To feed and support the poor and homeless in Chattanooga, whoever they are and wherever they come from. We envision a society where charities like God’s Abundant Grace are no longer necessary.
Meet the visionary Rickey Smith who founded God’s Abundant Grace Ministries with little more than hope and a prayer.
God’s Abundant Grace Ministries sprung from the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020. From January to July of 2020, homeless and vulnerable people were supported with food boxes containing multiple meals. A total of 6,069 meals were served to the homeless out of Rickey Smith’s house at 225 N. Hickory Street, Chattanooga, TN. An additional 1,000 meals were delivered to various homeless camps around the city of Chattanooga.
Rickey Smith was once homeless himself, after being honorably discharged from the Navy in the early 1970s, he said he was lost and did not have family, friends, or a support system. It is because of his own experience with homelessness that he has built this ministry.
Today, God’s Abundant Grace Ministries has moved out of Rickey Smith’s home and into a shared brick and mortar location with another non-profit, Hope for The Inner City. God’s Abundant Grace Ministries continues to feed those in need 5 days a week.
God’s Abundant Grace mission is to feed and support the poor and homeless in Chattanooga, whoever they are and wherever they come from. God’s Abundant Grace Ministries envisions a society where charities like ours are no longer necessary.
God’s Abundant Grace Ministries has one main organizational goal: a stand-alone brick and mortar location where it can expand services from not only feeding the homeless, but housing them, retraining and creating community for them.
From January to July of 2020, homeless and vulnerable people were supported with food boxes containing multiple meals. 6,069meals were served to the homeless out of Mr. Smith’s house at 225 N. Hickory Street. An additional 1,000 meals were delivered to various homeless camps around the city of Chattanooga.
During the summer of 2020, one of the largest homeless camps in Chattanooga was bulldozed, forcing the residents to disperse across the city. At that point, Mr. Smith shifted his strategy to focus on providing food boxes to vulnerable residents themselves and to provide boxes for other individuals to use to cook for the homeless. Mr. Smith faithfully provided food boxes out of his house.
In August of 2021-May 2022, Mr. Smith joined forces with Hope for the Inner City. Donations were stored there, boxed, and given to the homeless and poor four days a week.
As of June 2022, the City of Chattanooga dissolved the homeless encampment on East 11th Street sending homeless away with nowhere to go. In response, Smith has answered the call and is venturing out into the streets once again to meet the homeless where they live and provide help any way he can.
The ministry has utilized relationships with Chattanooga locations of international companies like Publix, Whole Foods, Chick fil-a, Walmart, Panera, and Starbucks to repurpose future food waste to serve the most vulnerable in our community.
God’s Abundant Grace Ministries has also partnered with the Chattanooga Rescue Mission to share food resources and more effectively serve the growing population of homeless people. God’s Abundant Grace Ministries is out amongst the most vulnerable daily, making sure they do not go hungry.
All food donations come from the above-mentioned companies (Publix, Whole Foods, Starbucks, Panera, Chick fil-a). From time to time, Mr. Smith will receive an occasional donation from individuals who are seeing the work that he has been doing but, overwhelmingly, Mr. Smith has self-funded this work.
He just received his IRS determination letter and has recently been established (January 18, 2022) as a recognized not for profit organization.