About Rowan Helping Ministries

Rowan Helping Ministries operates with a budget of $2.8 million, with only 5.2 percent of funds going to administrative costs. Typically, nonprofits spend from 15 to 40 percent of revenue on administrative costs. The 50 volunteers who serve each day, 365 days per year, make this possible.

The Long street campus consists of the Ralph W. Ketner Center Crisis Assistance Center, the Robertson-Stanback Center and Jeannie’s Kitchen; three remodeled permanent supportive houses for families, two Eagle’s Nest apartment buildings, for guests to be able move out of the shelter into transitional housing. In addition, there are two satellite Food Pantries in Rowan County: Rowan Helping Ministries West and Rowan Helping Ministries East.

Programs include Shelter Services, Jeannie’s Kitchen, the Clothing Center, Food Pantry, Crisis Assistance Network, Transitional Housing Programs, Rowan Helping Ministries-West, Rowan Helping Ministries-East, New Tomorrows, Food For Thought.

Rowan Helping Ministries, now celebrating its 35th year, works to move people out of crisis, poverty, hunger, and homelessness in Rowan County. The organization was built, and continues to thrive on the generosity of volunteers, who give their time, talents and treasures.

Our Mission is to serve, through cooperative community action, our neighbors in Rowan County who are in crisis, by providing essential life needs and educating and empowering them to break the cycle of crisis.

Rowan Helping Ministries is a continuation of Rowan Cooperative Christian Ministry, a ministry begun in 1967 by several of Salisbury’s downtown churches. Rowan Helping Ministries was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization on Sept. 18, 1986. At that time, the Shelter rotated among several of the downtown churches and only operated during the winter months. The Soup Kitchen was provided by First Presbyterian Church, and The Crisis Assistance Network worked out of John Calvin Presbyterian Church. The Clothing Center was at the former Price High School building. Dial Help, incorporated in 1970, was in the basement of Tri-County Mental Health.

In December 1989, all of these programs moved to 226 N. Long St. and became part of Rowan Helping Ministries.

History Timeline

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  • 1967

    Rowan Cooperative Christian Ministries Started

    Rowan Cooperative Christian Ministries Started

    August 1, 1967
    Rowan Cooperative Christian Ministries was started. The war on poverty, introduced in 1964 by President Johnson, was in full swing.
  • 1970

    Dial Help

    Dial Help

    August 1, 1970
    Dial Help suicide prevention hot line and YokeFellow Prison Ministry started.
  • 1982

    First Presbyterian Soup Kitchen

    First Presbyterian Soup Kitchen

    August 1, 1982
    Soup Kitchen began at First Presbyterian. Open 5 days a week.
  • 1983

    Emergency Winter Night Shelter

    Emergency Winter Night Shelter

    August 1, 1983
    Area churches joined together to open emergency winter night shelter.
  • 1985

    Crisis Assistance Network

    Crisis Assistance Network

    August 1, 1985
    Crisis Assistance Network began at John Calvin Presbyterian Church.
  • 1986

    Incorporation

    Incorporation

    September 18, 1986
    Rowan Helping Ministries was incorporated.
  • 1988

    Cheerwine Donates Land

    Cheerwine Donates Land

    August 1, 1988
    The three-day fund-raising event in 1987, conducted by Ralph Ketner, co-founder of Food Lion. Money was raised for the new building at 226 N. Long St. which brought all downtown churches’ programs to one location.
  • 1989

    226 North Long Street

    226 North Long Street

    August 1, 1989
    We moved into the new building.
  • 1996

    Hope Fund Established

    Hope Fund Established

    August 1, 1996
    The Hope Fund was established with a gift of $308,000 from Hope Uzzell.
  • 1997

    Eagle’s Nest I

    Eagle’s Nest I

    August 1, 1997
    Eagle’s Nest I East donated by the Wallace family.
  • 1998

    Program Expansions

    Program Expansions

    September 1, 1998
    Rowan Helping Ministries began administering government funds for heating and cooling assistance. Counseling program, aimed at increasing self-sufficiency, was started for shelter guests.
  • 2004

    Eagle’s Nest II

    Eagle’s Nest II

    August 1, 2004
    Additional transitional housing with Eagle’s Nest II was built for homeless individuals.
  • 2007

    Rowan Helping Ministries West

    Rowan Helping Ministries West

    August 1, 2007
    Rowan Helping Ministries West was opened in Mt. Ulla, NC.
  • 2008

    New Tomorrows

    New Tomorrows

    August 1, 2008
    New Tomorrows and Life Coaching programs were introduced.
  • 2011

    Journey Forward

    Journey Forward

    August 1, 2011
    Journey Forward program was started, and expansion planning began.
  • 2011

    Miracle on Long Street

    Miracle on Long Street

    August 5, 2011
    Miracle on Long Street, a $7.2 million campaign in 2011 to construct the Robertson-Stanback Center and Jeannie’s Kitchen, remodel the Ralph W. Ketner Crisis Assistance Center, and purchase and remodel the three permanent supportive houses.
  • 2012

    USDA Food Distribution

    USDA Food Distribution

    August 1, 2012
    Rowan Helping Ministries took over USDA food distribution for Rowan County.
  • 2014

    Robertson-Stanback Center

    Robertson-Stanback Center

    August 1, 2014
    Robertson-Stanback Center is opened in May.
  • 2019

    Garden of Eatin’

    Garden of Eatin’

    August 1, 2019
    Garden of Eatin’ was began as a sustainability measure and helps to supplement the meals at Jeannie’s Kitchen and the food pantry at Rowan Helping Ministries.
  • 2021

    35 Years of Service

    35 Years of Service

    August 1, 2021
    Rowan Helping Ministries celebrates its’ 35th year of service to the community.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Rowan Helping Ministries?

Rowan Helping Ministries is celebrating its 35th year of helping to move Rowan County residents out of crisis and into a better life. The work is done through donations and volunteers, supported by staff. Here is a list of services: 

What if I need help?

All requests for financial assistance are handled by using the Rowan Helping Ministries online only application. Follow-up questions or needed communications are handled by email or phone. Inquiries will be handled in the order that they are received. Status inquiries can be left at (704) 637-6838, ext. 226.

For shelter information, please call 704.637.6838, ext. 121.

If you, or anyone that you know, is sleeping outdoors, in a car, or anywhere people do not normally live, please contact Cathy Wood-Romero, Crisis Assistance/Housing Manager, at cwood@rowanhelpingministries.org, or call her at (704) 637-6838, Ext. 107. Please leave a detailed location. We will conduct an outreach effort to encourage safe sheltering and participation in the programs and services of Rowan Helping Ministries.

What are the client services hours at the Salisbury location?
  • Jeannie’s Kitchen is open every day from noon-1 p.m. for anyone who needs a noon meal.
  • The Shelter is open 24/7.
  • Crisis Assistance Network is open Monday-Friday, 8 a.m-3:30 p.m. for those needing financial assistance.
How many people are helped each day?

Our Crisis Assistance Network helps 25-40 people each weekday. We serve 75 to 100 noon meals. A total of 90 to 100 guests are sheltered each night. A total of 1,000 school children receive weekend food bags during the school year.

What Are the Business Hours?
  • Jeannie’s (Soup) Kitchen is open every day from 12pm – 1pm for anyone who needs a noon meal.
  • The Shelter is open 24/7.
  • Crisis Assistance Network is open Monday – Friday 8am – 3:30 pm for those needing financial assistance, food, or clothing.
Who gives to Rowan Helping Ministries?

Individuals, churches, civic groups, and businesses. Rowan Helping Ministries also receives funding from foundations and government entities.

How much of the money goes to Program Services?

A total of 94.8 percent of money donated goes to Program Services. Our current budget is $2,553,600.

Are you a United Way Agency?

No.

How can I help?

There are many ways to help:

Financial Contributions

  • Checks can be made out to Rowan Helping Ministries, 226 N. Long St., Salisbury, NC 28144.
  • Cash contributions.
  • Automatic drafts can be set up to contribute on a regular basis.
  • Donate Here.

Food Donations

  • Food donations are received at Rowan Helping Ministries Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m. For more information on current needs, please go to our Wish List page.

Clothing Donations

  • Clothing donations are received on Wednesdays only from 8 a.m.-3:00 p.m. Due to limited space, we can only accept seasonal clothing in good, clean condition.

Volunteer Opportunities

  • Check our Volunteer page for more information. Get started by signing up to attend one of our volunteer orientations.

Partners in Service

Rowan Helping Ministries is a partner agency of Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina (SHFBM). SHFBM partners and distributes food and essential grocery items to approximately 800 hunger feeding agencies in 24 counties in North and South Carolina. Agencies served include emergency pantries, soup kitchens, senior programs, shelters, and low-income daycares. 

Want to become a partner? E-mail us to find out more information on becoming a Rowan Helping Ministries Partner.

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