July 5, 2023
HICKORY – Exodus Homes, a faith-based United Way agency that provides 73 beds of supportive housing to homeless recovering people in Hickory, has purchased two late-model moving trucks for their revenue-generating vocational training program called Exodus Works with the help of four local foundations. Exodus Works gives the residents of Exodus Homes volunteer work opportunities, and the net profit of Exodus Works is a primary source of funds for Exodus Homes.. While people all over Catawba County have come to rely on Exodus Works for their landscaping and general labor services at affordable prices, they are most well known for their moving services where they use medium-duty box trucks to get the job done. In addition to their moving services, they use their box trucks to pick up donations of furniture and household items in good condition. The daily heavy use of these box trucks was wearing them out. A year and a half ago the Rev. Susan Smith, Exodus Homes assistant executive director, began looking for grants from local foundations to help them replace two box trucks that were too old or too far gone to repair. “We believed our supporters would agree that replacing box trucks that give our people opportunities to work and generate revenue to support the housing program they live in would be a good investment of their grant money.”
Smith is the grant writer for Exodus Homes and was successful in obtaining four grants of $25,000 each to purchase two late model Penske box trucks in good condition – one 26′ box truck and one 16′ box truck, with hydraulic lifts on the back for a total of $100,000. Writing and obtaining the grants necessary for the purchase took over a year, and then it took several more months to find the right trucks in their price range in close proximity to Hickory. The four local foundations were the Truist Foundation, the Duke Energy Foundation, the George Foundation, and the TSH Foundation. “We are so grateful for these grant awards, and we took our time to make sure we found the best trucks for the best price. We want our funders to know we used their funds wisely” said Smith.
George Reid, Exodus Works supervisor, is very happy with the new trucks saying, “It feels really good to have these new trucks because we need our other trucks for landscaping and general labor, and sometimes we have two move jobs at the same time. Sometimes we have had to rent trucks to do big move jobs or for jobs outside of town where we didn’t trust our own trucks that far away. Now we won’t have to do that anymore” he said. Exodus Works manager Angie Benge was equally excited saying “We have lost move jobs in the past because our trucks were broken down or it was too late to get a rental. This will help more of our residents work and increase funding for Exodus Homes.”
Exodus Works Moving won “Finest Moving Company in Catawba Valley” in 2021 and 2022 in the annual Hickory Daily Record business competition, and currently, they are in the top five in the 2023 competition. If you would like to vote for Exodus Works Moving in the Hickory Daily Record “Best of Catawba Valley” business competition, text “357” to 828-944-4071 every day between now and July 26. For more information about the Exodus Works moving service, donation pick-up, landscaping, or general labor please call 828-324-2390.
Photo: Seen here are the two new late-model box trucks of Exodus Works funded by the Truist Foundation, the Duke Energy Foundation, the George Foundation, and the TSH Foundation. Standing in front of the trucks left to right are: Bobby Foust, Exodus Works; Tyler Little, Exodus Works Crew Leader; the Rev. Susan Smith, Exodus Homes assistant executive director; Rob Owens, Exodus Works; George Reid Exodus Homes graduate and supervisor of Exodus Works; Angie Benge, Exodus Works manager; Raleigh Wright, Exodus Works Crew leader; Chrisean Durante, Exodus Works; Nicholas Robinson, Exodus Works.