Exodus Everything FREE Community Outreach June 4th, 2022

Exodus Everything FREE Community Outreach 

June 4, 2022 from 11:00am – 1:00pm 

Ridgeview Recreation Center 115 7th Ave SW in Hickory NC 28602 

United Way agency Exodus Homes and Exodus Missionary Outreach United Church of Christ will host an Everything FREE Community Outreach on June 4 from 11:00am to 1:00pm at the Ridgeview Recreation Center, 115 7th Ave SW in Hickory NC 28602. They will be giving away used furniture, mattresses, and box springs in good condition, new “Big Dog” clothing, other gently used clothing, free haircuts, manicures, face painting, and a hot dog lunch for all. Furniture, mattresses, and box springs are first come first serve so people should come early to tag the things they want. Exodus Works can deliver these items in the Hickory area for $15 paid in advance.   

During the event, they will have free HIV testing by ALFA, COVID vaccines will be provided by Starmed Healthcare, the Hickory Branch NAACP will be on hand to register people to vote and NC Voter ID will be there to assist with questions about voting. Veterans Helping Veterans and Veterans Assistance Program will have information to help veterans. The Cognitive Connection and Integrated Care of Greater Hickory will be present with good information about substance use treatment in the Hickory area. NC Works will be available to help people looking for a job or a better job. The Hickory Real Estate Group will be on hand to help people looking to buy or sell a home. The Democratic and Republican Parties have been invited to share information about their platform and candidates. Great music will be provided by the Exodus gospel choir along with powerful testimonies of recovery from addiction and incarceration. 

For more information please contact Rev. Susan Smith 828-962-8196 revsusansmith@gmail.com

Exodus Memorial Day Recovery Celebration Cook-Out Monday May 30th, 2022

Please join us at the Exodus Missionary Outreach United Church of Christ at 1763 Highland Ave NE Hickory 28601 on Monday May 30, 2022 for our Memorial Day Recovery Celebration Cookout!

The event will include:

11:00am Recovery Speaker – Veteran Thomas Massey

12:00pm – let the fun begin! We will have spades, chess, and dominoes tournaments WITH PRIZES! We’re also having a hot dog and hamburger cook-out – everything is free! Great music too! Hope to see you there

Women’s Fellowship Fish/Chicken Wing Plate Fundraiser

May 14, 2022 10:00 am until SOLD OUT! Exodus Missionary Outreach United Church of Christ

Join us for the Women’s Fellowship Fish/Chicken Wing Plate Fundraiser on May 14, 2022 at 10:00am until SOLD OUT! at the Exodus Missionary Outreach United Church of Christ

$10 Plates $5 Fish Sandwiches Call ahead 704-208-6193 for easy pick up

Fish plates will have whiting or perch with coleslaw, baked beans, dessert and drink. Chicken wing plates will have wings, potato salad, green beans, roll, dessert and drink. You can also get a fish sandwich by itself too! All proceeds from the fundraiser will go to needy women in our community.

For more information, go to www.exodusmissionaryoutreachchurch.org

Local Foundations Fund Hauling Upgrade for Exodus Homes

Seen left to right with their new dump trailer and F 350 pick  the Exodus Works warehouse on 610 4th St. SW in Hickory are are: Jeffrey Shepherd, Exodus Works Warehouse Assistant; Raleigh Wright, Exodus Works Crew Leader; Bryan Miller, Exodus Works Assistant Supervisor; Jeremy Hynes, Exodus Works; Mitzi Goins, Exodus Homes program graduate and Exodus Works Asset Manager; Dexter Cooper, Exodus Works; and George Reid, Exodus Homes program graduate and Exodus Works Supervisor. 

Exodus Homes, a faith based United Way agency providing supportive housing for homeless recovering people, has received two grants to fund an upgrade for their hauling enterprises in Exodus Works, their revenue generating vocational training program. The net profit of Exodus Works is a primary source of funding for Exodus Homes.     
Some of the most requested services of Exodus Works are cleanouts and hauling for the Hickory area. Exodus Homes’ residents working as volunteers in Exodus Works help people clean out barns, sheds, attics, garages, warehouses, hoarder houses, and abandoned homeless camps as well as hauling landscape debris. Every week they have had to make multiple trips to the landfill to dump the debris using a regular pick up truck and landscape trailer. As demand for this service has grown, Exodus Homes graduate and Exodus Works Supervisor George Reid made it clear they needed an upgrade to be more cost effective and  time efficient. “I have been begging Rev. Susan for years to help us get a dump trailer so we could make less trips to the landfill and only handle the trash one time,” he said. 
The Rev. Susan Smith, Exodus Homes  assistant executive director, has been looking for funders to help and recently was successful in securing two grants for the upgrade project.  Last fall a local foundation that prefers to remain anonymous granted them $10,000 to purchase a new 2021 Leonard GT-714 Griffin Built 14,000 lb. (7 ton) dump trailer with a maximum load of 10,000 lbs. This was just what they needed but for a dump trailer that size, but they needed a larger pick up truck capable of towing it. Recently the George Foundation awarded a $25,000 grant to help them purchase a truck for this purpose.  Mitzi Goins, Exodus Homes graduate and Exodus Works Asset Manager looked high and low for the right truck that was in their budget. With the help of Street Source, a locally owned auto mechanic shop, they found a 2008 Ford F 350 4 door diesel 4 wheel drive online in Texas and had it shipped here. With the new dump trailer and F 350 pick up,  Exodus Works is ready to take their hauling enterprise to the next level. 
“This is a dream come true for us. We are deeply grateful to the George Foundation for their generous gift that will help us use our new dump trailer. Local foundations have truly been our partners over the years to help us create work opportunities for our residents” she said.    

To request a cleanout or hauling service from Exodus Works please call 828-324-2390.

First Horizon Bank Funds Laundry Equipment for Exodus Homes

Darrell Johnson, First Horizon Bank Senior Vice President (middle) is seen at the Exodus Homes “Extension” Apartments in the Ridgeview neighborhood presenting a $5,000 check to the Rev. Reggie Longcrier, Exodus Homes executive director (left) and the Rev. Susan Smith, Exodus Homes assistant executive director  (right) for the purchase of heavy duty laundry equipment for the supportive housing program. 

HICKORY – Exodus Homes, a faith based United Way agency that provides supportive housing for homeless recovering people, has received a $5,000 grant from First Horizon Bank for new laundry equipment in its Ridgeview campus area. Darrell Johnson, First Horizon Bank Senior Vice President has worked with Exodus Homes for years and was aware of their needs in many areas. Last fall he contacted the Rev. Susan Smith, Exodus Homes assistant executive director, to let her know the bank was in a position to help with a special project. 
Exodus Homes has two apartment complexes in the Ridgeview neighborhood with 49 residents who need to do their laundry. Each complex has a laundry room with donated washers and dryers that often break down or work poorly. Each apartment has a designated wash day and if the laundry equipment is not working on their day, the whole wash day schedule is thrown off and some residents miss their turn. Occasionally clothing has been ruined by washers or dryers that do not work properly. “When Darrell called, the laundry room upgrade was definitely at the top of our list of needs” said Smith.   
The grant  will fund the purchase of four heavy duty large capacity washers and four heavy duty large capacity dryers. Each laundry room will have two of each. “This will be a blessing to our residents, keep our laundry days on schedule, and reduce the need to keep replacing old used equipment with more old used equipment” said the Rev. Reggie Longcrier, Exodus Homes executive director.     

Exodus Homes always needs laundry detergent to help with the laundry service in their program. For more information, or to donate laundry detergent please contact the Rev. Susan Smith at 828-962-8196 or revsusansmith@gmail.com.   

Exodus Works Teams Have Fun While Learning

Jaimi Jones, our MSW intern from ASU developed and led the whole Exodus Works team in an interactive training that concentrated on good communication skills, conflict resolution, and professionalism within the workplace. We then had an in depth tutorial and hands on experiential learning of best practices for wrapping and moving furniture. Our Exodus Workers and staff did a great job participating and bringing their lived experience to the training. It was an awesome day, and we look forward to having more!

Thankful for Exodus Homes, Driver’s License at Age 58!

Darlene Sanders showing off her driver’s license after only missing 1 question on the test!!

Darlene Sanders has a lot to be thankful for in life. At the age of 58, she has a job she loves, a comfortable home, a car she owns and more importantly she just got her first driver’s license. Nearly a decade ago, her life was completely different. She admits chasing the next high was the only thing she cared about when she was younger.

“My intentions weren’t focused on anything legal, but today that’s what I stay focused on,” Sanders said. “All the things that I’m going to get joy from. I do things today that I never thought I would ever do.”

Sanders is an Exodus Homes program graduate and currently works as the agency’s Women’s Site Manager. Exodus Homes in Hickory is a Catawba County United Way funded program, providing transitional housing for individuals coming out of treatment centers or incarceration. The agency helps the United Way meet one of its key missions every year, promoting financial stability and independence for individuals. Sanders credits the programs at Exodus Homes for helping her find a path to a healthier, happier life. On Dec. 16, she’ll be eight years clean from drugs. This gift of support and trust from Exodus Homes helped her rebuild a life with her daughter.

“There was a time when my daughter wouldn’t allow me near her house, and I understand that today,” Sanders said. “It was because of my addiction, but today she stands beside me one million percent in everything I do.”

Sanders never thought she was worthy of the kind of love she now has from her daughter and friends and supporters at Exodus Homes.

“Today they let me know they love me for who I am,” she said. “They love me for what I’ve done. They love me for what I’m doing, and they love me for what I’m about to do.”

Sanders is happy to share her story of success, leading the orientations for new residents at Exodus Homes. She lets them know if she can do it, they can as well. She likes to remind them, no matter what’s in their past, it’s what they do in the present with the help of Exodus Homes that will determine their future.

“God continued to show me that I was still somebody regardless of what I’ve have done in the past,” Sanders said. “I can’t change that, but it doesn’t define who I am.”

She does remind everyone during orientation, the journey is hard.

“Every day isn’t going to be a good day, but it’s better than being out on the street doing illegal things and putting that poison in your bodies,” she said.

Sanders has a work phone and personal phone and tells everyone in orientation she doesn’t care what time of day or what time of night it is when they need help.

“If they’re heart gets heavy, if that demon gets on their shoulder telling them to leave and go get high, they can pick up that phone and call me.”

She’s been thankful to be able to take those calls and remind residents they have people they can turn to now that they’re with Exodus Homes. In 2020, the agency was able to help change the course of 146 lives. For more information about Exodus Homes, call 828-324-4870.

This article ran in the Hickory Daily Record on November 24th, 2021 and was written by John Bailey with Catawba County United Way.

Exodus Works Vans Get A Makeover

Exodus Works has had the first of two trucks decked out declaring our recent award by the Hickory Daily Record as the “Finest Moving Company” in Catawba Valley. Congratulations to all of our Exodus Workers and many thanks to everyone who voted for us!

Executive Director Rev. Reggie Longcrier and Assistant Executive Director Rev. Susan Smith show off the new look!

Rev. Reggie Longcrier Selected as Grand Marshal for the City of Hickory Lowes Foods Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting

Photo was taken from the City of Hickory Website

The City of Hickory will host its annual holiday season kick-off event, the Lowes Foods Christmas Parade & Tree Lighting, on Friday, November 19. Lowes Foods has been the sponsor of this festive event since the first year.  

A special procession of the Fallen Heroes ministry to honor fallen soldiers from North Carolina will begin at 5:45 p.m., preceding the parade, which will directly follow at 6 p.m.  

Reverend Reggie Longcrier, longtime Chaplain of Catawba Correctional Center, has been selected as the grand marshal of the parade and will lead the floats, vehicles, and participants through downtown. Rev. Longcrier is the founder of Exodus Missionary Outreach Church in Hickory, which is admired for its diversity, inclusiveness, and innovative approach for reaching minority populations. He is also the founder and executive director of Exodus Homes, a faith-based United Way organization dedicated to providing transitional to permanent supportive housing for people returning to the community from treatment centers and prison.  

Parade entries will be announced by hosts City Manager Warren Wood and Deputy City Attorney Arnita Dula and broadcasted through the new speakers along 1st Avenue NW. A committee made up of community leaders and volunteers will serve as judges of the parade and give awards for Most Creative, Most Christmas Spirit, Best Well-Crafted Theme, and Best of Show. 

At the conclusion of the parade, Santa’s float will stop at Union Square so he can light the Christmas tree in Downtown Hickory. Holiday music by Hickory Music Factory will be performed until 8:30 p.m. Although Santa will be departing for the North Pole after the tree lighting, the Snow Sisters of Once Upon A Time Entertainment at The Studio will offer socially distanced photos from inside their winter wonderland snow globe on Union Square.  

The Newton Depot Christmas Layout, sponsored by the Newton Depot Authority, will display two beautiful 8-foot by 6-foot trains and a moving trolley on The Sails on the Square Stage for all to see. 
 Visitors can also stop by the Hickory Downtown Development Association’s table to write a letter to Santa and mail it to the North Pole. 
 Numerous downtown businesses will remain open throughout the event and offer specials, making the evening a great time for patrons to begin their holiday shopping. 

This article was taken from the Hickory City Website. Please click here for more information on parade routes and registration.

Exodus Missionary Outreach United Church of Christ Fellowship Hall Renovation Unveiling Has Been Postponed to December 5th at 4:00 PM

Due to unforeseen delays in the final stages of construction on our fellowship hall in the Lowes 100 Hometowns Project this event is POSTPONED until December 5, 2021 at 4:00pm. We hope you will be able to join us then and we will send a reminder in the days to come. Thank you! 

Following the Lowe’s Home Improvement “100 Hometowns” Grant extensive renovations of the kitchen and two story fellowship hall of Exodus Missionary Outreach United Church of Christ in Hickory, an unveiling will be held welcoming congregants, volunteers, and community members! The renovation  included new flooring throughout the building, a new commercial freezer, oven, and toaster, air conditioning, a new hot and cold steam table, two handicapped accessible bathrooms, other handicap accessible features, expanded dining area, improved audio visual capability, and a mural by LA artist James Smith celebrating the 25th year of the Exodus Ministry.

The entire project has been coordinated by Tommy Luckadoo, a member of Corinth Church. Mayor Hank Guess will be on hand with remarks on behalf of the City of Hickory, the new name will be unveiled along with a ribbon cutting to celebrate the new and approved program location for Exodus Homes which uses the building frequently for meetings, dinners, workshops and other recovery related activities.

That day Exodus Missionary Outreach will also be celebrating their entry into the United Church of Christ denomination, www.ucc.org, a change which has been in the works for several years. Exodus Missionary Outreach Church was founded in 1997 as a nontraditional, nondenominational church. Over the years the Rev. Reggie Longcrier and the Rev. Susan Smith learned about the United Church of Christ’s focus on racial justice, social justice, environmental justice and full equality for all people in Christ and felt it was a good fit for the church. This move into the UCC is a good one to ensure the future of the church in years to come. Dr. Edward Davis, Conference Minister of the Southern Conference of the United Church of Christ will share a few remarks and a new sign with their new name will be unveiled during the event.

We are excited to invite the public to join us for a tour of the newly renovated Fellowship Hall November 14, 2021 at 4:00pm at the Exodus Missionary Outreach United Church of Christ at 1763 Highland Ave. NE, Hickory, NC 28601.