Our History

Rowan Helping Ministries is a continuation of Rowan Cooperative Christian Ministry, a ministry begun in 1967 by several of Salisbury’s downtown churches. Rowan Helping Ministries was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) non- profit organization September 18, 1986. At that time, the Shelter rotated among several of the downtown churches and only operated during the winter months. The Soup Kitchen was provided by First Presbyterian Church and Crisis Assistance Network worked out of John Calvin Presbyterian Church. The Clothing Center was at the old Price High School building and Dial Help, incorporated in November 1970, was in the basement of Tri-County Mental Health. In December 1989, all of these programs moved to 226 North Long Street and became a part of Rowan Helping Ministries. 

Our programs include: the Shelter, Jeannie's Kitchen, Clothing Center, Food Pantry, Crisis Assistance Network, Transitional Housing Programs, Rowan Helping Ministries-West, and New Tomorrows. In August of 2017, Food For Thought- a weekend backpack program which provides meals to food insecure children- came under the umbrella of Rowan Helping Ministries programs & services, as well. We have a full-time staff of twenty-three and a part-time staff of fourteen. We rely on 45-50 volunteers daily, and without them, Rowan Helping Ministries wouldn't be possible.

The mission of ROWAN HELPING MINISTRIES is to serve, through cooperative community action, our neighbors in Rowan County who are in crisis, by providing essential life needs and educating and empowering them to break the cycle of crisis.

ROWAN HELPING MINISTRIES is God’s love in action. We envision a community which helps provide for the essential physical, emotional and spiritual needs of all its citizens.

What We've Achieved

In 2016-17 we:

  • Served the hungry: 99,889 prepared meals were served in Jeannie's Kitchen.

  • Fed the hungry: 847,241 pound of groceries were distributed in 10,540 household visits.

  • Clothed those in need: Distributed in 6,083 household visits

  • Prevented Homelessness: $834,669 in financial assistance vouchers were issued to 3,363 households in crises to prevent evictions or utility disconnections, and to provide for prescription medications.

  • Sheltered the homeless: 705 different men, women and children were provided 27,859 nights of shelter services.

  • Helped transition the homeless into self-sufficiency: 46 working families and individuals were provided an apartment and life skills training through our Eagle's Nest Transitional Housing Programs.

  • 58,487 Volunteer hours, worth $1,279,690 made this possible.

*All Data is for our fiscal year ending June 30, 2017


Each year those in our community who struggle financially seem to face additional challenges. Today, current economic times bring challenges to many who have been faithful volunteers and donors. They are now losing their jobs, finding their resources diminished and for the first time are also seeking our services. Rowan Helping Ministries continues to create new opportunities to meet these challenges. While we are “busting at the seams” for space, thankfully God’s love is in action everyday. Those in need continue to be fed, sheltered and clothed. There are days when up to 80 households are being interviewed for financial assistance vouchers.

Rowan Helping Ministries-West, our satellite location in Mt. Ulla which serves clients in western Rowan County, is thriving and is self-supporting.

The increase in need for services has prompted changes and improvements in how services are provided. Change, although sometimes difficult, is necessary for Rowan Helping Ministries to move forward to meet new challenges. Please give what you can in volunteer hours, food, clothing and monetary contributions to Rowan Helping Ministries.