(Good Things Utah) – Homelessness is something we all wish didn’t exist; unfortunately, it does. No matter how someone becomes homeless, they consistently need our help and at all times of year – not just on holidays.

With the cold Utah winter now fully set in, Chris Crosswhite from the Rescue Mission Salt Lake joined Good Things Utah to talk about how their remarkable program is helping the homeless get off the streets for good.

By stabilizing people through shelter, moving them into permanent housing, and implementing assistance and education programs to keep them in their housing, Rescue Mission of Salt Lake aims to not only reduce but eliminate, homelessness in Salt Lake City.

Their goal is to engage homeless individuals, including youth and families with children, and stay with them for as long as it takes to return them to self-sufficiency, safety, and comfort. Their model truly deserves recognition and support.

Rescue Mission offers a model of service that addresses the cause of a person’s homelessness.  In addressing originating and contributing causes they can end homeless in the person’s life and help them become self-sufficient.

The 13 to 18-month process is extensive, but when completed as it is designed, the homeless person’s life can be forever changed. Their model is proven to work time and time again.

1. Stability

The first step is to find stability. Stabilizing the person off the streets, off of drugs, alcohol, etc and into the program of the Rescue Mission –  A person is not ready to address the cause of their homelessness, which is often traumatic until they are stabilized and can then take the emotional risk associated with counseling and matters of the head and the heart. The stabilization phase is normally 30 days.

2. Education And Counseling

The next step is education and counseling –  typically six months in duration – can be longer than 9 months to a year – all based on the student’s needs.  This is the time the student is in two or three classes per day as well as individual counseling, mentoring, and life coaching to address the cause of the likely addiction, and life issue resulting in a person’s homelessness.

3. Find Employment

The third step is really important and can help the person find some semblance of independence. Employment – after the person completes the education Phase, the Rescue mission helps the person obtain employment in the greater community.  It is at this time we help the person with transition stress back into the workforce, budgeting skills, paying back bills, or setting up child support payments.

4. Secure Permanent Housing

The final step and the one the Rescue Mission always celebrates is the final move towards permanent housing –  This is either private self-supported housing or Transitional Housing in a Rescue Mission Clean and Sober Living Home. If the person is moving into fully private housing the Rescue Mission helps to furnish the apartment for the person.

The goal of the program is to take a person actively living on the streets and in 13 to 18 months have their progress through the New Life Program to full independence and self-sufficiency, with employment and housing, and not on a permanent government subsidy.

The Rescue Mission has three service centers across the Wasatch Front.

  1. Rescue Mission of Salt Lake, Men’s Facility and Homeless Service Center: 463 South 400 West, SLC Utah
  2. Rescue Mission Women Center, Women’s Recovery Program, 1165 South State Street, SLC, UT
  3. Ogden Rescue Mission, Men’s and Women’s Program as well as Homeless Service Center, 2775 Wall Avenue, Ogden Utah

The Rescue Mission tries to spotlight the struggles our homeless friend’s face and our efforts to help them. Rescue Mission is an effective life-changing ministry in Utah that serves the homeless, indigent, and poor by providing services that meet spiritual, physical, emotional, educational, social, and mental wholeness needs through the love and power of Jesus Christ.

Get more information about Rescue Mission Salt Lake or find out how you can help by either volunteering or making a generous donation.