McDowell Mission Ministries
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
.... CONCERNED CHRISTIANS COMMITTED TO COMPASSIONATE CARING
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"It's More Than You Think!"
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History of McDowell Mission Ministries
Some of you may already be familiar with our organization. You might even be a supporter. If you are great, let me say thank you, and encourage you to read on anyway. You deserve to hear what your dollars are making possible. If you are not familiar with us then I hope what you read in the following paragraphs will excite you and motivate you to team up with us as we work to improve the lot of the disadvantaged in our county.
McDowell Missions was founded in July 1993. We started humbly as simply a homeless shelter for men. We were located next door to DSS on East Court Street. The very day that we opened we received our first homeless person and we have been going strong ever since. In 1995, we moved across from the Drexel Furniture plant. It was here that we began accepting women and giving away some food boxes. In 1998, we moved to the old County Health Department building on State Street. That same year the Christian Clothing Center united with our ministry and McDowell Prison Ministry came under our watch care. In 1999 we purchased the old hospital nurses annex on Fleming Avenue. The building had fallen into disrepair and we were told frequently visited by law enforcement. We converted it into a 40 bed shelter to house women and children. In the year 2000 the McDowell Prison Ministry united with us and we started supplying benevolence assistance such as – gas, heating fuel, rent, water, pharmaceuticals, and other needs. We also birthed the transportation ministry that provided rides to people that needed to go to the doctor. Because we were performing this ministry we won a contract with DSS to provide transportation Blue Card Medicaid recipients. In 1998, 2003 and 2005 we assisted Old Fort, Burke and Catawba Counties in starting ministries in their community’s. We did all this while caring for our own. God is good.
I have discovered over the years that many folks do not believe that we have a homeless problem in our county. This is probably due to the fact that they do not see them sleeping in alley ways or under bridges. The truth is that in past seven years (2000 – 2008) we provided clean safe shelter to 272 different children and 638 different women. Since 2002 we have housed 692 different men. Visit the Friendship Home for Women and Children on an average night last year you would have found 22 women and 9 children. Do the same thing at the Men’s shelter and you would have met 23 men.
Our shelters are unique in that we do not make residents leave during the day. We do hold them accountable. To keep a bed at our shelters a client must be actively seeking employment, attending school, or in the disability process. Furthermore they must submit to daily alcohol testing and keep all curfews. All clients are required to complete a daily chore and when necessary assist with the food program or at the clothing center. When a client finds employment we assist them with transportation. While they are at the shelter we provide three meals, a warm bed, and supplies to wash their bodies and clothes. If they have no clothes, which is often the case, we will let them get some free at the Christian Clothing Center. We also assist clients who do not have them with getting their North Carolina Identification and Social Security Cards.