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MUST Ministries

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Emergency Assistance, Homeless & Housing, Homeless Centers, Homeless Shelters, Human Services, Religion, Religion-Related

Mission: MUST Ministries is a faith-based organization which for thirty-eight years has been dedicated to providing services to persons and families in crisis while maintaining their dignity. Founded in 1971 and rooted in the Christian tradition, MUST addresses the basic needs of individuals, families, and children in the northwest metropolitan Atlanta communities of Cobb and Cherokee counties. MUST is unique among social service agencies in the metro-Atlanta area, offering comprehensive services such as emergency shelter, transitional housing and recovery from homelessness, housing for mentally ill clients, meals, groceries, clothing, job readiness training and placement, financial assistance, children’s programs, community support groups, access to free health care, and affordable housing. MUST serves as regional model in the delivery of services to indigent, people/families in crisis, and the homeless.

Geographic areas served: Cherokee and Cobb Counties in Metro Atlanta Region

Programs: Must programs services provides food, clothing, financial assistance, case management and employment services to individuals and families with little to no income. With the help of thousands of volunteers 604,588 pounds of groceries were donated to 14,142 individuals. 202,731 clothing items were given free of charge to 9,431 individuals. Through musts' innovative training opportunities including job readiness and industry specific trainings must helped 393 individuals find employment resulting in more than $6. 4 million in gross income returning to the community. The case management team program component works with individuals for better understanding of their current situation and community resources as well as goal setting and obtainment, mapping the way for a secure future.

must housing programs work to address the emergency needs of persons experiencing homelessness, the long-term needs of those struggling with chronic homelessness because of a disability and rental assistance for those who are living in homelessness or facing eviction. Must's emergency shelter serves over 844 persons annually, including children. Must's supportive housing programs offer stable housing for 144 persons, including veterans, who are chronically homeless. In the 2016-2017 fiscal year, these programs provided 84,224 bed nights of rest to persons recovering from homelessness (an increase of 8% over the prior year). The elizabeth inn work recovery program provides emergency shelter for men, women, and families who are living in homelessness. Our program connects the client to employment and education services for resume writing and career building opportunities, each client is assigned a case manager who will meet with them bi-weekly to develop an individualized service plan indicating their program goals and addressing any possible barriers to housing the client may experience. In addition, the client will receive appropriate referrals to mainstream services for concerns such as mental and physical health, substance abuse, and domestic violence. In the past 12 months 646 clients have successfully entered into an individualized service plan after receiving placement in our program. This total represents 92% completion toward our annual goal. 414 clients completed one goal toward self-sufficiency (obtained employment, obtained a mainstream benefit, or qualified for housing). This total represents 138% completion toward our annual goal. 447 clients have graduated from the elizabeth inn work recovery program and received stable housing. This number represents 105% of our annual goal. Must ministries supportive housing program addresses the needs of persons with mental disabilities and substance abuse who are chronically homeless. As of the 2016-2017 fiscal year, the program has served 122 individuals with case management, medical assistance, education (ged program) and employment services. These services are rendered through the programs in cobb, cherokee and the veterans program in marietta. Through this program our goal is to help individuals move toward self-sufficiency with stable housing, education, employment and financial benefits. Must can serve those who are living in homelessness or who are facing eviction through several federal grants. Rapid re-housing (rrh) is a program for individuals/families who are living in homelessness and meet the income limits of 50% or below ami. This program housed clients in bartow, cobb, cherokee, douglas, paulding and pickens counties. A total of 38 individuals were served in this program. Of the 38 individuals served, 74% were stably housed upon completion of the program. Cobb rapid re-housing (rrh) is a program for individuals/families who are living in homelessness and meet the income limits of 50% or below ami. This program housed clients in cobb county. A total of 43 individuals were served in this program. Of the 43 individuals served, 100% were stably housed upon completion of the program.

must's seasonal programs provide supplemental food and holiday assistance for families throughout an 8 county region. Must's summer lunch program delivers lunches each weekday of the summer to school aged children who receive free or reduced lunches during the school year and to their younger siblings. Partnering with community churches and organizations, 273,815 meals were delivered to 7,193 children in 8 counties, an increase of 9% over the prior year. Must's toy shop provided holiday gifts to 4,164 children in two counties and must's thanksgiving program provided 498 families a turkey and all of the accompanying holiday food items needed for a traditional celebration within their own homes.

must ministries, inc. Opened a thrift store called must marketplace where it sells donated items at a discount to provide to their clients as well as the public. One of the advantages of must marketplace is that clients get to choose the items provided to them that best meets the needs of their family. As part of the mission of helping our neighbors in need, in 2014, must ministries, inc. Extended this mission by opening must marketplace. Must-sif operates food pantries in 24 schools (21 cobb county schools, two marietta city schools and one at kennesaw state university) serving 330 families in a typical month. The students are identified by a liaison who is either a school social worker, guidance counselor, or academic coach. They are the neediest students who are most at risk: homeless children and families, households with children that have been abandoned by their parents, special needs children and families, families with life altering illnesses, families with recent unemployment and the working poor. In the 2016-2017 fiscal year, must sif opened 1 new school and distributed a total of 271,141 pounds of food and toiletries to these families, an increase of 10% over the prior year. During the 2017 fiscal year, must ministries celebrated the following mission accomplishments:-opening 1 new save-it-forward school pantries in cobb county school system. This allowed us to provide an additional 24,000 pound increase in food and toiletries provided to vulnerable children and their families throughout our community. -participated in a state-wide learning collaborative, led by georgia department of community affairs. This unique initiative harnessed the experience of the national association to end homelessness and emergency shelter providers across the state of georgia to evaluate and implement strategies to improve outcomes for those most vulnerable experiencing homelessness. One of the key results for must was a reduction in the average length of stay from 47 to 35 days, a 26% improvement over the prior year. Must also received state-wide accolades for the positive outcomes achieved in its effort to make periods of homelessness rare, brief and non-recurring; exceeding our goal of placing 90 persons in stable housing in 90 days! -must was awarded a new permanent supportive housing grant in cobb county, which we believe to be the first new hud award of this kind in more than a decade in our community's continuum of care. This is also must's first supportive housing program in cobb county that can accommodate families and will provide comprehensive housing and supportive service solutions for an additional 20 disabled individuals who have experienced long durations of homelessness. -must implemented housing first initiatives in all of its emergency and supportive housing programs. Housing first is an approach to quickly and successfully connect individuals and families experiencing homelessness to permanent housing. Supportive services are offered to maximize housing stability and prevent returns to homelessness as opposed to addressing predetermined goals prior to permanent housing entry. Housing first is a national best practice required by hud to reduce the barriers to housing for person experiencing homelessness.

Community Stories

5 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

2

Client Served

Rating: 1

It is August 2017 I am not originally from Georgia but Must is not what it used to be I am going to assume. Before you come here just prepare yourself for discouragement, no help, and drama everywhere. Maybe if the people who comes here should record and contact the CEO about what goes on here now! It is not a place for children and the vulgar language staff uses is ridiculous. They are putting children and families back on the street which should be unacceptable by any means. Just come see how its running now the people in charge have no compassion for people just come to work.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 1

The community service workers are treated awful by the Must Ministries employees. I have never been treated so poorly by anyone in my life. I have always enjoyed giving my time back to the community but after the numerous insults and unkind comments, I have no desire to give my time to this organization. The Must Ministries have a great opportunity to help teach people about the value of giving back to the community. Unfortunately, this organization does everything it can to make people never want to give back to the community.

Also, the people that are staying there (homeless etc..) verbally assaulted the employees after being treated poorly by them. It is obvious that the employees don't want to be there and are taking it out on anyone they come across. This organization gives out freebies but is poorly run by angry, bitter employees. Would never give them money or food.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 0

For 7 yrs I have volunteered at MUST Cherokee and am so impressed with the work of feeding, clothing the needy as well as many other projects. What is unique is the support of churches, schools and organizations to this wonderful group of volunteers. At MUST Cherokee, all Community Services Workers (as ordered by court) are treated with kindness and respect. In fact, a good number of them come back to us as volunteers.

Review from Guidestar

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

MUST does so much for the community and the people who live in it. I've been a supporter for years and a volunteer for many years as well. It's a great organization to support - has rec'd a 5 star charity rating two years in a row (spends donations wisely). They help low-income people, the homeless, and others - in many ways.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 1

Court directed juveniles working public service are treated very badly by the paid staff. They are obligated to serve per the judge's orders and cannot quit until their hours are served.