1958 – 1961
CHRIST’S GOSPEL MISSION ESTABLISHED IN BOISE, IDAHO
FIRST MEETING OF THE BOARD
On August 15, 1958, the first meeting of the Board of Directors was held. Some of the twenty or so men present were (rear left to front right) E.S. Gingrich, Walt Wilson, Bob Freeman, Sam Parvin, James Law, Howard Waterman, Leo Hudlet, Aaron Olson, Mike Watson, Frank Ericson, Chuck Bradshaw.
Two months later, on Monday, October 13, 1958, we opened the doors of Christ’s Gospel Mission in the Shanghai-Low Cafe Building at 217 S. Capitol Blvd. Our vision was that the ministry would serve as a “haven for forgotten men.”
REV. CHARLES BRADSHAW 1ST SUPERINTENDENT
Rev. Charles Bradshaw was instrumental in organizing the Mission from the very beginning. He was appointed as our first Superintendent and served from 1958 to 1961.
1962 – 1972
LEWIS BARTZ 2nd SUPERINTENDENT
Lewis Bartz became our 2nd Superintendent in 1962 and served faithfully for nearly 10 years until 1971. He had been a farmer, but once he saw the plight of homeless men, he wanted to help. This same year, our name was changed to Boise Rescue Mission.
JOHN DRZEWIECKI 3rd EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
In 1971, John Drzewiecki began 25 years of service as our third Executive Director. In the early ’80s, he and the Board began to look for ways to meet the increasing need for women and families’ relief services.
On March 3rd, 1971, the Boise Redevelopment Agency condemned our original building as a part of an effort to eliminate deteriorated areas of the city. The Board of directors purchased a building at 520 Front Street, and we relocated in 1972.
1996 – 1999
REV. TONY CHUNG 4th Executive Director
In 1996, Rev. Tony Chung became our fourth Executive Director and served until 2001. From the start, he said that God had given him the gift to build relationships and the desire to help.
GOOD NEWS RECOVERY PROGRAM
We also started the Good News Recovery Program (now called the New Life Discipleship Recovery Program) in 1996 to help men, and now women, learn about the Lord and give them the time they needed to overcome alcoholism and addiction and change their lives.
Our first Learning Center was opened in 1996 as well. Each of the Learning Centers in our shelters provides phones, computers, education, and staff assistance to give men and women the skills and tools they need to find work and a place to live.
LIGHTHOUSE RESCUE MISSION
In 1999, after two facilities that had served homeless and low-income families in Nampa closed their doors, there was an urgent need for the services we could offer in Canyon County. We opened the Lighthouse Rescue Mission on Caldwell Blvd. to meet that need.
2000 – 2007
CITY LIGHT HOME FOR WOMEN AND CHILDREN
In January of 2000, our vision to answer the critical need for safe shelter for the growing number of homeless women and children in our community was realized with the opening of our facility, City Light Home for Women and Children, in Boise.
REV. BILL ROSCOE 5th President/CEO
Rev. Bill Roscoe accepted God’s call to become the Mission’s new Executive Director in May of 2002. He continues his faithful services to the Mission as our President/CEO.
RIVER OF LIFE MEN’S SHELTER
In 2005, the Mission leased the former Community House building in Boise and renamed it River of Life Men’s Shelter. We continued to operate both this and the Front Street facility until we purchased the building in 2007.
NEXT STEP TRANSITIONAL HOUSING APARTMENTS
Construction was completed on twelve new Next Step Transitional Housing Apartments in Nampa in 2007. Our Next Step Apartments in Boise and Nampa provide Program graduates with an intermediate step to help them succeed as they work to re-establish themselves in the community.
2008 – 2009
IN HOUSE MENTAL HEALTH PROGRAM
Knowing that people with severe mental health issues are three times more likely to become homeless than the general population, we developed our in-house Mental Health Program in 2008 to meet their unique needs.
Our ministry was rapidly growing to keep up with the needs of homeless and hurting people across the Treasure Valley. To support that growth, we purchased the facility at 308 S. 24th St. in Boise in 2009 to serve as a Ministry Center to house our administrative offices and warehouse.
CITY LIGHT’S GUEST HOUSE
The Mission’s former warehouse across the street from City Light was transformed in 2009 into a much-needed additional 58-bed emergency shelter dorm for women and children.
The Mission had been caring for homeless children with their moms for years, but, in 2009, we officially began the Kids Program with a full-time Summer Kids Program, Homework Club after school, a Teen Program, an annual College Road Trip, and much more.
2010 – 2014
VETERANS MINISTRY PROGRAM
In 2010, the Veterans Administration approached the Mission about establishing a Veterans Ministry Program. We designated rooms for this unique program to meet the needs of homeless veterans in our community who deserve so much for the sacrifices they have made on our behalf.
NEW BUILDING FOR THE LIGHTHOUSE
The old Lighthouse building had begun to deteriorate to the point of being unsafe and was beyond repair, so we started planning for a new facility. Those plans changed slightly when we were able to purchase and relocate the Lighthouse Rescue Mission in 2014 to 304 16th Ave. N. in Nampa.
VALLEY WOMEN & CHILDREN’S SHELTER
The need for emergency shelter for women and children in Canyon County became critical when another shelter in Nampa suddenly closed its doors. We stepped in to purchase the building and quickly opened Valley Women and Children’s Shelter in 2014.
WE CELEBRATED 60 YEARS OF HOPE
God’s faithful provision over the past 60 years has allowed us to serve 6,057,332 meals, provide 2,252,537 nights of safe shelter, have 1,019,022 in attendance in the chapel, and see more than 21,109 men, women, and children come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
RESCUE MISSION RECOVERY LODGE
In October 2018, the Mission purchased a 6,000 sq. ft. former assisted living facility immediately adjacent to the Mission’s Valley Women and Children’s Shelter in Nampa. Recovery Lodge provides wrap-around support services to guests with medical issues that can’t be effectively addressed in the normal emergency shelter environment. The Lodge opened in August 2019 and can serve up to 45 homeless individuals.
2021 – present
SONRISE MANOR: A TRANSITIONAL CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY
In 2021, Boise Rescue Mission Ministries purchased the former assisted living facility at 1777 S. Curtis Road in Boise. The Mission purchased this facility to increase the number of its transitional living units in the Treasure Valley. The Rescue Mission has operated its Transitional Living Program for over 20 years, and it has been a great success in providing safe, stable, and supportive housing for people transitioning from homelessness to independent living.
CRADLE OF HOPE: A CRISIS PREGNANCY MINISTRY
In 2022, Boise Rescue Mission Ministries began a new program to provide a safe haven for moms and babies in crisis pregnancy situations. The Cradle of Hope Program aims to fill the “gap needs” in crisis pregnancy care in the Treasure Valley while partnering with local life-affirming pregnancy clinics, churches, and other organizations. It is more important than ever to reach out to women and men alike, reminding them that they are not alone, that their lives have value.
Because of your kindness and generosity, the Mission continues to serve homeless individuals of the Treasure Valley. Our purpose is to see the lives of men, women, and children in our community truly transformed through the love of Jesus and the restoration of faith, hope, and family.