ABCCM Honored for Work with Homeless Veterans
American Legion Outreach Award to Veterans Services of the Carolinas
ASHEVILLE, N.C. – Veterans Services of the Carolinas (VSC), a division of Asheville Buncombe Community Christian Ministry (ABCCM), recently won the North Carolina American Legion’s Homeless Veterans Outreach award for its work with homeless veterans in Western North Carolina.
The North Carolina American Legion recognized VSC for outstanding service and assistance to homeless veterans in North Carolina. The award was presented on Friday, July 1, at the North Carolina American Legion’s annual state convention in Raleigh.
John Rakes, ABCCM’s director of Veterans Services of the Carolinas, accepted the award. Archie Barrow, director of the Veteran Employment Service, which is part of the North Carolina Department of Commerce’s Division of Workforce Solutions, presented the award along with both the State and National American Legion Commanders. Barrow told the full American Legion membership at the conference to visit Asheville and see firsthand what ABCCM is doing for homeless veterans. “It will change you forever,” he said. “I promise you that.”
Veterans Services of the Carolinas serves annually more than 500 homeless veterans in 26 western North Carolina counties through rapid rehousing and homeless prevention services as well as employment and training opportunities to prepare participants for career-level jobs. The ministry works in collaboration with the Veterans Restoration Quarters (VRQ) and Steadfast House, which are ABCCM’s transitional living facilities for homeless male and female veterans, respectively. The American Legion award recognizes their collective impact on the lives of homeless veterans across North Carolina.
“ABCCM is deeply honored and humbled by this recognition. We are committed to keeping every veteran in a home or restoring jobs for the men and women who served our country and their families,” said Reverend Scott Rogers, ABCCM’s executive director. “I am very proud of the Veterans Services of the Carolinas staff and volunteers for their dedication to our veterans. We are grateful to American Legion posts around the region and state that support us and are such valuable community partners.”
American Legion Post 526, which is based at the VRQ, is the first nationally chartered Legion post in a homeless facility.
The American Legion supports the efforts of public and private sector agencies and organizations that aid homeless veterans and their families. Additionally, the Legion supports legislative proposals to provide medical, rehabilitative and employment assistance to homeless veterans and their families.
Asheville Buncombe Community Christian Ministry (ABCCM) is one of the key nonprofit organizations addressing poverty, hunger, homelessness and access to health care for the underserved in Buncombe County, serving more than 50,000 individuals annually. Begun as a small collaboration of churches in 1969, ABCCM plays a significant role in meeting emergency assistance needs for families in crisis, coordinating religious services and education activities at the jail, providing transitional and permanent supportive housing of the homeless through 300 beds, increasing access to health care for half the uninsured and medically underserved; as well as work readiness, mentoring and job placement services. We serve veterans across 26 WNC counties. ABCCM is generously supported by 279 congregations of all denominations and faith groups in addition to 5,000 trained volunteers, and provides emergency assistance to anyone in need regardless of age, sex, religion or ethnic background.