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Non-Profit Spotlight: Hendersonville Rescue Mission

3 photos of volunteers helping guests at Hendersonville Rescue Mission

Hendersonville Rescue Mission (HRM) was born in 1981 from the dreams of a man who, while studying to become a minister, drove a Little Debbie truck to make a living. Every day on his route George Cox saw people in need, and every day he wanted to help but wasn’t sure how. When a fellow church member gave him $50 “for your ministry” he knew just what to do: he bought a commercial size coffeepot and began to serve coffee and Little Debbie snacks right on 7th Avenue in Hendersonville, in an area that would soon become home to HRM.

While Hendersonville Rescue Mission began with simple snacks and fellowship over time it grew, and the mission deepened. Today HRM operates under the leadership of Reverend Anthony McMinn, President/CEO, with an ongoing mission to minister to the underprivileged by way of presenting the Gospel of Jesus Christ and helping to provide for their spiritual and physical needs, with an integral focus on self-help programs while offering housing and counseling to men and women alike. 

Upon their arrival, HRM guests must meet with counselors and agree to a 3-night minimum stay, giving counselors the opportunity to evaluate the course of action that can best help each person. They offer separate quarters for men and women, all featuring beds, showers and clothing if needed. The women’s quarters also accept women with young children.

Says Rev. McMinn, “As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, HRM’s programming was adjusted to safely provide essential services to those in need. While the day center and clothing closet services were temporarily suspended, shelter hours were expanded from overnight to a full 24 hours to allow social distancing. We adapted to provide curbside to-go meals and telehealth service for non-shelter guests. A big shout-out to Blue Ridge Health Services for their hard work and for the COVID tests they performed at our Good Samaritan Clinic. That was a game-changer for us to keep our doors open.”

Regular meal service resumed in June of 2020 with temporary plexiglass shields and mask requirements. Socially distant clothing closet services gradually re-opened and expanded; and on April 23, 2021, HRM re-opened the day center.

Adds McMinn with confidence, “HRM continues serving those in need and is prepared to adapt the provision of essential services, as necessary so that they are delivered in the safest possible manner.”

Programs

HRM offers four sequential programs, each requiring commitment on the part of the participants to show that they are willing to work towards changing their lives for the better.

  • 21-day program, which participants can elect to enter into after a 3-day stay, working with a case manager to develop a daily action plan that includes the study of the Gospel of John and applying for at least 3 jobs per day with the help of the Goodwill Career Connection Center. That person is then required to bring a daily report back to their case manager. Because HRM wants to not only help those in need but help them to change their actual situation, the program is tailored to make each person's time productive and requires some form of accountability. They must participate fully in order to remain at HRM.
  • 6-month program, for those residents who successfully complete the 21-day program and have found employment. This extended program includes completing a money management program (including establishing a savings goal and budgeting instruction), further counseling, and establishing a connection with a local church. It is at this point when women with children in our program will receive parenting classes and transition to the next step, Ann's Place.
  • Ann's Place, a program for women with children who have completed the 6-month program and are ready to move toward total independence. Located in a reserved housing area off-campus, Ann’s Place offers continued support from a caseworker and a gradual transition into a new lifestyle. 
  • Turning Point Recovery Program, an 8-month program for men seeking help with drug and/or alcohol addiction. For the first ten weeks of the program, clients receive counseling and spiritual guidance but are not permitted to leave the premises without an escort. From that point, HRM offers assistance in looking for work and a money management program. The participants are allowed more individual time with accountability and approved visitors, aiding them in their journey to independence.

Tim Jones, COO at Hendersonville Rescue Mission, emphasizes that the goal, as always, is to move clients toward healthy, independent, productive lives with a spiritual base to guide their way. He is proud of HRM’s success rate in effecting lasting change. “About 60% of our guests complete one of our programs, and over 70% of those folks are then able to find stable housing.”

HRM offers a number of other services, all in keeping with its mission:

  • Feeding the Hungry: Offering a square meal that includes salad, meat, two vegetables, and dessert. The food is delicious, and the entire public is welcome.
  • Clothing Closet: Serving HRM program guests as well as the general public. HRM depends heavily on the generosity of area locals to provide clothing in all sizes and types to accommodate guests’ needs and preserve their dignity—often, guests at HRM arrive with nothing more than the clothes on their backs.
  • Good Samaritan Medical Clinic: In collaboration with Blue Ridge Community Health Services, volunteer physicians provide basic medical services to those who do not have healthcare. Helping clients and others in need maintain better health with these services means they are better equipped to continue working or searching for employment and remain productive citizens.
  • Code Grace: A cold-weather shelter, open when temps reach 32 F. degrees or on any evening forecasted to reach those temperatures
  • Day Center: A place to sit and get warm, take a hot shower, or just see a friendly face
  • Gospel Warehouse: A gathering place where groups of people, non-profits, church youth groups, and other pre-approved organizations may come and share the gospel, fellowship, learn, and celebrate. 

Forty years later, HRM remains unwavering in its mission to help men and women who are going through a tough spot in life, with the ultimate goal of giving them the tools needed to bring about lasting change and to better their lives. They have influenced the lives of thousands for the better since their humble beginnings with that coffee pot and Little Debbie snack cakes.

 

For more information about HRM call 828-697-1354 or send an email to office@hendersonvillerescuemission.com. They’d love to hear from you!