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Cold Weather Stories from ABCCM

Cold weather stretches ABCCM’s urgent need for donations to help with heating assistance for elderly and families with children in Buncombe County.

Every winter season with 29,797, or 11.5% of the Buncombe County population living below the poverty level there is a need to help families and individuals with heating assistance. What follows is just one of many “Cold Weather Stories.”

Suhaiba V. is pregnant and lives with her five-year-old daughter. She graduated from massage school, hoping to pursue a new career, but the licensure testing center closed due to COVID-19. Suhaiba received a final notice of impending disconnection from her utilities company. ABCCM helped her pay the bill and averted disconnection. They also signed her daughter up for the Christmas Angel program so she could receive Christmas presents.

This year, due to the unemployment, lack of medical insurance and overall economic impact of Covid-19 there are more Cold Weather Stories than ever, similar to Sahaiba’s. Demand for heating assistance has risen dramatically for many of our county’s elderly residents and families with small children.

ABCCM receives an average of 10-15 calls a day, including elderly and families with children for heating assistance and has prevented the shut off of heat for 60 households with over 125 household members in the 90 days, costing about $7,500.

Of those in need of heating assistance, utilities have already shut off for about 25%, averaging an additional $29-$50 to reconnect, depending on the type of utility. 

The cost per home in need ranges from $150-$250 monthly, depending upon the type of heating.

ABCCM is seeking donations and sponsors for families with children and individuals, including our elderly. If you are in a position to help those in need of the basic comfort of heat this winter ABCCM is asking you to please go to abccm.org/our-christmas-journey and click “Help Families in Crisis”, or contact one of their Crisis Ministries to inquire on the many ways you can help.

 

More About ABCCM:

Asheville Buncombe Community Christian Ministry (ABCCM) is one of the key non-profit organizations addressing poverty, hunger, homelessness and access to health care for the under-served in Buncombe County, serving annually around 21,764, or 1 in 12 persons in 2019. 

Begun as a small collaboration of churches in 1969, ABCCM has played a significant role in meeting emergency assistance needs for families in crisis, coordinating religious services and education activities at the jail, providing transitional and permanent supportive housing of the homeless through 300 beds, increasing access to health care for half the uninsured and medically underserved; as well as work readiness, mentoring and job placement services.  We serve veterans across 26 WNC counties.

ABCCM is generously supported by over 289 churches of all denominations and 6,100 trained volunteers and provides emergency assistance to anyone in need regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, or disability. 

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