With two facilities totaling 115 beds, ABCCM is a designated 2023-24 official city and county shelter for the homeless during Code Purple nights.
Code Purple nights occur with temperatures of 32 degrees or lower, when people are at-risk of freezing to death. The threat is real; there are an average of 75-90 unsheltered (women and children, Veterans, and other individuals) nightly in Buncombe County alone.
“Today’s unhoused homeless need safe, healthy facilities, competent staff and trained volunteers to help meet the complex needs of these neighbors,” says ABCCM Executive Director Rev. Scott Rogers. “ABCCM accepts everyone. We do not require ID or background checks. We accept all people of color. We accept different genders without putting labels and initials on people groups. We treat each unique individual with kindness. We serve those who may be in active addiction and need to stabilize or socially detox. Our focus is on safety for everyone. We do not allow active drug use on the property or in facilities. We require people to be in control of their behavior, not making threats or be a threat to themselves. We have a safe place for those with pets to house them offsite at a certified pet shelter or veterinarian facility. We focus on connecting people with health resources and other important supportive services. ABCCM calls these places: Safe Havens for Code Purple.”
Here are the shelter locations:
- Veterans Restoration Quarters, ACTS building at 1401 Tunnel Rd for men – 95 beds.
- Transformation Village at 30 Olin Haven Way – women and children – 20 beds
Volunteers are needed at both buildings: Cook Teams: shifts- 4-7pm and 6-8am; Evening Activity volunteers: shifts 5-7pm and 7-9pm; Life Skill teachers: shifts 7-9pm; Mentors or Faithful Friends: shifts 5-7pm and 7-9pm
Each year during freezing weather, ABCCM mobilizes Code Purple Vans to help Buncombe County’s homeless residents stay safe and warm at designated Safe Haven shelters.
“Code Purple is a life-saving arm of the churches supporting ABCCM,” Rev. Rogers says. “Since a homeless Veteran froze to death on the streets in 1984, ABCCM has been committed to reaching out through our Code Purple vans to offer lifelines to the homeless. Thanks to the hundreds of volunteers and area churches, we will transport men and women to emergency shelters and ABCCM will provide shelter.”
As temperatures plummet, Code Purple saves lives. “We need everyone’s help to provide coats, hats, gloves, blankets, as well as food for the homeless,” Rev. Rogers says. “Our vans visit homeless sites to deliver coats, hats, gloves, blankets, hand warmers, and food, and they pick people up from these camps and take them to emergency shelters. Many homeless people have no way of getting to the shelters. The Code Purple Vans remove this transportation obstacle.”
Volunteers and supplies are in critical need. Tim McElyea, ABCCM Director of Homeless Services, says, “Coats, blankets, food and supplies are a necessity for the unsheltered during freezing temperatures, along with volunteers to help ride in the vans and deliver the supplies.”
To volunteer, please visit abccm.org or call 828-259-5300.
As winter approaches, ABCCM will begin the annual Safe and Warm Campaign Nov. 1, with utility and heating assistance to help families and individuals facing cut-off notices during the coming cold season.
The trademark of Safe and Warm is the annual blanket and warm clothing drive. The kick-off date is scheduled for Jan.15 – Feb. 24, 2024. There will be smaller drives by specific businesses heading up to the year-end.