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More About the Mission

Grateful Words from a Guest

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To the Supporters and Donors of the City Rescue Mission,

I would just like to start by saying thank you for all the kind donations and support you give to so many of us in need.

It is never an ideal situation to become homeless, but knowing there is a place we can go for a good night’s sleep, a warm meal, and a shower helps more than you realize.

Everything you do for us is more than appreciated, from the larger donations to the small ones, such as new socks or toothpaste.

Thank you so very much. As for myself, the amount of gratitude I feel is unmeasurable.

Many Blessings,
A Guest of the Mission’s Women & Children’s Shelter

Goodness & Mercy

message from mark

"Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer." Romans 12:12

As this year winds to a close, I can’t help but reflect on a few things. This year has become the busiest of the 111 years of rescue ministry work in Michigan’s capital area. We continue to “find a way” even when we didn’t think there is a way. We have had challenges with the lack of sufficient personnel and the increasing demand for food and shelter. We have never had both the women and children’s shelter and the men’s shelter at capacity before the end of November. However, through it all, I find it joyful that we have not wandered from our purpose of the Gospel, even during difficult times.

Although our services for food and shelter have increased to over 200 people each night, the gifts of God’s people over the past three months have lessened. In comparison to last year, by end of September, our shelter beds increased by 13% (166 to 188) but our donations have decreased by 15% or nearly $300,000. Thankfully, we have adjusted various budgets and recognize the reality that 2021 was an exceptional year of giving. We know that God will provide exactly what we need for 2022, as well as 2023. This is why we are persistently in prayer, and we ask you to do the same. We do rejoice this Christmas season because we know the hope that is in Jesus Christ and these challenges pale in comparison to His goodness and mercy.

No matter the season, the City Rescue Mission will always meet physical needs for Food and Shelter to bring those with spiritual needs the Hope that is found in Jesus Christ. As mentioned in the “Rescue News” article, the demand for shelter is at record numbers in 2022. We expect this trend to continue into 2023. Please consider how you can continue to meet these growing needs. Thank you for helping us help others. Thank you for being a rescuer!

In Christian Service,
Mark Criss
Executive Director

By the Numbers

rescue news

Individual women,
children, & men helped
from January - September

Safe Nights provided
for individuals
from January - September

Quality Meals offered
in our community
from January - September

As reported in the November newsletter, there are record numbers for shelter in 2022. The highest year in Mission history was 2014, with 55,188 nights of shelter provided for the entire year. This year, the Mission surpassed that number before the end of October. Added to these high numbers are the challenges of illness and staffing shortages throughout the Mission. We so appreciate your continued prayers and support, that enable us to meet needs during these difficult times.

Welcome our New Women & Children’s Shelter Director

mission expansion project update

Welcome to our new Women and Children's Shelter Director, Bethany Hammar! We say new, but she has served at the Mission since 2011, excepting six months oversees. During her time at the women and children's shelter, she has filled a number of roles: coordinator, security, supervisor, and casework coordinator. She has come to the role with valuable relationships with guests, staff, and volunteers, and we are excited for the experience she will bring to lead her team at the women and children's shelter.

If you would like to join the team, we currently have full and part time opportunities available, especially overnights. For more information, visit or call 517.485.0145.


volunteer spotlight

Volunteering at the Mission was not what Stephanie first expected. “I imagined a chaotic place with unruly guests. I worried it would be difficult for me to connect and not fit in.” Instead, she found a place that needed her, and she has been faithfully serving as a childcare volunteer since 2014.

Philippians 4:5 says, “Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.” The gentleness that was “expressed by staff and guests was unexpected,” she said. “The guests here are appreciative, compassionate, and kind.” Stephanie witnesses that in not only our guests, but also their children. Faithfully, she spends several nights of the week in our infant care room playing with the little ones. “My favorite part about volunteering at the Mission is playing with the kids. I am naturally energetic, so we get along well! I hope I can be a happy memory for them during a difficult time.”

Stephanie is definitely in the right place. Her gentleness with the children helps make the City Rescue Mission “a safe place that offers tremendous amounts of love and compassion to those in need while supporting autonomy and resiliency.”

“Volunteering has affected my life in more ways than I could have ever thought. I am passionate about serving others and absolutely love spending time with kids. Here, I can do both! I feel valued and a sense of belonging which has created more happiness in my life.”

Thank you for your support, keeping so many people off the streets each night. As Stephanie says, “The most important part about volunteering here is seeing the women and children come to know Jesus.” Thank you for playing such a huge part in providing Food, Shelter, and Hope to our community.