the late 1960s, Roanoke area clergy became concerned about the growing
numbers of people coming to their churches and synagogues, asking for
assistance. Many had been turned away from other agencies because they
didn't fit the criteria for assistance. Yet their needs were real.
In 1971, representatives of nine denominations met to establish an
ecumenical urban ministry to develop and coordinate services to people I
need. RAM's first project was to deliver surplus food to the elderly
and disabled. As the needs grew, so did RAM.
With support from the Roanoke Times, the Good Neighbors Fund Was established
in 1984 to raise money for emergency assistance. In 1986, Roanoke's
mayor, The Rev. Noel Taylor, launched an initiative on homelessness.
In response, the following year RAM House opened its doors to the
homeless in a building donated by the Catholic Diocese of Richmond.
renovations were made with the help of church groups, individuals, and
businesses who contributed over 2,000 hours of volunteer time. Over 80
businesses in Roanoke's construction community donated in-kind services and
materials. Thanks to the volunteer labor and in-kind donations, the
construction came in under budget at $350,000 and RAM was able to complete
the renovations without borrowing any money.
In 2015 - RAM
House is celebrating 28 years of serving the community’s impoverished and