Gail Kimball column – Rowan Helping Ministries is able to assist people in crisis because of YOU

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 1, 2009

By Gail Kimball
For the Salisbury Post
Rowan Helping Ministries exists because of YOU. YOU saw the need years ago and YOU acted.
The board of directors, staff, volunteers, clients and guests hold YOU in high esteem for your vision, action and continuing support. YOU have responded to every crisis ó food, clothing, shelter, prescription medications and emergency funds to keep people in their homes.
We are grateful to each of YOU who has lifted up RHM in prayer, sent a donation, gathered or shopped for food, shared seasonal clothing, cooked or served a meal, stayed overnight, interviewed clients who are in crisis or were instrumental in the birth of transitional housing ó Eagles Nest I and II.
One of the most frequently asked questions about RHM is “Are there any children in the shelter?” Yes. Children are overnight guests ó infrequently. We sheltered one child in the past month for two nights (a veteran and his family passing through en route south). However, other services of RHM benefited many, many children, thereby preventing homelessness by keeping children and their families out of the shelter.One such program is Crisis Assistance Network (CAN). The primary purpose of CAN is to enable people of Rowan County needing financial assistance, clothing or food to move toward self-sufficiency and limit the recurrence of crises. CAN staff and volunteers interview and screen clients at the RHM facility Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. This process pinpoints the nature of the crisis.
To highlight a typical day in the CAN office, Dec. 1, 2008 was chosen at random. On that day, 68 family units were interviewed and screened. These 68 families involved 249 individuals in crisis. Of these 249 individuals, 75 percent were children. On any given day, more than 200 children are influenced through CAN.
A disproportionate number of these children are members of single-parent families. When families are assisted with food, clothing and financial help, they are able to use their resources for other basic needs. The goal of CAN is always to help the client move toward whatever level of self-sufficiency possible.
RHM serves to meet the basic human needs of individuals in Rowan County who are in crisis. We could not do this without YOU, who gave more than 33,000 volunteer hours of service in from July 2007 through June 2008.
Thank YOU for keeping children out of the shelter.
Gail Kimball is a member of the Rowan Helping Ministries Board of Directors