Thursday, March 16, 2017

Rescue Mission: Services You Might Not Know About Part 2 of 2

(Part 1 can be found here.)

Taking nearly two hours to go through all the vast parts of the mission facilities, I started to wonder why people tend to think that homeless people are all panhandlers.

One of the many problems that I've had to deal with while starting the group is that people believe they are one in the same, but that's simply not true. From the massive amount of research, the countless hours of digging up demographic data both locally and on a national scale, the only thing I could think of is poverty.

Most people believe that panhandlers are down on their luck and while a few are, many are not based off the 2016 HUD report that I found online.

As I continued my tour, I couldn't help but think about the money that was given to panhandlers and how that money would BETTER be spent as a facility like the Rescue Mission.

I wanted to learn more.

Medical Clinic

I went down to their newer facility, the free clinic. It's a state of the art facility which is run by a few
staff members but mostly volunteers, nurses, doctors, dentists and other professionals run the clinic all throughout the week. Many people from both Carilion and Lewis Gale will help donate both time and equipment to keep the clinic running. Dentistry services are offered through New Horizons here in Roanoke.  Some of the things the clinic helps with include:

  • Checkups and Physicals
  • Psychiatric Medication Management and Counseling Services
  • Medication Assistance
  • Dental Care
  • Vision Care
  • Medical Transportation
  • Respite Care
  • Education (Classes include Diabetic Education, Smoking Cessation, Post-acute Withdrawal, The Addicted Brain, Oral Health, and Healthy Living)
The services include both the homeless they work with as well as people within the SE part of Roanoke too, so it's open to a lot more people than one might think.

Donation Center and Store

While many people think that the mission is funded through a church, it's actually funded in many different ways, one of them is through their donation store on 460 and their 2nd Blessings store on Williamson Rd. Located on 460 in Vinton at the corner of Gus Nicks Blvd, the THRIFT 460 offers gently used clothes, appliances, furniture and other household items that you can

They even have a cafe to enjoy soups, salads and sandwiches too. You can find the menu here, which is for the general public.

When you shop at 2nd Helpings and THRIFT 460, 100% of your purchase goes toward helping families and individuals in crisis.

One thing I didn't realize is that they have a large donation center. It's located on the campus block and they gladly accept most items that are in good condition and they even give you a receipt for a tax write off if you wish.

The Tabitha Program

So the Rescue Mission gives you about 45 days of emergency services.  Beyond that, they offer a program called Tabitha.

This is a longer service they offer to help those that are chronically homeless, those that cycle in and out of the shelters, get back to living independently through various classes. In the classes they help teach many different things which include from their website:

  • Compliance with an individualized case management plan
  • Supervised service assignments on campus and in the community to re-establish work and social habits, as well as to provide on-the-job skills training
  • Classes and weekly small group meetings, Bible studies, and attendance at a church of the individual’s choice to build a network of support and help participants learn to overcome challenging social barriers
  • Social outings and “family group” activities designed to build self-confidence and social skills
Additionally, all Tabitha participants are required to be drug/alcohol/nicotine-free and agree to submit to ongoing screenings.

Helping Our Community

Honestly, I'm missing other things the Rescue Mission does, because it's quite extensive.  I must say that I was blown away by the mission and what they do over there.

I would HIGHLY recommend taking a tour of their facility as it's quite, well, humbling.

As we continue with our venture in the Roanoke Valley and try to stop panhandling, I want you to visit the Rescue Mission and see for yourself what they do. While panhandlers are not really homeless by nature, homelessness is a real issue. We should be aware that the two often get mixed into one bag.

As you educate your friends, neighbors and loved ones be sure to let them know the differences in the two and please, if you want to give to a panhandler, donate to a place such as the mission as they can make even one buck go so much farther than a panhandler can.

Be sure to visit them on their website to learn more or to help volunteer with one of their many services! Also ask about their Monday 12 noon public tour.


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