Rowan Helping Ministries’ annual meeting focuses on success

Published 12:17 am Monday, September 21, 2015

Rowan Helping Ministries will work to strengthen the organization’s financial sustainability and create more affordable housing for shelter guests ready to move into their own homes, according to organization leaders who spoke at the agency’s 2015 annual meeting.

Kyna Grubb, executive director of Rowan Helping Ministries, reported at the Sept. 15 meeting that the agency will concentrate efforts on these two areas now that work on new and renovated facilities is nearing completion.

The agency’s endowment fund, called the Hope Fund, has grown from $670,000 to $1.2 million in the past five years. But as foundations decrease traditional funding levels and costs to provide services increase, the agency needs to grow its endowment fund, Grubb said.

“The goal of the Resource Development Committee is to grow the Hope Fund balance to $5 million in the next five years,” she said. “At this level, the Hope Fund can produce the revenue needed to help underwrite our budget and provide a maintenance reserve for our facilities.”

Special guest Shana Hurt relayed the wishes of her late great aunt to feed the poor and urged those attending to consider doing the same through the Hope Fund.

“For as long as I can remember, Lucy would tell anyone who would listen, ‘When I die, I’m going to leave all my money to help feed the poor.’ “ Hurt said. “Lucy is unable to be with us tonight to share her story herself, as she passed away a little over four months ago. But true to her word, …when we pulled out her will, she had left virtually everything – her money, her worldly possessions, even her car – to Rowan Helping Ministries.”

“A woman of very modest means but with a heart for giving actually DID what she had been promising to do for many years – help feed the poor,” Hurt said.

Grubb reported that there are now 25 individuals living in the shelter who are ready to move to stable housing and can support themselves financially through jobs or disability income.

“But finding affordable housing in Rowan County is not an easy task with average rental rates $200 to $300 above what they can afford. As a result, we continue to explore opportunities for transitional and supportive housing and affordable housing,” she said.

All of the progress made in recent years is the result of support of the community, said Outgoing Chair Diane Hundley in welcoming supporters to the event hosted by First Presbyterian Church of Salisbury. Contributions to Rowan Helping Ministries from the community totaled over $4.3 million, including contributions to the Hope Fund endowment. More than 91% of contributions for operating support were used to provide program services.

In its last fiscal year, the shelter served 489 individuals, including families, and served almost 99,000 meals in Jeannie’s Kitchen, which provides three meals each day.

The Food Pantry distributed nearly 551,000 pounds of food last year and the Clothing Pantry served over 11,500 clients. The organization provided nearly $890,000 in financial assistance for rent, utilities and other needs.

Grubb reported that renovation is continuing on the original building, which will be completed and dedicated later this year as the Ralph W. Ketner Crisis Assistance Center. This renovation will feature a remodeled food pantry and clothing center and expanded office space for crisis assistance interviews and life coaching, which is designed to reduce clients’ dependency on social service agencies.

During the meeting, James Davis and Paul Fisher were elected to serve as new members on the Board of Directors. Those re-elected to new terms were Phil Conrad and Dr. Don Fortner. Continuing their service as Board Members are: Chris Bradshaw, Steve Henman, Scott Jones, Dr. Vergel L. Lattimore, Mike Lippard, Cheryl Marsh, Dennis McCoy, Owen Norvell, Teresa Patterson, and P.J. Ricks.


Serving as officers for 2015-16 will be Maria Lowder, chair; Tim Messinger, vice chair; Dick Huffman, secretary; and Keith Cunningham, treasurer. Retiring Board members who were recognized at the event were: Sue Fisher, Diane Hundley, past chair, Dave Jordan, past treasurer, Rev. Bill Ketchie, and Tom Staats.


Details were announced for upcoming events and projects that will benefit Rowan Helping Ministries: Reception for Honor Card Artist Carole Simmons, Oct. 29 at 5 pm at Rail Walk Studios and Gallery; Trick or Treat So Others May Eat, Oct. 25 from 2 – 6 pm; Christmas Traditions, December 14-15 at The Meroney Theatre; Volunteer Banquet, March 15, 2016 at First Baptist Church; and the Pass the Plate fundraiser, April 9, 2016 at Morgan Ridge. For more information, contact Rowan Helping Ministries at 704-637-6838.