The early 1960's and 70's were reflective of civil unrest, social injustice, and high unemployment. RCC&CC began as a social ministry in 1968. By design, the Center has labored among those that are marginalized or considered invisible by mainstream society.
The ecumenical tri-racial Taskforce, composed of clergy and laity, was established for community leaders to come together to discuss the plight of the poor, division, and responsibilities of the Churches in Robeson County. A grant was funded from the Bishop's Fund for Reconciliation of the UMC for a social ministry center.
From these monies, the RCC&CC provided emergency assistance with utilities to help families survive the hot or cold. RCC&CC also helped build ramps for senior citizens and helped to provide medicine for those who are uninsured, food, and rent for those facing eviction. The agency also taught those who cannot read.
Since that time, the agency has grown to start many programs in the County: a transportation service, a rape crisis center, hurricane and tornado assistance, a battered women's program, a voter registration program, a community action center, a Families First program, and a reading and literacy program.
Today research indicates that the percentage of residents living in poverty is 32%, the illiteracy rate is over 32%, and unemployment for the County stands at 12.2%.
RCC&CC continues to address the social issues of hunger, homelessness, eviction, health care, and housing for those living in poverty regardless of race, gender, or socio-economic status. The Center offers emergency assistance with utility bills and rental aid for those facing eviction. The Center assists with some health care needs, has a medical equipment closet, and provides homeless backpacks, school kits, and housing repairs and ramps for senior citizens. Additionally, we have and operate a thrift store with donated household items, furniture, and clothing. Vouchers are given to families, children, and individuals who are victims of domestic violence, those who are transitioning from prison, or those whose home and belongings have been destroyed by fire. We offer a Senior Citizens Assistance Line to refer seniors and their caregivers to entities that can assist in making their lives safer and more comfortable.
As of December 2012, we have distributed over 156,800 pounds of food to 12,700 families and children and 14,000 individuals. Also, the RCC&CC has helped over 1,500 families and individuals with utilities, rent, medicine, and propane. Thus, it is estimated that the Center's programs and services have affected over 30,000 lives.
Goals & Objectives
1. To increase the number of assistance requests for ramps, small floor repairs, and information and referral for senior citizens by 10% by December 31, 2013.
2. To increase the number of food boxes given to families, children, individuals, and the homeless who have no food or who are experiencing food deprivation; increase the number of those served by 15% by December 31, 2013.
3. To increase the number of clients served in need of emergency assistance with utilities, rent, clothing, or household items; increase the number served by 15% by December 31, 2013.
4. Seek and secure more funding for operations and services.
5. To increase by 10% the number of school kits for children who are in need of educational materials by December 31, 2013.
6. To increase by 30% the number of clients served who are in need of assistance with medicine and Ensure by December 31, 2013.
7. To make our Home Store self-sufficient within three years; the store will be able to pay its own direct costs by December 31, 2013.
8. To by July 31, 2013, establish a budgeting class to inform clients about financial responsibility.
9. To increase by 15% the number of families and children reached who could qualify for 'A Brighter Christmas' program with Christmas toys, gifts, and food by December 1, 2013.
10. To expand and increase the amount of food donations and financial contributions for our 'Free Choice' Food Pantry to assist a larger number of entities and increase the number food boxes distributed to families by December 2013.
1. Research, develop, and complete an Information and Referral Directory to be distributed to senior citizens and to program events.
2. Complete housing assessments in a timely manner. Secure more mission work teams to help with the number of senior citizens requesting assistance.
3. Complete and submit funding applications from granting agencies such as United Way and Golden Leaf foundation in an effort to expand services and operations.
4. Participate in more events, speaking engagements, health fairs, senior citizen functions; educate and make more people aware of the services and programs we provide.
5. Increase the number of brochures and informational reports disseminated at each function.
6. Purchase and disseminate more promotional materials about the RCC&CC programs and services.
7. Contact more local grocery stores, business, churches, and food suppliers; request additional food items for increased distributions to needy families, children, shelters, and homeless individuals.
8. Educate and strengthen relationships and networking with local DSS, communities of faith, public school groups, non-profit organizations, and professional groups about programs and services offered by the RCC&CC.
9. Recruit more churches, businesses, and individuals to donate gifts, funds, and food for our 'A Brighter Christmas' program.
10. Use marketing strategies such as "$3.00" bags to increase number of sales at the Home Store.
11. Increase the number of appeals by 25% for gently used clothing donations, furniture items, and household goods to communities across the County.