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A New Year of Service

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"I picked the wrong individuals to help me…everyone stole from me."

"Slum landlord. No heat in Fall and Winter."

"Robbed. Abandoned."

"Couldn’t afford rent."

These were all reasons for homelessness listed in a recent survey of guests at the City Rescue Mission. Many of us have been blessed with family support and some measure of material comforts. It can be difficult to understand fully the desperate situations and challenges that many of our guests face in addition to the difficulties we are all experiencing. Thank you for looking past personal worries and troubles to show compassion to others. That compassionate support of the Mission allows our guests to say that we...

"Listen & Guide."

"Help families stay together."

"Help grow spiritually and show that they care."

"Take religion seriously and relationship with God."

If you read the news or scroll through your social media, you can find many things to discourage you. However, you can be encouraged knowing that what you do matters to many in our community. As the City Rescue Missions begins its 111th year of service, we want to thank you for being an important part of providing food, shelter, and hope. We look toward 2022 as an opportunity to meet even more needs with the Next Chapter of Hope, our Michigan Avenue Project. Again, thank you for your faithful support. Thank you for being a rescuer.

"One day I'm working full time, the next day I'm in the hospital in intensive cardiac care...Short story long I eventually ended up here and what a Godsend! Without places and resources like this I'm not sure where I would be."

Vision for Today

message from mark

“Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 1:13

In 1911, the Indianapolis 500 had its inaugural season in Indianapolis, Indiana. The victor of the 40-car competition won with an average speed of 74.6 miles per hour. That’s probably less than the average vehicle speed on I-69 today! Although the Indianapolis 500 race continues each year, it certainly is not performed in the same old way and with the same technologies and methodologies. This, of course, is true in the ministry of rescue as well! We persistently assess our ability for meeting physical needs in new and improved ways in order to tell more people the good news that doesn’t change. Today, in comparison, the average speed of an Indianapolis 500 vehicle is closer to 190 miles per hour. “Things change” but God never does, and His plan of salvation never changes as well.

The apostle Peter begins his first letter with a reminder of who we are in Jesus Christ and the fact that we are “born again to a living hope.” This is where we stand when it comes to the ministry of rescue. As we prepare for our 111th year of ministry in Michigan’s capital area, we focus on our purpose and the reason for our hope. “Our mission is to meet physical needs for Food and Shelter to bring those with spiritual needs the Hope that is found in Jesus Christ.” This vision statement reminds us of how we are to accomplish our purpose of sharing God’s plan of salvation. However, it is also a good opportunity to reflect on God’s provisions and our great joy in serving.

Starting with the latter, we have continued our plans to expand the Men’s Shelter facility on Michigan Avenue, our Next Chapter of Hope (see “Rescue News”). We are looking to raise awareness and funds throughout 2022 with plans on starting construction by the end of 2022 or the beginning of 2023. We will continue to provide approximately 200 women, children, and men a safe place to stay each night of 2022. It is probable that the demand for shelter will continue to grow as a local homeless service agency recently announced employee layoffs and a reduction in services. Historically, God has always provided the means for the City Rescue Mission to expand in order to meet physical and spiritual needs. This is why we must be diligent and seek wisdom. I am confident that God will provide “just in time” through His people and for His glory. It is a privilege to serve as God provides the means to meet increasing needs in new ways. Thank you for your heart and concern for those we serve and how we serve them. Thank you for helping us help others.

In Christian Service,
Mark Criss
Executive Director

Michigan Avenue Project Update

rescue news

The Need: In 2019, we provided shelter to an average of 63 men a night. By November of 2021, we were averaging 74 men a night. For some time, the Mission has been adjusting space to add more beds. COVID highlighted the desperate need not only for greater capacity but also for the ability to maintain distancing. Currently, this location utilizes a community shower, as well, and we hope to upgrade to private showers and bigger bathrooms to accommodate the increased number of men being sheltered.

The Cost: We began to consult with an architect early in 2020, and as staffing and material shortages continued into 2021, the most current project estimates are at 3.5 million dollars to expand and renovate the facility. The Mission has occupied four buildings on Michigan Avenue since the 70s; we have purchased two additional buildings to the west, which increased capacity to 20,500 square feet. This purchase is included in the project, and we are looking for additional income sources to assist our community in raising funds for this much-needed project.

The Impact: In addition to increased capacity to provide food and shelter, this project will allow the Mission to offer Single Room Occupancy units. This is an innovation for our area and will allow men with limited income an opportunity for stability and accountability. An investment in this project is truly an investment in our community, as more than 1,000 individuals receive services at this location every year. We are excited at the chance to reach even more people with the light of Hope and the love of Christ.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

volunteer spotlight

Family Size: 6-8 Servings
4 cups water
3 cubes chicken bouillon
1 onion, chopped
1 banana pepper, seeded and diced
1 (15.5 oz) can hominy, drained
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed & drained
1 (15 oz) can garbanzo beans, rinsed & drained
1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes & green chilies
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
2 (10.75 oz) cans cream of chicken soup
2 (12.5 fl oz) cans white chicken, drained
4 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
3 tablespoons lime juice
5 dashes hot pepper sauce
3 tablespoons dried cilantro
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
salt and pepper to taste

Mission Size: 160-170 Servings
96 cups water
72 cubes chicken bouillon
24 onion, chopped
24 banana pepper, seeded and diced
24 (15.5 oz) can hominy, drained
24 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed & drained
24 (15 oz) can garbanzo beans, rinsed & drained
24 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes with green chilies
24 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
48 (10.75 oz) cans cream of chicken soup
48 (12.5 fl oz) cans white chicken, drained
2 1/4 cups garlic powder
4 1/2 cups lime juice
120 dashes hot pepper sauce
4 1/2 cups dried cilantro
1/2 cup chili powder
1/2 cup ground cumin
salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Bring the water to a boil in a large pot; stir the bouillon cubes into the water until dissolved. Add the onion, banana pepper, hominy, black beans, garbanzo beans, diced tomatoes with chiles, diced tomatoes, chicken soup, chicken, garlic powder, lime juice, hot pepper sauce, cilantro, chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper; stir. Reduce heat to medium and cook the soup until the onions are soft and opaque, about 20 minutes. Serve with Tortilla Chips.