For more than 100 years the Rescue Mission of Trenton has been a lifeline for the most vulnerable members of the community. Located in the City of Trenton, it serves the truly needy men and women who have no place to turn for shelter, food, and clothing. The Mission provides a safe, clean, warm, refuge for the homeless, the hungry, the transient, and the addicted.

Mary Gay Abbott-Young, CEO, emphasizes the importance of the Emergency Shelter, one of the key initiatives that is the focus of a current appeal for funds. “Historically the Emergency Shelter provides over 30,000 bed nights and 80,000 meals each year. Clients receive breakfast, dinner, snacks, clothing, winter coats, and personal hygiene necessities. Under the Emergency Services Program, the Rescue Mission also operates a weekend soup kitchen, and transitional housing is available on a limited basis.”

Abbott-Young continues, “For many years, the Mission has funded our emergency services program through a patchwork of funding supplied by a variety of sources: the government, corporations, foundations, and the general public. Unfortunately, due to a change in government practice, many of the economically needy clients we serve are no longer eligible for government funding.”

“The Emergency Services is so much more than a temporary roof over clients’ heads. They are designed to enable our staff to link the client to community programs that will address the pressing needs and issues contributing to their homelessness.”

The Homeless Assessment and Referral (HAR) Program provides assessment to clients in the emergency shelter and referral to addictions, mental health, and other crucial services. The program offers extended, supportive housing to adult, single men who are experiencing homelessness and need assistance in obtaining social services and benefits in addition to living accommodations.

In addition to Emergency Services, the Mission provides other crucial outreach. Vince’s Place is licensed by the State of New Jersey and provides residential addiction treatment to homeless, indigent clients and those with specific legal issues. A full array of services is offered including group and individual counseling, medical evaluation and referral, educational and vocational assistance, meals and transportation.

“We also stress programs created to offer a way out of homelessness,” says Abbott Young. “TEACH — and adult education program offers GED preparation, basic literacy tutoring, parenting classes, and computer/word processing skills. TEACH offers classroom instruction as well as one-on-one tutoring by area volunteers. TEACH provides a Job Placement Program for residents who have completed their program requirements. This program is designed to assist residents with re-entry into the community by securing gainful employment.”

“The homeless are not hopeless,” says Abbott-Young. “The Rescue Mission of Trenton continues to be that lifeline of hope when it seems that no other doors are open. Keeping those doors open wide requires volunteers, funds and compassion.”

For more information: 609-695-1436. www.rescuemissionoftrenton.org/donate.

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