Miracles on the Horizon Capital Campaign
Helping Homeless Citizens Find Their Pathways Home
This $5.6 million capital project will expand pathways to housing for Rowan County’s homeless citizens. By adding Transitional and Permanent Supportive Housing and expanding primary care and behavioral health services on our campus, we can help more chronically homeless citizens return to stable, permanent homes.
This is a 6-year, phased construction, and renovation project to deliver the following:
Eagle’s Nest III
We will renovate the historic R.B. Miller building to include two non-congregate, transitional housing buildings. This addition will add 12 apartments to the existing 10 units in Eagle’s Nest I and Eagle’s Nest II. Eagle’s Nest III will have 9 units reserved for veterans. ($1,721,850)
Renovation of a Historic Building
We will renovate the historic R.B. Miller building next to Eagle’s Nest III to provide space for client case management, client counseling, and administrative offices. Also housed here will be a “Living Room” concept which will enable a client to meet with a peer support specialist as soon as possible in a comfortable, calm environment to help de-escalate a mental health crisis and avoid hospitalization and sustain the client in stable housing. The “Living Room” will also be available to street homeless, shelter guests, and permanent supportive housing residents to improve outcomes for all who are experiencing a personal crisis. ($1,233,150)
First Horizons Neighborhood
We will build 5 Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) duplexes to serve 8 individuals or couples and 2 families, built next to our 3 existing PSH houses. ($1,505,000)
Ralph W. Ketner Center Renovation
We will move our current administrative offices to the R. B. Miller building. We will repurpose the space for primary care and mental health services, provided onsite through our partner agency Cabarrus Rowan Community Health Center. This new space will allow us to expand hours and serve more clients. ($90,000)
This fund will be for major equipment repairs and replacements in the Ralph W. Ketner and Robertson-Stanback Centers. ($1,050,000)
IS TO CREATE OPPORTUNITIES FOR LOCAL PEOPLE EXPERIENCING A HOUSING CRISIS TO FIND THEIR PATHWAYS TO A PLACE THEY CAN CALL HOME.
We hope you will join us in this effort to end homelessness in Rowan County. Your gifts will help our clients on their journey to find their pathways home.
“Rowan Helping Ministries has an important role to play in Salisbury-Rowan. If we could replicate Rowan Helping Ministries in every city in every state, it would make a better country. The Mission is extraordinary, and we are happy to support it.”
CEO of First Horizon Bank
The Need for Building Miracles
For 5 years, Rowan Helping Ministries’ Transitional Housing units have experienced slow turnover due to Rowan County housing shortages. By adding transitional and permanent supportive housing on our campus, we can help shelter guests move more quickly toward final housing destinations. Building more transitional housing will also satisfy Veterans Administration requirements that veterans in our VA Grant Per Diem program be housed in private transitional housing rather than congregate shelters. The VA feels that private space is more conducive to recovery for veterans with PTSD.
Currently, Rowan County has an extensive wait list for Permanent Supportive Housing. Of the 81 guests living in our homeless shelter recently, 17 individuals and 1 family were on the prioritized waiting list for Permanent Supportive Housing and housing financial assistance through the NC Balance of State Continuum of Care. Four of the 6 individuals living in our transitional housing apartments also were waiting for Permanent Supportive Housing. In the prior year, just 2 homeless citizens in our 5-county region moved to Permanent Supportive Housing through this system, but none were from Rowan County.
The need for expanded substance abuse and mental health services is equally critical. Those issues were identified among our community’s top 3 issues in a 2018 community needs assessment, and they impact our homeless populations at even higher levels than the general population. Of about 500 people who entered our shelter last year, 54% reported they suffered from mental health and substance abuse disorders. Shelter guests who repeatedly enter and exit our shelter often do so because of substance abuse and/or mental health issues.
Read A Vet's Story
Vet Finds Way Home
Randy Jones realized that he had hit rock bottom in his life while sleeping in his car in March with his 64-year-old wife, Gail.
He was “helpless, homeless, and hurting,” he said. “I cried all night, thinking — how did I get here?”
That answer spans more than 30 years, Randy and Gail explained recently while sitting on the steps outside the Rowan Helping Ministries shelter. They cried together and smiled through their tears as they told how God brought them to Rowan Helping Ministries and helped them change their lives.
A decorated combat veteran, Randy served for eight months in the 1990’s Persian Gulf War, experiencing his first combat action there with the Army’s rapid deployment ground forces. Not long after returning home, Randy left the military. Unfortunately, the war had followed him home.
“Nightmares began torturing me at night,” Randy recalled. “I started feeling afraid and isolated. I didn’t have my buddies and tank behind me. I began having dreams — still do today — of the enemy coming out of nowhere. In the dream, I don’t have a weapon, they are armed, and I am running for my life. Sometimes I cannot wake up, and I am trapped in that dream, and it just keeps reoccurring. There is no cure for it — your mind has recorded all these horrific scenes and plays them back in different versions.”
Randy turned to alcohol and drugs to help make the dreams stop. He was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, but continued to live a double life, working successfully in the restaurant industry as he hid his problems and continued to self-medicate.
“I worked two jobs to make ends meet for almost 10 straight years,” he said. “As time went on, I moved from nice homes to finally any place I could find. My credit started to suffer … because I just got in over my head with debt, and it really started to break me down mentally.”
Over time, Gail followed him in his downward spiral, also using alcohol and drugs to soften her pain as their lives deteriorated. With each move, their housing became more substandard, while rent payments increased. Their last home was the worst, and the landlord refused to fix anything. The pandemic had arrived, and the first eviction moratorium was in place.
“We had mold and nasty carpet because a busted water pipe behind the walls was leaking out,” Randy said. “Bed bugs had become a problem and then the septic tank began to overflow into the house. It was just a horrible situation.”
The landlord, who had already raised the rent several times, did so again. Randy refused to pay, and they argued. While the moratorium was lifted for two days, the landlord evicted them.
They were living in their car when Randy surrendered his life to God. “I told Him, ‘If you help me, I will never live that life again,’” he said.
The next day, they sought help from the Salisbury VA Medical Center, which sent them to Rowan Helping Ministries to enter the VA Grant Per Diem Program. A partnership between the Salisbury VA and our agency, this program provides shelter and intensive services to homeless Veterans.
“I had never been homeless,” Randy said. “That was the hard thing — seeing my wife in the shelter. I let her down tremendously. But overnight, we quit everything — the alcohol and the drugs.”
“It’s like the Lord just touched our hearts,” Gail said. “I slept good that night, and I am still sleeping good.”
Working with Rowan Helping Ministries’ Housing Program, Randy and Gail qualified for rent and utility assistance and found a 1-bedroom apartment but had a bad credit rating. After writing a letter to the landlord explaining their situation, they were approved for the apartment. Both are now working again.
“I want to thank Rowan Helping Ministries because, without them, I don’t know what we would have done,” Gail said. “They put us on the road to recovery. The staff is so positive here — you see a lot of sunshine here.“
“The greatest thing was when we got our keys,” Randy said. “We unlocked the door for the first time ourselves. Solomon and Amanda (Rowan Helping Ministries staff) were there, and we took pictures. We are going to make this thing work. We made a promise to God that we would do His will. We are going to praise Him in our lives so His light will shine through us.”
Please consider donations to our Miracles on the Horizon Campaign Project. Gifts over $2,500 will be acknowledged on the Donor Wall in the Historic R. B. Miller Building.
More naming opportunities will be available with the Historic Miller Building Renovation after the completion of the architectural plans.
Miracles on the Horizon Donation Form (click here)
Your gift will support our Miracles on the Horizon Capital Project to expand transitional and permanent supportive housing. It is through your gifts we can continue to support the chronically homeless on their journey to find their pathway home. Gifts of $2500 or more will be displayed on our donor wall.