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Celebrating the Past, Shaping the Future

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BC: Thank you for supporting City Rescue Mission, your generosity has made 50 years of compassionate care for homeless men, women and children possible. We look forward to shaping the future together. | 800 West California Avenue Oklahoma City, OK 73106 (405) 232-2709 www.cityrescue.org

1: Our mission is to lead our community by serving the homeless with help, hope and healing in the spirit of excellence, under the call of Christ. | 50 years of Compassionate Service

2: City Rescue Mission, Inc., founded in May of 1960 by a concerned group of businessmen, was started in the heart of downtown Oklahoma City's old Skid Row. This area, surrounded by secondhand clothing stores, small dingy hotels and pawn shops, was home to countless transients. Run by Mr. and Mrs. Herman Janzen, the Mission operated on the theory that the downcast, downtrodden and unfortunate needed Christ, a hot meal, a bath and a place to spend the night. At this time, the Mission was serving transient men with only 20 beds and one shower. | 1960

3: In 1968, with the help of numerous local churches, City Rescue Mission purchased property and moved to 523 South Robinson, doubling its capacity and increasing services to include women. In 1977, the Janzen's retired and Mr. and Mrs. Milton (Mickey) Kalman took over operating the Mission under the motto: 'Soup, Soap and Salvation.' In 1979, the mortgage was paid in full, but the need for services was increasing. Homeless families began to emerge as a growing community concern. | 1960 | 1970

5: A Day in My Life When Georgia's husband passed away in 2003, she felt completely lost and alone. "He was killed in front of me in a botched carjacking," she relates. "My kids were grown and gone, and I didn't know my place in the world anymore. I ended up with major depression." By 2006, Georgia was too sick to work regularly. "My first thought for the day would be 'What do I do now? What utility will be turned off?' I couldn't feel or cry or love anymore." Georgia came to City Rescue Mission last October. Here she found "a good place to stay and food to eat," she says. "It was the last place I wanted to come and the best thing that ever happened to me!" A member of the program, Georgia looks forward to each day. "My counselors are awesome and positive. They give me referrals to programs here and in the community and they keep me motivated!" Georgia's days are divided between her part-time job, life-skills classes and housekeeping at the Mission, and attendance at a tragedy support program. When I first came to the Mission, I just wanted to disappear. But with Christ in my life, I can do this!"

6: In 1980, a local church donated additional property adjacent to the Mission which included a large building and two frame houses. The building soon became a women's shelter while the two houses became a family shelter and a weekly medical clinic and education facility, tripling the Mission's service capacity. 'Rescue and Restoration' was becoming a more descriptive motto. | 1980

7: In 1992, the Belsky Brothers, long-time community business men, generously donated two properties in the 800 block of West California Street. These buildings were temporarily used for a clothing room and a warehouse. In 1994, City Rescue Mission purchased the remainder of the block from the Oklahoma City School Board and launched a five-year, $4.5 million capital campaign which included renovation and construction of a new facility. | 1960 | 1990

8: Better than Ever Matt had everything he wanted in life...a loving family, a great job, a nice house. He was even a church leader. But he also had something he didn't want--a drug addiction. Matt's life was defined by a process of getting clean followed by relapse--for twenty years this vicious cycle went on... After a move to California, Matt hit rock bottom. His wife left him, taking both of his boys with her back to Oklahoma. Devastated, Matt also came back to Oklahoma and back to his senses--he refused to lose his family. Upon his pastor's advice, Matt enrolled in the Bridge to Life program at City Rescue Mission. "That first night was the hardest," he recalls. "Sleeping on that gym floor was horrible." However, Matt recognized the opportunity before him to get better, permanently. Being a church leader, Matt had been a Christian for many years--which raised questions for him about faith during the Bridge to Life classes. "I realized I was missing something...I was missing, 'It is finished.' God has done his part, He's given me everything I need to live victoriously--it's a process of renewal." At City Rescue Mission, Matt learned the need for structure in his daily life and his need to submit to authority. He found common ground with the other residents and learned the value of healthy relationships. Matt's message is loud and clear, "The stereotype of rescue missions is not accurate. I'm tangible proof that the work they do is making a significant impact. Because you gave, my family is together today--my sons have their dad today...your gifts are powerful."

10: During this time, Mr. Kalman retired and Rev. Glenn Cranfield was hired as President and CEO to oversee the completion of the Seeing the Light Capital Campaign and the construction of the new facility. In November 2000, the doors to the state-of-the-art campus of care were opened. | 2000

11: Over the last five decades, City Rescue Mission has come to be recognized for providing more than beds and food for the area's homeless and destitute. It has gained respect locally and nationally for its comprehensive, holistic approach to serving those in need. Financial support of the Mission comes from donations made by concerned individuals, churches, business, private foundations and civic organizations. City Rescue Mission is a member of the Association of Gospel Rescue Missions, the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability and the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce. | 1960 | 2000

13: A Bridge to Life When Catherine and her two children first came to City Rescue Mission, all three were so weary and cold that they ate quickly and climbed right under the warm covers in our emergency shelter bunks. A few days later, the family had recuperated enough to ask some questions about our recovery program. As Catherine listened to a description of our Bridge to Life program, she liked what she heard. It was her opportunity to provide a better life for her kids and she jumped at the chance. In her first 30 days in Bridge to Life, Catherine learned more about the Gospel and how biblical principles could be applied in her life. As Catherine moves through each of the program's bridges, she will participate in weekly encounter, other support groups and address parenting, budgeting, anger management and health issues, all from a biblical principle. When Catherine and her daughters graduate Bridge to Life, Catherine will be fully prepared to reenter society--armed with a good job, new skills and a Christ-centered approach to life!

14: Today, City Rescue Mission offers a Christ-centered continuum of care including shelter, meals, medical and dental services, spiritual care and hygiene care. The Mission's comprehensive long-term recovery program Bridge to Life, provides educational, psychological, economic and spiritual bridges for people striving to overcome addictions and other challenges through a relationship with Jesus Christ. | 2010

15: With the leadership of Rev. Tom Jones, support from the Board of Directors, the devoted staff and caring community, City Rescue Mission is able to transform the lives of those that come through its doors. | 2010

16: A Chance to Be a Kid A child hops off the school bus and races across the yard into his mother's arms. They walk together into the kitchen where a snack and milk are already on the table. Home...safety, security, love and comfort. Another child never made it to school today. No one woke him up or fed him breakfast. He missed learning math and reading. He missed the only hot meal he'd get all day. Home...loneliness, fear, boredom and ignorance. Homeless children often suffer dramatically from constant relocation, negligence, violence and lack of education. Long ago, City Rescue Mission's staff decided we'd do all we could to offer these impoverished children the chance to simply be kids with the opportunity to grow into productive, stable adults. Our program helps these suffering children address their physical, academic, spiritual and emotional development. The program also teaches five core values to instill confidence and hope in kids: I am...I can...I have...I will...I believe. And, we teach their parents, too!

17: A Chance to Be a Kid Adriana, who is 12 years old, dreams of being a basketball player. She looks forward to having her own room when they graduate from the Bridge to Life program. She likes to relax and her favorite food is macaroni and cheese. Aaron, who is 7 years old, wants to ride dirt bikes when he grows up. When Aaron moves to his own home, he wants to have a back yard where he can build a tree house. His favorite food is pizza and more than anything he likes to eat. He loves to go to chapel and heaven looks like a really good place to him. He has learned that Jesus is a powerful person and knows that Jesus thinks he is a good person and loves him! Desiree, who is 8 years old, is an energetic and loving girl. She is so proud of her mom and "believes my mom can change." This was such a turning point in her life and her mom's recovery process!

18: Emergency Shelter | Bridge to Life Program | Social Services | The Emergency Shelter provides immediate life-sustaining services to homeless men, women and children such as nourishing food, safe shelter, spiritual guidance, clean clothes and help to find solutions for each person's homelessness--all at no charge! | The Bridge to Life Recovery Program provides educational, psychological, economic and spiritual bridges to people striving to overcome addictions and other challenges through a relationship with Jesus Christ. It is an eight to ten month program and after a client graduates from this program, the Mission assists in transition into the community. | The Social Services Center offers medical, dental and pediatric clinics which includes helping to care for individuals who have been subjected to extreme living conditions that have hampered their ability to properly care for themselves and their children.

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  • By: Tiffany W.
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  • Title: Celebrating the Past, Shaping the Future
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  • Started: over 6 years ago
  • Updated: over 6 years ago

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