A man came to the red doors at City Light, our shelter in Boise for women and children, early this week looking for a local church. He was from out of town, and his infant son was very ill and had been taken by ambulance to the hospital. What a blessing that this worried father was driving around looking for a pastor to pray with and found us. Read More
PUTTING THE PIECES
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Without You There Would Be No Rescue Read More
“I never got a chance to say thank you for helping me get back on my feet.”
We just may never know the influence we may have on those who come seeking our services. However, it is especially encouraging to hear the progress that one has made in his or life after having been with us.
Case in point is Tom*. Tom came to our shelter for the first time in January of 2014 with very little in the way of possessions. He expressed interest in our work program and was accepted. During his 5 months stay with us, we were able to help Tom connect with the Idaho Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, “a state-federal program whose goal is to assist people with disabilities prepare for, secure, retain or regain employment.” He received assistance in the way of funds to get his driver’s license and a voucher to get glasses/contacts. Tom’s goal? To drive trucks. By the end of Tom’s stay with us, he had been accepted by a reputable company to attend their out-of-state truck driving school. Tom left us for this school the first part of July, 2014.
Fast forward to January 2017, nearly 3 years after Tom first came to us. Tom just sent an email to us letting us know what has been transpiring in his life since his departure from us. He wrote about the period in his life before coming to us. He said, “It was a dark time in my life after having $13,000 stolen in Thailand, and then being deported back to nothing in United States.” But, he said, the Rescue Mission was here to be that light; that beacon of hope for him during that time of darkness.
He went on to say, “I read many times that going from homeless and broke to being normal again was on the verge of being impossible, but I did it and now I’m back where I started. I am using my degree and teaching at a dramatic arts college in Thailand. He will soon be married to his Thai girlfriend who is an accountant for the college.
Tom concluded his email by saying, “Thank you for all you did. I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for you guys.”
And we, as a ministry, would not be here if it wasn’t for our donors. We thank God for His provision, through our donors, to make sure we have everything we need to help the “Tom’s” who come through our doors.
Director, Lighthouse Rescue Mission
On top of the crazy challenges our shelters face during snow days, the flu has been going around to guests and staff. I came in to cover for one of our staff. For me, it was a really enjoyable evening and made me miss being involved in shelter operations on a daily basis.
Then, at 9 pm, a call came in from a man who was looking for shelter. His car had broken down and he didn’t have anywhere to go to get out of the cold. Divorced and homeless, only option was to sleep in his car. He was really at the end of his rope.
He said he was near St. Al’s hospital which I knew was much too far to walk to get to our men’s shelter on a cold and icy night. I told him to go inside the hospital to wait and we would figure something out.
It was such a good feeling to be able to share with him that we could help with a safe, warm place to stay, meals, clothes and help him get his life back on track. As I talked with him, I could tell he was choking up on the other end of the line. He said he didn’t know where else to turn. He has a job, but no home, and now that his car is disabled, he didn’t know what to do. I was able to reassure him the he called the right place; that we were going to help.
A quick call over to River of Life, and the staff there said they would find a way to get him there.
Just now, they called and said, “We got him!” Praise the Lord for everyone who works so hard to make our shelters run and who are willing to go above and beyond to find that one lost sheep.
Chief Operating Officer
Here are a few simple ideas that you can use to help bring our homeless and hurting neighbors in from the cold.
SPREAD THE WORD
Each of Boise Rescue Mission Ministries’ facilities serve meals to our hungry and homeless neighbors every day, even to those who are not staying with us but still need our assistance. Help us spread the word by carrying some of our meal tickets in your glove compartment. These tickets have all of the information a person needs to connect with the Mission’s shelters. They are available for download from BoiseRM.org/media, or you can call 208-343-2389. We would be happy to send them to you.
Help us reach out to those in need by sharing our invitation to everyone to come in from the cold; to warm up and have a good meal at our table and to rest easy for the night.
Once we have provided for these basic needs, we work hard to connect these men, women, and children with the resources they need to address the root causes of their homelessness. Whatever it is that caused them to be homeless, we offer numerous programs to help them recover.
Whatever you decide to do, please remember to take precautions for your safety. The unfortunate truth is that some people living on the street are criminals and fugitives from the law. So be prudent. Stay where other people can see you and don’t take unnecessary risks.
PROVIDE AN ALTERNATIVE
Consider what alternatives you could provide to money. It is a sad truth that, too often, well-intentioned gifts are converted to drugs or alcohol. So think about a small act of kindness that meets an immediate need: a hot cup of coffee on a cold day, a bottle of water, or even bringing carry-out from a restaurant and sharing it with them. You could also provide gloves, socks, tissues, or a granola bar, things that are easy to carry with you and give away.
One of the best ways to get started helping homeless people face to face is to volunteer at one of our shelters. As a volunteer you can learn from those who are already making a significant difference in the lives of our guests on a daily basis, as well having the perfect opportunity to share your talents and encourage the people we serve.
Do you find it true sometimes that the most powerful tool we have at our disposal is the one we are tempted to dismiss as not quite enough? When you encounter someone out in the cold this winter, pray for God’s physical, mental, and spiritual protection over them. And know that your prayers are what God will use to bring many of the broken to Himself.