The party might be over but the work continues. As we sweep up the confetti from our 50th anniversary last year, the Ventura County Rescue Mission enters 2023 with anticipation for the next 50 years.
Encouraged from stories of the past and bolstered by the extraordinary level of need within our community, we refuse to rest on our laurels. If anything, we enter year number 51 with higher concern and greater urgency. Indeed, we are resolved to provide more love, more hope, more food, and more shelter, and more addiction recovery support, vocational training, and assistance securing housing than ever before. We approach this year committed to serving our community—the hurting, the poor, and the vulnerable—with compassion, respect and love, as Christ has loved us.
Our focus for this year and those to come is the Journey from Homeless to Home. For those who are unhoused, for those trying to find freedom from addiction or deal with other life-debilitating situations, this journey can seem overwhelming, even impossible. Yet, there is hope! There is a God who loves, people who care and resources to equip. There is a way home.
It is our purpose to walk alongside the weary traveler, to provide refuge, recovery and restoration. Often, this starts with a kind word, a warm meal, a hot shower and shelter from the cold. Our goal however is always to encourage the journey forward, always toward home, with physical and mental health resources, spiritual services, recovery, educational support from basic literacy to college classes, life skills, employment counseling, and of course help in securing safe housing.
Home however, is not simply a physical construct of walls, rooms and ceilings. It is safety, it is emotional wellbeing, it is a healthy community, it is love. The word home also conveys a greater, more ultimate meaning. Indeed home is that place where we find our true purpose, where we derive our identity, form our beliefs, place our hopes and find our rest, both temporal and eternal.
It is our sincere belief that the journey to this ultimate home comes by finding peace with God through Jesus Christ. Therefore as we provide food, and resources and a pathway to a physical home, we also humbly and respectfully share the Good News of Jesus Christ to all who are interested so that they may discover their true and eternal home.
We invite you to take this journey with us. Throughout the coming year we will endeavor to share the experiences, the stories of hope, of transformation, and provide you with opportunities to participate.
Director Michael Darden