Churches aid rehab shelters


Staff Writer

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Since 1974, the Christian Fellowship Home in Rocky Mount has helped recovering alcoholics and addicts become clean and productive citizens in society.

Recently, the federally recognized 501(c)3 nonprofit organization received some help from the local faith-based community. With funding being an issue, the Christian Fellowship Home recently received a $1,500 check through the offerings of the Community Worship Series.

The organization celebrated its 11th year in the area as a group of white and black churches came together this summer to hold four weekly worship services. The Rev. Alice Johnson-Curl, pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church, said the total offering was $3,000, with the other half going to the Lighthouse, a halfway house for homeless women recovering from alcohol and drug addiction.

Shawn Crumley, executive director of the Christian Fellowship Home, said the generosity of the Community Worship Series is a confirmation of the work the nonprofit group is doing to make a difference in the community.

“It was great to know something like that has been going on every year is trying to support agencies like ours,” Crumley said. “It’s a blessing that both of our groups have been able to raise that type of awareness. The gift will be applied to our general operating fund because this year we had a $1,900 shortfall and were unsure where the money was going to come from. The fact this it’s going to our budget in the fall will make a pretty good dent.”

In 2016, the Christian Fellowship Home received a gift from Church on the Rise, which eventually became a halfway house for homeless veterans. Crumley said the recovery home on Grace Street can house up to 12 men, while the home for the homeless veterans on South Howell Street can hold up to seven veterans.

Crumley said there are a couple beds currently available at both homes. The recovery home has 10 people, while the veteran home has five. He said there are between two to four people on the waiting list.

The Christian Fellowship Home doesn’t just provide housing to the recovering men, but also transportation, getting them reconnected to local providers to help them get their health back on track, find employment and connect them with resources on any legal matters.

“We also do random alcohol and drug tests to make sure everybody in both houses are at the stage of being in a sober environment,” Crumley said. “We make it mandatory for them to attend a 12-step recovery program tha provides professional mental health and substance abuse counseling services. Our goal is that they can re-establish themselves as productive people of the community, so we’re the first step of trying to be part of that solution.”

Residents serve food to the public twice a month on Saturdays, maintain and keep clean part of Grace Street through the Adopt-A-Highway program that also includes a partnership with the city of Rocky Mount to pick up litter around areas in the city.

Ginny Mohrbutter, executive director for the United Way Tar River Region, said the agency has enjoyed a positive, long-standing relationship with Christian Fellowship Home.

“The work aligns well with the needs of our community as outlined in United Way’s needs assessment,” Mohrbutter said. “As a community, we need to support individuals who experience substance abuse and want to positively change their lives. The critical work of Christian Fellowship Home positively impacts several quality-of-life issues, such as health, financial stability, crime reduction and workforce development.”