In 1955, Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus. The Johnny Carson Show premiered on CBS. And Roy Kroc opened the very first McDonald’s. This was also the year that a man, once dubbed the “black sheep” of his family, decided to leave his carefree life behind and found the Shreveport-Bossier Rescue Mission, a ministry to help hurting, broken men.
When Rev. R.G. Jones first founded the Shreveport-Bossier Rescue Mission, it was a true emergency shelter. It met the needs of the community at the time by providing homeless men with food, clothing, shelter, and nightly chapel services. The needs of the Mission’s guests at this time were simpler. We fed them. We housed them. And gave them the clothing and services they needed to get a job and get back on their feet. The shelter model worked during this time, but times have changed. The needs of our community have changed, and the Mission has evolved and grown to meet those needs.
Last year, the Mission served 1,171 homeless men, women and children. The face of homelessness has changed. No longer are we just serving the homeless man holding a sign that says, “will work for food”. Today, we are serving women fleeing domestic violence, men who have lost their job, veterans suffering with PTSD, older adults without the ability to work, women escaping the sex industry, individuals seeking freedom from addiction and so much more. Homelessness is a complicated issue, and no longer can just feeding and housing guests fix the problem. Over time, we became more than a shelter and now provide a Life Recovery Program that breaks the cycle of homelessness and poverty.
The Mission’s Life Recovery Program provides our guests with a total recovery of spirit, mind and body. How do we do it? By giving our guests the tools it takes to be self-sufficient, independent members of our community. This includes small/large group classes, one-on-one case management, vocational training, medical/dental care, and essential life skills.
One life changed at the Mission has a ripple effect that affects every citizen in our cities. You can be a part of #SBMissionLife! Whether it’s donating, volunteering or just praying, there’s something for everyone. Follow us on social media, visit our website at www.sbrescuemission.com, and help us change our cities one life at a time.