Rescue Mission Alliance https://rescuemissionalliance.org Fighting Homelessness in the Greater Syracuse Area Fri, 22 Sep 2017 15:17:13 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.2 2017 Binghamton Hope Awards https://rescuemissionalliance.org/2017-binghamton-hope-awards/ https://rescuemissionalliance.org/2017-binghamton-hope-awards/#respond Wed, 20 Sep 2017 16:23:30 +0000 https://rescuemissionalliance.org/?p=4149 The 2017 Binghamton Hope Awards recognize men who have come through Rescue Mission programs and made life-changing achievements. Slated for Tuesday, October 17, 2017, this unique evening offers insights on the journey from homelessness to hope. Join us for an inspiring evening honoring these men who have made outstanding personal progress in the face of hardship! […]

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The 2017 Binghamton Hope Awards recognize men who have come through Rescue Mission programs and made life-changing achievements. Slated for Tuesday, October 17, 2017, this unique evening offers insights on the journey from homelessness to hope.

Join us for an inspiring evening honoring these men who have made outstanding personal progress in the face of hardship! Your attendance and support encourages award recipients and supports the Rescue Mission’s work to end homelessness and change lives. Here are the event details:

Tuesday, October 17th, 2017
DoubleTree Hotel
225 Water Street, Binghamton, New York
6 pm doors open | 6:30 pm dinner and program

To purchase tickets, click here.  If you can’t attend, please consider a donation in honor of the Hope Award recipients. For more information, contact Gina Rapasadi, 315-701-3891.

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2017 Ithaca Hope Awards in Syracuse https://rescuemissionalliance.org/2017-ithaca-hope-awards-syracuse/ https://rescuemissionalliance.org/2017-ithaca-hope-awards-syracuse/#respond Wed, 20 Sep 2017 16:07:09 +0000 https://rescuemissionalliance.org/?p=4136 The 2017 Ithaca Hope Awards recognize men and women who have come through Rescue Mission programs and made life-changing achievements. Slated for Thursday, November 16, 2017, this unique evening offers insights on the journey from homelessness to hope. “It’s not what happens when you get pushed down; it’s how you get back up.”~Mary Beth, 2016 […]

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The 2017 Ithaca Hope Awards recognize men and women who have come through Rescue Mission programs and made life-changing achievements. Slated for Thursday, November 16, 2017, this unique evening offers insights on the journey from homelessness to hope.

Ithaca Hope Awards“It’s not what happens when you get pushed down; it’s how you get back up.”~Mary Beth, 2016 Hope Award Recipient

Join us for an inspiring evening honoring men and women who have made outstanding personal progress in the face of hardship! Your attendance and support encourages award recipients and supports the Rescue Mission’s work to end homelessness and change lives. Here are the event details:

Thursday, November 16th, 2017
Marriott Syracuse Downtown
100 East Onondaga Street, Syracuse, New York
6 pm doors open | 6:30 pm dinner and program

Our Ride the Bus to Hope Awards package includes:

  • Round-trip bus ride from Ithaca to Syracuse
  • Complimentary snacks and drinks onboard
  • Tickets to Hope Awards ceremony and dinner

To purchase tickets, click here.  If you can’t attend, please consider a donation in honor of the Hope Award recipients. For more information, contact Gina Rapasadi, 315-701-3891.

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2017 Rescue Mission Hope Awards https://rescuemissionalliance.org/2017-rescue-mission-hope-awards/ https://rescuemissionalliance.org/2017-rescue-mission-hope-awards/#respond Wed, 20 Sep 2017 16:00:18 +0000 https://rescuemissionalliance.org/?p=4132 The 2017 Rescue Mission Hope Awards recognize men and women who have come through Rescue Mission programs and made life-changing achievements. Slated for Thursday, November 16, 2017, this unique evening offers insights on the journey from homelessness to hope. “I’m going to give back to my city, because someone did that for me.”~ Heriberto, 2016 […]

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The 2017 Rescue Mission Hope Awards recognize men and women who have come through Rescue Mission programs and made life-changing achievements. Slated for Thursday, November 16, 2017, this unique evening offers insights on the journey from homelessness to hope.

“I’m going to give back to my city, because someone did that for me.”~ Heriberto, 2016 Hope Award Recipient

Join us for an inspiring evening honoring men and women who have made outstanding personal progress in the face of hardship! Your attendance and support encourages award recipients and supports the Rescue Mission’s work to end homelessness and change lives. Here are the event details:

Thursday, November 16th, 2017
Marriott Syracuse Downtown
100 East Onondaga Street, Syracuse, New York
6 pm doors open | 6:30 pm dinner and program

To purchase tickets, click here.  If you can’t attend, please consider a donation in honor of the Hope Award recipients. For more information, contact Gina Rapasadi, 315-701-3891.

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God is good https://rescuemissionalliance.org/god-is-good-chaplains-blog/ https://rescuemissionalliance.org/god-is-good-chaplains-blog/#respond Mon, 18 Sep 2017 19:42:19 +0000 https://rescuemissionalliance.org/?p=4117 Chaplain’s Blog “God is good.” This is a phrase you’ll likely hear if you’re involved in any kind of Christian circles. Here at the Rescue Mission it doesn’t always come that easy. For those experiencing homelessness and hopelessness, good is the last thing they see. Too often homelessness leaves a sting of vulnerability as they’ve […]

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Chaplain’s Blog

“God is good.” This is a phrase you’ll likely hear if you’re involved in any kind of Christian circles. Here at the Rescue Mission it doesn’t always come that easy. For those experiencing homelessness and hopelessness, good is the last thing they see.

Too often homelessness leaves a sting of vulnerability as they’ve left pieces of themselves hung up to dry on their way to our doors. Maybe they have grown up without the security of knowing that they had a stable home with food on the table. Maybe they have suffered abuse and violence. Maybe they have been a slave to addiction.  Maybe a sudden mental or physical illness left them unemployed and therefore unable to pay their rent any longer. Maybe just the act of trying to survive on the street – without a bed, modern plumbing, and so many other things we might take for granted – has left them feeling broken.

Such tremendous challenges could shake anyone’s faith.  As a chaplain here at the Rescue Mission, I have the privilege of revitalizing that phrase, God is good, for the men and woman who come through our doors. My job is to be available to provide emotional and spiritual support to that person. To remind them that this isn’t the last chapter of their life, that there’s more to write and discover. It’s giving them the hope that homelessness does not define them and they can move forward towards stability and independence. That, whatever their past, or present, they are fully worthy of God’s goodness and love. Whether they believe it themselves or not, we can believe it for them until they do.

One resident in particular comes to mind. Tom moved into our residential program from the shelter. There wasn’t any overt struggles in his way as far as addiction or mental illness, however, Tom found himself in a place in life he never imagined himself to be in. At the time, I’d been hosting a peer perspective group on Tuesday afternoons that Tom began attending. He shared with the group that his recent interest and struggle had been with faith. He grew up in a Christian home and spent most of his life since without any faith at all. Since finding himself in need of Rescue Mission services and his mother being sick with cancer, he felt he needed more than himself this time. Without knowing what to believe or how to even begin with God and faith, he took those first couple steps and despite his hesitation, began attending Sunday service and various Bible studies. Today, speaking with Tom, he will tell you how confident he is in his faith and what a necessary impact it continues to have on his daily living while still here at the Rescue Mission. A faith, he’ll tell you, that’ll go with him even when he moves on to his own independence.

Whether it’s at our Sunday morning service, a morning Bible study group, a one-on-one encouragement session, an afternoon life-skills small group, a residential community meal, or an off-campus outing, there are several opportunities to affirm dignity and self-worth back into the lives of these individuals.

Faith and spirituality play a major role in many of our lives and that isn’t lost just because someone finds themselves homeless. I hear time and again how blessed someone is coming for services at the Rescue Mission and finding there’s a chaplain on staff who will meet with them, pray with them, and encourage them through this tumultuous time in their life. Spiritual and emotional nourishment is just as essential as providing food, clothing and shelter – addressing the whole person. That hope is so key to being able to move forward. It’s about how being a support to their emotional and spiritual well-being on its own inspires them that even in this season of their life, regardless of why they are where they’re at, God is still good.

 

Matt Waldby is Chaplain Program Coordinator at the Rescue Mission Alliance, where he works with our shelter guests, adult home residents, and supportive housing residents. He conducts study groups, one-on-one encouragement sessions, and coordinates all spiritual life activities.

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Finding Purpose https://rescuemissionalliance.org/finding-purpose-collins-story/ https://rescuemissionalliance.org/finding-purpose-collins-story/#respond Wed, 06 Sep 2017 13:10:15 +0000 https://rescuemissionalliance.org/?p=3965 Collin grew up in a small town with a population of just over a thousand people. Without much to do in and around town, drugs and alcohol were a prevalent problem. So it’s no surprise that these are what Collin turned to at age 16. But as he got older, Collin’s life began to unravel. […]

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Collin grew up in a small town with a population of just over a thousand people. Without much to do in and around town, drugs and alcohol were a prevalent problem. So it’s no surprise that these are what Collin turned to at age 16.

But as he got older, Collin’s life began to unravel. He said, “I became a completely broken person — mentally, physically and spiritually.” He then got into some legal trouble and was sent to jail. Like most people, Collin never thought he’d end up incarcerated. While there, he had a lot of time to reflect on how far he had fallen and came to the realization that things had to change.

After serving his time, Collin went to rehab and from there came to the Rescue Mission. He said, “When I first arrived, my case manager asked me what my goals were. But she didn’t just leave it at that. I got lots of support and encouragement to help me reach those goals.”

Not only is Collin getting the help he needs to turn his life around, he’s also gained some real friends. “I never had any friends growing up. But now I have several who also want what I want — to change our lives for the better and remain sober.”

Collin starts college this fall. He plans to work in the medical profession and become a nurse. He now knows that helping people is the purpose he’d been looking for all along.

He said, “The mission has given me everything — the realization that I can achieve what I want — hope for the future — and they’ve added faith to my life. I don’t know where I’d be today if not for the Mission. I love this place.”

Give the gift of help, healing and hope! Click here!

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A Family Saved https://rescuemissionalliance.org/a-family-saved-zach-and-sams-story/ https://rescuemissionalliance.org/a-family-saved-zach-and-sams-story/#respond Wed, 06 Sep 2017 13:09:02 +0000 https://rescuemissionalliance.org/?p=3962 Zach worked as a logger for eight years. Even though it was seasonal work, he was able to provide for his family. But when the company let him go, he could no longer pay his bills and soon lost his truck. And when they were no longer able to pay the rent, he and his […]

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Zach worked as a logger for eight years. Even though it was seasonal work, he was able to provide for his family. But when the company let him go, he could no longer pay his bills and soon lost his truck. And when they were no longer able to pay the rent, he and his wife Sam and their two children lost their home.

Without an income, and after exhausting every temporary living option with friends and relatives, this young family found themselves homeless with nowhere else to turn. They went to the Department of Social Services (DSS) for help and were put up in a motel for a week. But it was a difficult place for a family to stay due to the constant noise and the four of them confined to one very small room. A DSS representative then connected them with the Rescue Mission.

Zach, Sam and their kids are now living in one of the Mission’s furnished permanent housing apartments. Using the Mission’s resources, and with help from a case worker, Zach was able to get a good, steady job he loves, working in the maintenance department at a hospital. And the low monthly rent they pay is enabling them to save money to eventually get a place of their own.

Zach said, “The people at the Mission have been incredible. Everything we’ve needed, they have bent over backwards to provide. We can never thank them and everyone who supports the Mission enough. They literally saved our lives.”

Give the gift of help, healing and hope! Click here!

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A Fixed Income Fix https://rescuemissionalliance.org/fixed-income-fix-alans-story/ https://rescuemissionalliance.org/fixed-income-fix-alans-story/#respond Wed, 06 Sep 2017 13:06:22 +0000 https://rescuemissionalliance.org/?p=3956 Alan is a retired Navy veteran who served in the Red Sea, stationed in Ethiopia. He had been living in an apartment, but when the landlord raised the rent a significant amount, his fixed pension meant that he could no longer afford to live there and had to move out. Finding himself with no place […]

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Alan is a retired Navy veteran who served in the Red Sea, stationed in Ethiopia. He had been living in an apartment, but when the landlord raised the rent a significant amount, his fixed pension meant that he could no longer afford to live there and had to move out.

Finding himself with no place to live, Alan decided to move into the storage unit he had been renting for some of his belongings. But as winter rapidly approached, Alan knew that living in the storage unit would no longer suffice, and it was then he decided to come to the Rescue Mission for help.

When he arrived, he stayed in the Mission’s temporary shelter for about four months before being able to move into one of the Mission’s permanent housing units.

Alan said, “I now know homelessness can happen to anyone. I’m proof. I never thought I’d end up homeless. But I will say this … I’m so grateful the Mission was here to help me. The staff here is amazing and they will do whatever they can for you if you need and want the help.”

Now, with a place to call his own and rent that he can afford on his fixed income, Alan is free to contemplate what he wants to do with his life going forward as he settles into his hard-earned retirement years. “Maybe I’ll do some fishing,” he said with a smile.

Give the gift of help, healing and hope! Click here!

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From Shock to Chef https://rescuemissionalliance.org/from-shock-to-chef-michaels-story/ https://rescuemissionalliance.org/from-shock-to-chef-michaels-story/#respond Wed, 06 Sep 2017 13:03:30 +0000 https://rescuemissionalliance.org/?p=3952 Michael is an Army veteran who moved to Syracuse looking for a fresh start. When he arrived, Michael moved in with a friend. But, unfortunately, this living arrangement didn’t work out. With no family and friends nearby, Michael was completely alone, without a job or support of any kind, and quickly found himself homeless. That’s […]

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Michael is an Army veteran who moved to Syracuse looking for a fresh start. When he arrived, Michael moved in with a friend. But, unfortunately, this living arrangement didn’t work out. With no family and friends nearby, Michael was completely alone, without a job or support of any kind, and quickly found himself homeless.

That’s when someone told him about the Mission, and he came to our emergency shelter, where he stayed for a couple of months. While at the shelter, he used the computer lab and worked with a counselor to help him find a job.

He now lives in his own apartment that the Mission also helped him find. Michael loves cooking, especially seafood, and is currently working as a cook at a local restaurant. He is working hard to save money so that he can take care of his son who lives out of state.

Since Michael was born and raised in Florida, he had a bit of culture shock when he arrived in New York. But now he loves it here and calls Syracuse home. In fact, his goal is to one day open his own restaurant here in town.

Michael said, “The Rescue Mission and its amazing staff helped me when I needed it most. The programs here at the Mission really do work. I’ve seen it with so many other people who have come here seeking help. People are able to better themselves, change their circumstances and turn their lives around. And I’m living proof.”

Give the gift of help, healing and hope! Click here!

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Don’t Miss Out https://rescuemissionalliance.org/alans-blog-dont-miss-out-rescue-mission-alliance/ Tue, 27 Jun 2017 16:57:34 +0000 https://rescuemissionalliance.org/?p=3746 Alan’s Blog So it’s an absolutely gorgeous morning and I’m out walking along this really small, rocky peninsula that juts out into the Chesapeake, enjoying a morning cup of coffee and a great conversation with Meg. The two of us were taking our time, trying to get to the flagpole located at the end. Since […]

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Alan Thornton, Rescue Mission Alliance of Syracuse

Alan’s Blog

So it’s an absolutely gorgeous morning and I’m out walking along this really small, rocky peninsula that juts out into the Chesapeake, enjoying a morning cup of coffee and a great conversation with Meg. The two of us were taking our time, trying to get to the flagpole located at the end. Since Meg was in sandals, I was out front, so that, should she slip, I could be there to hopefully stop her from falling into the water. We were nearing the halfway point when, just as I was about to put my foot down on a rock, a spooked black snake suddenly slithered out of a little crevice right by where I was about to step.  Now, I hate snakes, and have been deathly afraid of them since watching The Swiss Family Robinson TV show when I was a kid, so it stands to reason that the more I tell this story, the bigger the snake gets and it usually becomes poisonous – it was at least a 9-foot-long King Cobra as of last re-telling. Truthfully, it was maybe 3 feet long, and a harmless Black snake, but despite the small size, its presence was so unexpected and it moved so fast that it startled me – I may have even been accused of letting out some kind of high pitched cry, but the facts on that are very gray at best!

Once my heartbeat calmed down and Meg got control of her laughter, we were back to our mission of reaching the flagpole at the end of the peninsula. However, with the idea of snakes in our heads, we were studying every single crevice and rock before taking a step – picture Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark after being lowered into the room with the slithering floor of snakes. Before long we had stopped talking about how beautiful a morning it was and how amazing our surroundings were… We stopped being interested in how cool it would be to stand at the flagpole at the end of the peninsula…  All we were doing was worrying about being bitten by some snake, so much so that we bailed on our mini-adventure to head back to the safety of the shoreline.

Laughing to myself about what happened a couple days later, I realized that experience provided a great metaphor. Each of us is on this great adventure called life, full of amazing people, places, and experiences. Even in our daily grinds we have the opportunity to laugh, love, work, volunteer, and live in a way that adds to the meaningfulness of our lives. Yet so often, problems, like snakes, pop out of nowhere and create fear and anxiety. Think about it – what is it that you are worrying about right now? What is it that is taking so much attention and draining the joy right out of your life? It could be a bill to pay, a deadline you’re dreading, a tyrant boss, a mistake you’ve made, a difficult co-worker, health issue, or any number of things, but once upon you, it’s all you can focus on. By now, you see where I am going with this. If we’re not careful, the fear in our lives can actually ruin our lives. If we give too much weight to what just happened, is happening, or might happen, or what they said, what they did, or what they might say or do, we could miss all the other amazing people and things happening around us.

If you’ve hung out with me at all over the past year, you know I’ve fallen into this trap on more than one occasion. I’m not saying that my challenges haven’t been real or significant – going through a divorce, juggling parenting and finances in light of that, finishing an MBA, moving twice, and challenges at work, are all individually, big life events that could upend you. However, even big life events shouldn’t keep me from marveling in the amazing things happening around me. Teaching my 16-year-old son Micah how to drive, getting to know him and his twin sisters, Jonaca, and Riley, better than I have ever known them while on spring break, hearing my oldest son Connor tell me he feels he is getting a new and better Dad in me, walking across the stage at commencement, having old friends remain while making new friends as well, and meeting an amazing woman named Meg.

I am in awe of people who somehow maintain superhuman, transcendent perspective when faced with adversity. I’m not that guy. I hope one day to attain that, but in the meantime, let me offer you a few key ways that I’ve learned to not let that snake popping up completely derail you. I hope they help in some way.

  1. Find someone to talk to. By far, this has been practically one of the best things I have done. Friends are great, and I am so grateful for the friends that held me up this past year, but your problems can burn them out. Most employer-sponsored Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) provides some level of professional counseling or financial advising. I’ve used ours and it’s a great starting point. Don’t bottle it up. Talk with someone and get objective perspective and support.
  2. Exercise and watch what you eat. Taking care of your body gives you a starting place for a sense of control of your life, and you can’t help but feel better. Be realistic, start with a short amount of time, or a short distance to walk or run, or a just a handful of exercises done a few times a week. Cut down on fast food, aim to choose healthier options, and be careful not to self medicate with alcohol. Remember, everything in moderation. If you set unrealistic exercise or diet goals, you’re setting yourself up for failure. One of the small things I did was to start drinking my coffee black, eliminating a ton of sugar that I was consuming through sweetening my coffee three times a day.
  3. Center yourself. Pray, read, meditate… whatever the right answer is for you, make the time, but, again, be realistic. I am far from perfect on this one but my best days are the ones where Meg and I have called each other first thing in the morning for 15 minutes to read a short reflection for the day and pray. I watch my daughters find themselves through reading a book for hours, letting their imaginations come to life and invigorate them. What centers you? When do you feel at peace? Make that a priority.
  4. Finally, give yourself grace. Life can be overwhelming and we all fall short at times. Understand that the problems that pop up, whether through our own actions or through circumstance, do not define who we are, or who we can still become. I was a terrible, unfocused, undergraduate student with a very poor GPA, and I let that define an element of who I was for the next 23 years of my life, despite accomplishing a lot through my career. Going through the MBA program at Syracuse University was the toughest thing I ever faced academically, but through that process I learned what I was capable of and how hard I was willing to work – and in doing so I finally re-wrote the negative narrative I had been telling myself for so long.

What’s the negative narrative that you have been writing about yourself? If you could, how would you write it differently? What would it take to change it? Don’t allow fear and anxiety to paralyze you. Give yourself grace, for we are all still learning, and start planning the small, next steps that can begin to help you re-write your story.

Alan Thornton
CEO, Rescue Mission Alliance
Alan is on Twitter @Alanrmsyr.

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Ride & Run Offers Fitness and Fun https://rescuemissionalliance.org/ride-run-offers-fitness-fun/ Mon, 05 Jun 2017 15:22:52 +0000 https://rescuemissionalliance.org/?p=3725 Whether you prefer to run, walk or bicycle, the Ride and Run for the Rescue has an event for you. REGISTER HERE The Ride and Run takes place Saturday, June 24 at Long Branch Park in Liverpool. Whether you take on a 5K or one of our five supported cycling routes, you will help the […]

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Whether you prefer to run, walk or bicycle, the Ride and Run for the Rescue has an event for you.

REGISTER HERE

ride and runThe Ride and Run takes place Saturday, June 24 at Long Branch Park in Liverpool. Whether you take on a 5K or one of our five supported cycling routes, you will help the Rescue Mission ensure that individuals and families at risk of hunger have somewhere to turn for nutritious meals.

The Rescue Mission expects to serve more than 70,000 meals over the summer, and we need your help! When you sign up for the Ride and Run, you help provide as many as 22 meals. Plus, every additional $2.24 you raise from friends and family provides a meal to one of our neighbors in need!

All participants receive a medal, t-shirt, morning coffee from Starbucks, bagels from Bagelicious, and a great lunch by Bull and Bear Roadhouse! Also – don’t miss our bounce house and other kids’ activities, vendor booths and tempting raffle prizes!

So, what are you waiting for? Click here to register!!

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