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Rescue Mission receives Dogwood grant for Day Center expansion

The Hendersonville Rescue Mission in the Historic Seventh Avenue District was among nonprofit organizations receiving grants from Dogwood Health Trust, the nonprofit corporation set up after the sale of Mission Health assets to improve the health and well-being of communities  people in Western North Carolina.


The grant will help the rescue mission cover unforeseen costs associated with its Day Center expansion. The expansion project will take the current Day Center space from 788 square feet to 2,700 square feet, providing much needed space for personal hygiene and health needs, resources for job seekers, and a charging station for its clients. Once complete, the Day Center expects triple the number of client visits, dramatically impacting the disparities associated with people who face extreme poverty, including those who are homeless or have inadequate housing conditions, limited access to sanitation facilities and limited access to community resources.

“We are so grateful to Dogwood Health Trust for walking alongside us to address this growing need in our community,” Anthony McMinn, CEO for the Hendersonville Rescue Mission, said in a news release. “This additional funding will allow us to address unexpected costs and complete the Day Center expansion.”

The trust awarded more than $3.7 million to a diverse range of 259 nonprofit and government agencies from every county and the Qualla Boundary in Western North Carolina through its Immediate Opportunities and Needs grant program. Of the 492 applicants, 53% were awarded a grant, with the average award amount totaling $14,600. Of those funded, 34% of requests will advance equity or reduce disparities.

Other recipients in Henderson County were Blue Ridge Free Dental Clinic, Blue Ridge Health, Boys & Girls Club, Children & Family Resource Center, First Contact Ministries, Henderson County Education Foundation on behalf of Henderson County Child Nutrition Program, Henderson County Free Medical Clinic on behalf of HopeRX, Henderson County Habitat for Humanity, Camplify, Hickory Nut Gorge Outreach, Interfaith Assistance Ministry, Only Hope WNC, St. James Episcopal Church, Sixth Avenue Psychiatric Rehabilitation Partners, St. Gerard House, Blue Ridge Literacy Council, Council on Aging, Free Clinics, Housing Assistance Corp., United Way of Henderson County, Western Carolina Community Action, YWCA of Asheville and Western North Carolina.

“Originally, we planned to begin funding in fall 2020, but the board was eager to begin investing in the community at the start of the year,” said Janice Brumit, chair of the Dogwood Health Trust board of directors. “The purpose of this round of funding was to meet immediate needs and build initial relationships throughout our region. We plan to use what we learned from this round of funding to inform the work we’re doing now to design our strategic initiatives. Meeting immediate needs is one thing, but what we really want to do is move the needle on key issues and make lasting change.”
An initial budget of $2.5 million was allocated to the ION grant program. "Our goal throughout the ION grantmaking process focused on awarding grants to a diverse representation and on inclusion in our 18-county and Qualla Boundary region,” said Jackie Simms, chair of the programs and grants committee. “We gave particular attention to smaller nonprofits headquartered in the counties and tribe served by Dogwood and to organizations led by people of color. Choosing recipients was a challenging and awe-inspiring task; so many organizations are doing such important work in our region."