Rescue Mission Alliance https://rescuemissionalliance.org Fighting Homelessness in the Greater Syracuse Area Thu, 25 May 2017 12:43:01 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.5 How We Say “Thank You” https://rescuemissionalliance.org/alans-blog-how-we-say-thank-you/ https://rescuemissionalliance.org/alans-blog-how-we-say-thank-you/#respond Mon, 22 May 2017 20:41:09 +0000 https://rescuemissionalliance.org/?p=3648   Alan’s Blog Alan Thornton CEO, Rescue Mission Alliance   Last year, with your help, the Rescue Mission placed nearly 1,000 men, women, and children experiencing homelessness into permanent housing, helped almost 400 people find employment, served over 275,000 meals, and provided over 140,000 overnight stays. We celebrate every life changed through our work and […]

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Alan Thornton Rescue Mission Alliance

 

Alan’s Blog

Alan Thornton
CEO, Rescue Mission Alliance

 

Last year, with your help, the Rescue Mission placed nearly 1,000 men, women, and children experiencing homelessness into permanent housing, helped almost 400 people find employment, served over 275,000 meals, and provided over 140,000 overnight stays. We celebrate every life changed through our work and I am so truly grateful that you have chosen to partner with us through your generous donations. With only 11% of our total budget coming from government funding, our life-changing programs are largely funded through your generosity.

In an effort to maximize the dollars so generously donated to the Rescue Mission, we have recently adopted a change in the way we say “Thank You.” We are thankful for each and every gift given to help make life change possible, but we have also grown sensitive to the cost of mailing frequent acknowledgement letters.

Our goal is to maximize the impact of your donation and ensure that every cent possible goes directly into assisting men, women and children experiencing homelessness and hunger. As we strive to invest 82 cents of every dollar donated into programs, we are reducing our mailing costs by moving to monthly acknowledgements of donations.  When you give, your gift immediately goes to work providing meals, shelter and support programs, and you will receive a thank you letter by mail within six weeks. (Please note that when you give online, you should receive a receipt for your gift within 24 hours.)  If you prefer to make your dollar go even farther, and you only wish to receive an annual acknowledgement summarizing your contributions for the entire calendar year, please email us at info@rmsyr.org . (To view our official acknowledgement policy, please click here.)

Thank you for all that you give and do to help us feed, clothe, shelter, and provide case management and spiritual guidance to individuals and families. Because of you, thousands of men, women and children in our community have new hope and opportunity. You are truly changing lives!

Alan Thornton is on Twitter @Alanrmsyr.

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Hungry For Love https://rescuemissionalliance.org/hungry-for-love/ Tue, 25 Apr 2017 17:53:13 +0000 https://rescuemissionalliance.org/?p=3584 Alan’s Blog by Alan Thornton CEO, Rescue Mission Alliance I had the absolute pleasure of hanging out at Laci’s Tapas a couple weeks back. While the food was great, what blew me away was the ambiance… I watched as owners Cindy and Laura went table to table, not just checking in to see how the […]

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Alan and his puppy, Jameson

Alan’s Blog
by Alan Thornton
CEO, Rescue Mission Alliance
I had the absolute pleasure of hanging out at Laci’s Tapas a couple weeks back. While the food was great, what blew me away was the ambiance… I watched as owners Cindy and Laura went table to table, not just checking in to see how the food was, but totally loving on their guests, visiting with them as if they were the only table being served that night. It’s no wonder they have a waiting list – people are hungry for love…

This experience was only topped when I visited with a sweet 2-year-old girl who had just moved into our family housing. We bonded over Jameson, my 6-month-old rescued sweetheart mix of a puppy. While this precious little girl who had known so much crisis in her life showed me the Easter eggs she had collected and gently petted Jameson, I watched the joy and love of her two moms, who shared how blessed they feel to have a new home with us, and the new hope it offers.

Many Rescue Missions that operate in other locations would have forced this family apart or not even taken them in, simply because they don’t fit within their theology. Instead, this family experienced the joy of Easter together… and new hope offered by a faith grounded in love.

I am so proud of our Rescue Mission team that works with families, that makes them feel like they are the only family we serve. I’m also so happy to know that Jameson’s little 2-year-old friend has a soft pillow, plenty of warm blankets, and a safe place to call home with both of her moms… all because of love.

My kids and I had the pleasure of serving Easter lunch at the Rescue Mission to kick off their spring break. As a Dad trying to navigate parenthood, it gave me great joy to see my three teenagers join with 50 other volunteers, interacting with our guests and going out of their way to make them feel welcome and loved. It was our own version of Laci’s hospitality that afternoon, but the intent was much the same… to serve a great meal and, more importantly, to create an ambiance of love – because, after all, people are hungry for love.

I hope you had a wonderful Easter.

Alan Thornton is on Twitter @Alanrmsyr.

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CoreLife Eatery Opens in Ithaca with Benefit for Rescue Mission https://rescuemissionalliance.org/corelife-eatery-opens-with-pay-what-you-choose-benefit-to-rescue-mission/ Fri, 14 Apr 2017 15:04:55 +0000 https://rescuemissionalliance.org/?p=3547 CoreLife Eatery will open in Ithaca with a “Pay What You Choose” benefit to the Ithaca Rescue Mission on Thursday, April 20, 11:30am to 7:30pm in its new location at 740 South Meadow Street. Diners are invited to try the CoreLife menu and select their price, with proceeds going to the Rescue Mission’s programs to […]

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CoreLife Eatery will open in Ithaca with a “Pay What You Choose” benefit to the Ithaca Rescue Mission on Thursday, April 20, 11:30am to 7:30pm in its new location at 740 South Meadow Street. Diners are invited to try the CoreLife menu and select their price, with proceeds going to the Rescue Mission’s programs to end hunger and homelessness in Tompkins County.

CoreLife cofounder Todd Mansfield stopped by WHCU radio to talk about the restaurant, its menu and the reason it selected the Ithaca Rescue Mission to benefit from this event. (Hear him at http://whcuradio.com/morning-newswatch/corelife-supports-our-rescue-mission/)

“At this time of year, with Easter in a few days and the notion of caring for our neighbor – you tell me a better place to care for humanity and care for people than the Ithaca Rescue Mission,” he said. Founded in Syracuse, this will be CoreLife Eatery’s 10th restaurant in Upstate New York.

 

 

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Auburn Rescue Mission Opens New Family Housing https://rescuemissionalliance.org/auburn-rescue-mission-opens-new-family-housing/ Wed, 22 Mar 2017 18:26:36 +0000 https://rescuemissionalliance.org/?p=3478 More families experiencing homelessness in Cayuga County will have a place to call home, thanks to 28 new housing units operated by the Auburn Rescue Mission and managed by the Auburn Housing Authority. “No person should ever have to experience domestic violence, and no family should ever have to experience the crisis of homelessness and […]

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More families experiencing homelessness in Cayuga County will have a place to call home, thanks to 28 new housing units operated by the Auburn Rescue Mission and managed by the Auburn Housing Authority.

“No person should ever have to experience domestic violence, and no family should ever have to experience the crisis of homelessness and hunger. But when that happens, the community response should be to wrap our collective arms around them, love them, care for them, and help get them on to the road to recovery as quickly as possible,” said Rescue Mission Alliance Chief Executive Officer Alan Thornton at the March 21 ribbon cutting for the Merriman Circle neighborhood. “Merriman Circle symbolizes that community response and the love that we have and care that we will provide for some of the most vulnerable families in our community.”

Families are referred to the Auburn Rescue Mission supportive housing by Cayuga County’s Department of Health and Human Services and by the Cayuga/Seneca Community Action Agency Domestic Violence Intervention Program.

Samuel Roberts, Commissioner of New York State’s Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, which funded $6.4 million of the construction costs, cut the ribbon at the ceremony. “This is part of the Governor’s commitment to end homelessness in New York State,” he said.

Twenty of the new homes will be permanent supportive housing for families and women. Eight units serve as transitional housing where families stay as the Rescue Mission staff assists them in finding permanent housing in the community. The new development expands on a six-year partnership with the Auburn Housing Authority and its affiliate nonprofit, AHA Development Corp., which owns the units and leases them to the Rescue Mission.

Families will begin moving into the housing this week, and the community center will open in April. The community center, at 51 Merriman Street Extension, also houses the offices of the Auburn Rescue Mission, which provides case management and support to housing residents, including family and children’s activities, employment and education resources, spiritual care, access to technology, and connection to health care, schools and other community services.

The new neighborhood represents the spirit of the community, said City of Auburn Mayor Michael Quill at the ribbon cutting: “Our city is built on neighborhoods, working for each other, with each other and taking care of each other.”

 

 

Help a Family Who Is Experiencing Homelessness

The Auburn Rescue Mission still needs help to completely furnish and stock all 28 of these new family homes with essential items. Ongoing support is also needed to provide essential services to families, including employment and education resources, personalized case management, family and children’s activities, and to stock a pantry with food, diapers and personal care items. Click here to help open doors for homeless families.

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Family Fun Day Will Benefit the Ithaca Rescue Mission https://rescuemissionalliance.org/family-fun-day-will-benefit-ithaca-rescue-mission/ Wed, 22 Mar 2017 18:05:54 +0000 https://rescuemissionalliance.org/?p=3473 First Baptist Church of West Danby will host a Family Fun Day to benefit the Ithaca Rescue Mission on Saturday, March 25, 11am to 2pm. The event will include horse drawn wagon rides, bounce houses, games, face painting and a BBQ chicken dinner at 12:30pm. Pre-order your BBQ chicken dinner at 607-227-3993! The Family Fun Day […]

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First Baptist Church of West Danby will host a Family Fun Day to benefit the Ithaca Rescue Mission on Saturday, March 25, 11am to 2pm. The event will include horse drawn wagon rides, bounce houses, games, face painting and a BBQ chicken dinner at 12:30pm.

Pre-order your BBQ chicken dinner at 607-227-3993! The Family Fun Day will be at the church, 2219 W Danby Rd, Spencer, NY 14883.

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Forum on Racism, Homelessness and Creating Change https://rescuemissionalliance.org/forum-racism-homelessness-creating-change/ Fri, 03 Mar 2017 22:16:57 +0000 https://rescuemissionalliance.org/?p=3416 The Rescue Mission and Housing & Homeless Coalition of Central New York will present a public forum on Racism, Homelessness and Creating Change on Wednesday, March 8, 5:30-8pm in The OnCenter Ballroom East. The forum will launch a Syracuse SPARC project (Supporting Partnerships for Anti-Racist Communities), a community initiative to address race and homelessness. Funding […]

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The Rescue Mission and Housing & Homeless Coalition of Central New York will present a public forum on Racism, Homelessness and Creating Change on Wednesday, March 8, 5:30-8pm in The OnCenter Ballroom East.

The forum will launch a Syracuse SPARC project (Supporting Partnerships for Anti-Racist Communities), a community initiative to address race and homelessness. Funding for the initiative comes from the Allyn Family Foundation and the Central New York Community Foundation.

In Syracuse and across the country, people of color are more likely to become homeless than people of other racial or ethnic backgrounds. At its January Point In Time count, the Housing and Homeless Coalition of Central New York found more than half of the 440 homeless individuals in Onondaga County were racial and ethnic minorities – whereas non-whites make up about 20% of the county’s population.

The free forum will feature national speakers Jeff Olivet and Marc Dones of the Center for Social Innovation, Community advocate Isaac Rivers, and Panel Moderator George Kilpatrick. Light fare and beverages will be provided.

Syracuse is one of 10 cities in the Center for Social Innovation’s SPARC project on racism and homelessness, which includes public discussions and forums, trainings for providers and community stakeholders, qualitative and quantitative research, and collaborations with leadership in housing, health care, education, criminal justice, and other systems.

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Issoufou’s Story https://rescuemissionalliance.org/issoufous-story-syracuse-rescue-mission/ Wed, 01 Mar 2017 16:52:55 +0000 https://rescuemissionalliance.org/?p=3390 Issoufou traveled more than 5,000 miles to escape a difficult life and political climate in Niger, Africa. “I think everybody comes to the United States to have a better life, education,” he says. He traveled to Syracuse because a friend was here. With nowhere to live, Issoufou stayed in the Rescue Mission emergency shelter. From there, […]

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Issoufou traveled more than 5,000 miles to escape a difficult life and political climate in Niger, Africa. “I think everybody comes to the United States to have a better life, education,” he says.

He traveled to Syracuse because a friend was here. With nowhere to live, Issoufou stayed in the Rescue Mission emergency shelter. From there, he entered the Rescue Mission Willing to Work program, which provides transitional housing and meals while residents gain work experience. Issoufou completed internships at the Rescue Mission’s Donation Redistribution Center and Food Service Center as he improved his English skills.

“The Mission has done a lot for me – really helped me,” he says, explaining that he would have otherwise been without food, shelter and warm clothing.

In February, Issoufou was hired by Sam’s Club and he was able to move into his own apartment. His hopes for the future are to enter college. “I just want to have a better education,” he says. “I believe if you work hard and you are patient, God will help you.”

For two years, Issoufou has run in the Ride and Run for the Rescue, once taking second place in his age division. “I look forward to returning to it every year,” he says of the event.

Share hope with someone in need this Easter! (Click here.)

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Joseph and Kellie’s Story https://rescuemissionalliance.org/joseph-and-kellies-story-auburn-rescue-mission/ Wed, 01 Mar 2017 16:52:27 +0000 https://rescuemissionalliance.org/?p=3370 Last Easter, the money they had saved as a down payment on a house was nearly gone, and Kellie, Joseph and their daughter were running out of options. Kellie had been laid off her job, and their hard-earned nest egg was quickly spent on rent and other necessities.  “Then, overnight, we were homeless,” Joseph recalls. The […]

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Last Easter, the money they had saved as a down payment on a house was nearly gone, and Kellie, Joseph and their daughter were running out of options. Kellie had been laid off her job, and their hard-earned nest egg was quickly spent on rent and other necessities.  “Then, overnight, we were homeless,” Joseph recalls.

The family sought emergency shelter and soon were living in transitional housing at the Auburn Rescue Mission. “They stepped in and gave us a leg up when nobody else would, and made us feel we were people,” Joseph says of the Rescue Mission staff.

The Auburn Rescue Mission will open its new headquarters and 28 new units of family housing in April, through an expanded partnership with the Auburn Housing Authority.  The housing will provide homes  for more families experiencing homelessness.

For Kellie and Joseph, living in the Rescue Mission’s transitional housing gave Kellie the opportunity to find a job and for the family to start saving for housing again. Kellie also researched and applied for a full scholarship program to become a Certified Nursing Assistant. She recently completed her certification and was hired at a local nursing facility. In addition, she continues to work her food service job.

“Everything I do, I do for my daughter. I want her to have the things that I didn’t have,” Kellie says.

“I tell my daughter, we’re meant to do big things in this world — it’s whether you put the effort into it.”

This Easter, the family has a home and they say they feel blessed and hopeful about the future. They live within walking distance of Kellie’s two jobs, and a grocery store. Joseph continues to work at home as the primary caretaker of their daughter, cooking family meals, helping her before and after school, and volunteering many hours at her private school, which the couple carefully selected to reflect their family and faith values.

From the time they came to the Rescue Mission, Kellie and Joseph have lived their values of giving back as regular volunteers for the Auburn Rescue Mission and other community organizations. If volunteers are needed for an event, or if another family needs help with a move, Kellie and Joseph are there.  In 2016, they received a Rescue Mission Hope Award for service.

This Easter, the family will attend church together, if Kellie is not scheduled to work. It will be a time for reflection on God’s ultimate sacrifice, says Joseph: “God gave us his son, He died for us… Easter is about love and not being selfish, being selfless. Sacrifice.”

Share hope with someone in need this Easter! (Click here.)

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Donatella’s Story https://rescuemissionalliance.org/donatellas-story-ithaca-rescue-mission/ Wed, 01 Mar 2017 16:51:55 +0000 https://rescuemissionalliance.org/?p=3384 Donatella faced a great deal of anxiety about making decisions and functioning in society after she was released from prison. “Everything seemed so fast. There were a million things going on,” she recalls thinking, after her regimented and isolated life in incarceration. After five and a half years of incarceration, she had nowhere to go, so […]

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Donatella faced a great deal of anxiety about making decisions and functioning in society after she was released from prison. “Everything seemed so fast. There were a million things going on,” she recalls thinking, after her regimented and isolated life in incarceration. After five and a half years of incarceration, she had nowhere to go, so she came to the Ithaca Rescue Mission’s emergency shelter.

The Rescue Mission staff welcomed her and helped her adjust. “I would get overwhelmed and someone was right there,” she recalls. “I was so grateful to be here because there were people on staff who really helped me in ways big and small… Walking outside with me, walking me down the street, walking me to the bus stop.”

While in prison, Donatella had completed culinary training courses. She says she knew she would have to “reinvent” herself because her criminal record would prevent her from obtaining a high-level professional job like she had once held. She entered a work re-entry program that she connected with at the Rescue Mission’s Friendship Center, and she began washing pots and pans through the program, which contracts with Ithaca College.  Soon, Donatella was promoted to be a prep cook, and within a year, the college hired her as a vegan chef.

Donatella now has her own apartment, and two cats. She enjoys running on local trails and reading in the library. She has a different perspective on money and investing than she had in the past.

“Some things are not measurable by the dollar,” she says. “Anytime you help to save any portion of a person, I think it’s worth whatever you have to spend. People don’t change overnight. I didn’t change overnight. It’s a process and I’m still evolving. The Rescue Mission is really about investing in people.”

Share hope with someone in need this Easter! (Click here.)

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Charles’ Story https://rescuemissionalliance.org/charles-story-binghmaton-rescue-mission/ Wed, 01 Mar 2017 16:51:24 +0000 https://rescuemissionalliance.org/?p=3387 Charles had been in recovery from a cocaine addiction for seven months, but he didn’t know how much longer he could stay clean. Each day got harder, but his faith carried him through, he recalls. “It was like God was saying to me, ‘Can you hold on long enough to prove to yourself that you […]

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Charles had been in recovery from a cocaine addiction for seven months, but he didn’t know how much longer he could stay clean.

Each day got harder, but his faith carried him through, he recalls. “It was like God was saying to me, ‘Can you hold on long enough to prove to yourself that you want to change?’” When a friend told him about the Binghamton Rescue Mission, Charles came for a visit and he knew it was the place for him.

At the Rescue Mission, Charles found the support he needed to continue his recovery. “I could breathe again,” he says. He also was able to undergo a much-needed hip surgery and take the time to recuperate. “The Mission gave me a safe haven that under any other circumstances I wouldn’t have had,” he shares.

Charles says he is inspired by the staff and the volunteers who “go above and beyond.” “I’ve learned from this place. The only way I can stay clean is by doing what they do: They give. It does my heart good to see so many giving people in this world.”

He says his faith and new outlook helped him to reconcile with his painful childhood with alcoholic parents – and to forgive his father for abandoning him after his mother died when he was nine years old.

Charles enjoys attending church and a men’s Bible study. He says he knows that whatever his future holds, it will involve giving to others.

Share hope with someone in need this Easter! (Click here.)

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