A history of service.
In Robeson County during the 1960s, the needs of the less fortunate were growing. The lines at the Department of Social Services were long, the resources available in Robeson County were relatively unknown, and the needs of the economically challenged often went unnoticed. These conditions led to the idea of a center where those living in poverty and insecurity could be helped. The idea was condensed into the prayer, “Oh Lord, if there were means.”
The National Council of Churches convened in 1967 to conduct research into the needs presented in Robeson County, leading to the formation of the Robeson County Church and Community Center in 1969. Initially funded by the United Methodist Church through the Bishop’s Fund for Reconciliation, the center was born was founded as a response to provide advocacy to those in need, to help with emergency aid, to promote the resources available to the economically challenged, and to work toward racial unity in Robeson County. Initially, the center offered a clothing closet, transportation services, a community garden, and assistance with housing repair. Other early initiatives of the center included summer education programs in low income neighborhoods, formation of intentional groups to attend and worship with churches not of their own race, and voter registration drives seeking to increase the political voice of underrepresented minority groups.
As the years progressed, the Center developed more services. The center formed a literacy program, seeking to provide those in need an avenue for increased self-sufficiency; brought Alcoholics Anonymous to the area to combat the rising prevalence of substance abuse; and established a home-ownership program based on the national model of Habitat for Humanity.
In 2005, the Center leased the old Lumberton Ford building at 600 W 5th Street to house the organization’s growing Home Store. The entire complex was subsequently donated to the center in 2006. The Center’s programs continued to grow and change, the Home Store providing affordable, quality clothing; the food pantry providing food to any Robeson County resident regardless of race, ethnicity, or income; home repair assistance; air cooling devices for the elderly; and an Ensure program to provide nutrition to the sick.
After Hurricanes Matthew and Florence, the center began adjusting to the new realities of Robeson County. The center now runs Robeson’s largest food pantry, sells affordable goods at the Home Store, assists with utility and rent payments, provides adult/baby diapers for those in any situation, and is constantly seeking new ways to push back against poverty and fight inequality in Robeson County.
Meet Our Team
Resource Development Coordinator
Food Pantry Team Lead
Home Store Assistant Manager
Facility and Supply Staff
Food Pantry Assistant
Facility and Supply Staff