Archive for April, 2011

Celebrating Partnership

The end of this week comes with much joy and gratitude, and not just because of the beautiful weather!  This week the Santa Barbara Rescue Mission held its 2nd Annual Celebrating Partnership Luncheon.  During this event we thanked some of the key partners of the Rescue Mission’s work and celebrated what God is doing in our community.  How great it was to take a step back and appreciate what we are so blessed to be a part of!

Beyond an expression of gratitude, the event is also an opportunity to update our partners about the work they are supporting.  Rolf shared in his speech, “I view this event as a type of shareholders meeting, so we believe it’s important for us to show how we’ve stewarded your resources.”  He went on to share that last year we assisted over 1,750 individuals in deep need through our homeless guest services, outpatient and residential treatment programs.  Furthermore, of the 175 men and women who received residential treatment in our one year program, 37 graduated the program last year and another 11 have completed the program this year.  Each of these people who have come to us for help have received tangible assistance to address their unique needs, but even more importantly they have experienced the grace of God through His Church.  They came here under difficult circumstances and were loved in the midst of those circumstances.

All of this is only possible because people like you have been intent in caring for the men and women who come to us for help.  We thank you and celebrate your partnership with us!

Joe Foster
Director of Operations

Easter Feast

Photo by Dale Weber

We are holding our annual Easter Feast on Thursday, April 21 from 12:00 to 2:00 p.m.  The celebration will occur in the Rescue Mission’s dining hall. Our staff, along with the help of 40 volunteers, will serve meals to men, women and children in need.  Through charitable donations of food items and gifts from the Santa Barbara community, we are prepared to serve up to 300 people.

Joan, one of the Mission’s guests, refused to panhandle.  She’d lost her job and her home –– but not her dignity.  She kept on searching for work, praying an employer would look at her skills instead of the fact she was sleeping on the streets.  If she was careful, she could afford to eat one small meal a day…anxiety is what Joan felt as she calculated how long she could afford even that.  Without the Mission’s immediate help, through good meals and a safe place to sleep, she says “Worst case scenario, I would be on the streets and relapsing, which is my worst fear after having seven and a half years clean.”  Instead, “I’m going strong.  I don’t know where the Lord is leading me, but He’s going to lead me somewhere.”  The Mission will put a lot of people, like Joan, on the path to a better life this Easter season.

Tribute to Patsy Shealy

Anyone who makes even a brief visit to SBRM comes away impressed by the team of people who are dedicated to serving the homeless and addicted.  We are proud of the way our residential model and clinical approach have such incredible results, but tools like this are only effective if they are in the hands of skilled and compassionate individuals.  Among the best of these has been Dr. Patsy Shealy, who we bade farewell to this week after six years of directing our Bethel House and Clinical Supervision.

Patsy oversaw the establishment of the Bethel House in its new location on Arrellaga Street and this ministry will always bear her unique imprint.  She combined expertise as a psychologist with a compassionate heart and an engaging sense of humor that impacted scores of residents, staff, interns and volunteers.  Her investment in our staff raised the bar clinically across all of our programs and several staff have her to thank for the certifications they were able to earn under her tutelage.  I am so grateful for the many lives we were able to see God transform through Patsy’s efforts and expect to marvel all the more in eternity at those who were indirectly impacted by her and the team she led.

While we grieve her departure, both personally and professionally, we recognize God’s leading in this process and honor Patsy’s decision and the family concerns that are calling her out of the area.  She will always be a part of our family and our love and gratitude go with her.

Rolf Geyling

Photo by Christie Gabbert