and release results in time for Thanksgiving celebrations at local missions. For additional information, contact AGRM Director of Public Relations Nicole Daniels.

Ashmen weighs in with Senate Finance Committee

AGRM President John Ashmen provided formal feedback to the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance as part of its work to consider potential changes to incentives for charitable giving. Ashmen's statement summarizes the current human and economic crisis facing rescue missions and the poor, emphasizes the reliance of rescue missions on private giving, and encourages the committee to increase incentives for all income groups to give to charity. Although proposals for changing the current charitable deduction, adding a floor, or replacing it with a non-refundable tax credit remain fluid, AGRM will support reform that increases the amount of charitable giving and the incentive for all donors to give. To request a copy of Ashmen's statement, email AGRM Government Liaison Rhett Butler.

Fire at Nashville mission forces evacuations

A fire at Nashville Rescue Mission (Nashville, Tenn.) in September forced the temporary evacuation of 239 people, including 30 children from the mission’s newly renovated Family Life Center for homeless women and children. Fire officials say the small fire started in the laundry room at the mission. No injuries occurred, but the center suffered smoke and water damage. You can read additional details in this report in The Tennessean.

Looking down the street…
  • Phoenix Rescue Mission (Phoenix, Ariz.) held an Open House November 1 to honor Jerry Sandvig, president emeritus, for his leadership and vision to the mission. Jay A. Cory joined the mission on September 1 as president and CEO.
  • Please welcome back returning AGRM mission member, The Shepherd's House (Bend, Ore.); Curt Floski serves as executive director.

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Teen dies after injuries suffered from smoking synthetic marijuana

A 13-year-old boy from Pennsylvania, who became ill after smoking synthetic marijuana and had a double lung transplant, has died. According to an msnbc.com report, the teenager died last week. The boy had smoked the fake marijuana out of a plastic candy dispenser and suffered chemical burns to both lungs. He was put on a respirator in June and had a double lung transplant in September. The teen’s mother said that anti-rejection drugs he had taken since the transplants weakened his immune system and made him unable to fight off a recent infection. Pennsylvania’s governor signed a law outlawing such substances a few days after the boy became ill, and the ban took effect in August.

Chicago cuts services at city-run homeless shelters

Homeless people seeking overnight help in finding shelter in city facilities in Chicago are on their own when it comes to transportation. According to a Chicago Tribune report, the city cut its 10 p.m. to 8 a.m. outreach crews that once hit the streets during those hours. The city’s Family and Support Services Commissioner said the cuts were made because the state sliced in half a grant used for city homeless programs. If homeless individuals call the city’s 311 line and ask for a place to stay, they can be directed to a shelter, but not taken there. They have to wait until 8 a.m. for a ride, if they can’t find another alternative. Because of the decline in state funding, the city also cut 20 percent of its funding for homeless shelters, which had to eliminate 60 beds as a result.

Homeless people drawn to Occupy Wall Street protests

From Los Angeles to Wall Street, from Denver to Boston, homeless men and women in large numbers have joined the protesters of the movement known as Occupy Wall Street—or at least settled in beside the protesters for the night. According to a Times-Union report, the draw seems to be food, bathrooms, safety, company, and activity to pass away the days. However, the presence of homeless people is posing a growing problem for protesters and authorities. At Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan, the primary site of the protests, some protesters noted that the homeless appeared to be opportunists looking for free food and clothes and were often disruptive. Organizers even formed a security team to roam the park; one member of the team said it had broken up several disputes involving people who appeared to be homeless.

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Nonprofit employees feel financially unprepared to retire

Many nonprofit workers are worried that they won’t have enough money to retire comfortably, according to the initial results of a survey about financial security among nonprofit employees. According to a linkedin.com report, the concern is prompting some employees to consider leaving the nonprofit world. The survey of 1,000 people found that only 18 percent say they are confident that they’re putting aside enough money for retirement. About 45 percent reported that they have considered taking jobs outside the nonprofit world because of financial concerns, including retirement. The news from the study isn’t all bad: Roughly 75 percent of those surveyed said they had access to a retirement plan, a higher share than in the business world. And 76 percent of nonprofit workers in the survey are putting some money aside for retirement, even if they don’t believe they’re saving enough.

Prescription pain medications cause thousands of deaths annually

Inappropriately used prescription pain medications kill 15,000 people in the United States each year, according to a new report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. According to a CNN report, that translates to 40 people per day. Deaths due to prescription painkiller overdoses exceed the number of heroin and cocaine overdose deaths combined. According to the study, 1 in 20—or 12 million—Americans age 12 and older has misused prescription painkillers like oxycodone, methadone or hydrocodone, and middle-aged adults have the highest overdose rates.Health officials say that enough prescription painkillers were prescribed last year to medicate every adult every four hours for an entire month, and this type of drug abuse is costing insurance companies up to $72.5 million each year.

Physicians fail to advise young adults about excessive alcohol use

Doctors often fail to ask young adults about excessive alcohol consumption according to new research, even though practice guidelines recommend universal screening. According to a Medscape Medical News report, a survey of more than 4,000 young adults found that only 14 percent of all participants who regularly exceed drinking limits were asked and advised about their alcohol patterns while visiting their physicians. Although the participants between the ages of 18 and 25 years were found to be the most likely to exceed the limits, they were also the least likely to be asked about it. The study showed that 47 percent of all participants exceeded either the daily or weekly drinking limits, and 13 percent exceeded both. Those between the ages of 18 and 25 years were more likely to exceed weekly and/or daily drinking limits than those aged 26 years or older (68 percent versus 56 percent). Of all participants, 66.8 percent made physician visits in the past year. Of these, the individuals between the ages of 18 and 25 were asked significantly less often about their drinking than those who were older (34 percent versus 54 percent). The percentage dropped even lower for the youngest participants, as only 26 percent of those between the ages of 18 and 20 years were asked about their drinking patterns.

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News clippings showcase ministry

While direct mail pieces and newsletters can inform supporters and potential donors what your mission is doing, imagine the even greater impact if your mailings include a local newspaper clipping (or a clipping that appears to be from a local paper) that highlights a ministry or event. The Downtown Rescue Mission (Huntsville, Ala) recently sent letters to local homes that included a “news report” on its upcoming Thanksgiving and Christmas banquets for the homeless. The clipping listed the number of meals the mission expects to serve at each event, as well as stressing the need for financial contributions to continue serving meals and providing other services all year long.

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North Hollywood, California: Capital Campaign Director—Works with the board/advisory council to secure funds to meet $4 to $5 million budget, organizes events to cast the vision for the project. Full-time exempt (two to three years) position with benefits. Committed Christian, B.A. in related field, two or more years of professional-level experience, valid CDL, excellent written and verbal communication, public speaking, computer literate, Raiser’s Edge experience a plus. Email résumé and cover letter to or fax to (805) 385-4126. Added 11/1/2011

Salem, Oregon: Director of Advancement—Reporting to the President/CEO as a member of the Executive Council, this exempt professional develops and coordinates the overall strategy and administration of fundraising programs including, but not limited to: direct mail, newsletters, major donor development, and grant writing. Other areas of responsibility include church & community relations, and volunteer department. Bachelor’s degree or higher in marketing, fundraising, or related field. Minimum five years nonprofit fundraising with supervisory experience. For more information and employment application visit the Union Gospel Mission Salem website. Added 10/15/2011

Indianapolis, Indiana: Chief Administrative Officer—Wheeler Mission in Indianapolis is accepting résumés for chief administrative officer. This position is responsible for managing the business affairs of the ministry: accounting, budgeting, personnel, purchasing, resource development, insurance, food service, and maintaining and developing all ministry property. Strong accounting and management knowledge plus written and oral communication skills, experience in managing/executing business processes, and strong people skills plus ability to implement business process improvements/changes. Business degree with accounting major from accredited college. Five or more years accounting/operations experience. Please send résumé to Debbie Moore, human relations director. Added 10/15/2011

To advertise in future Market Street Classifieds:
Members of AGRM can place a 30-word classified ad listing available positions in two consecutive issues of Street Smart at no charge; additional words will be charged at 50 cents per word. Non-members can place an ad for $25 per issue for a 30-word ad; additional words will be charged at 50 cents per word. AGRM members can renew ads after the second placement at $15 per issue for a 30-word ad. Ads are also placed on the AGRM website. Members can also sponsor Street Smart for $350 per issue. Email desired ad placement to
Brad Lewis (subject line: Street Smart advertising). Ads are subject to editing to conform to Street Smart style, and AGRM reserves the right to reject any ads or sponsorships it deems inappropriate for members. All ads are due one week before issue date. 

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Humbling Ourselves

Our rescue missions have various purposes, but our singular overarching goal is to help men and women come into faith in the Lord. Nothing is more exciting than to see our clients reach out and take His hand. What a privilege we have to witness over and over the miracles that God does in someone’s heart and life.

He changes men and women, families, neighborhoods, churches, towns, and even a nation and the world. What a thrill for us to be a part.

In a familiar verse, the author of 2 Chronicles admonishes the people of God to seek Him: “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).

As Christians, we should take a stand, humble ourselves, pray, seek God’s face, and turn from our wicked ways. God will hear us, forgive our sins, and heal our land as we draw close to Him.

Contributed by Billy Barton, executive director of Home of Grace (Vancleave, Miss.). Reprinted with permission from the News from Home newsletter.

To contribute: If you would like to write a devotional thought for "Street Light," please make it about 200 words and include at least one Bible verse or passage, and submit via email.           

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