Archive for April, 2013

Celebrating Partnership

On Thursday, April 25 we will be holding our annual appreciation luncheon.  Please contact Rebecca Weber at 966-1316 ext. 105 for an invitation and hear how your partnership is rebuilding broken lives.

Dan Earned His GED

Jane and Dan

Dan just turned 31 this month and received his GED on Monday.  Over the last several months, he worked diligently in the Learning Center with our volunteer tutor, Jane Blair.  He shares, “It felt good to accomplish something, especially my high school diploma, which took me over 16 years to do.”

Dan has been in the Mission’s 12-month Residential Recovery Program for nine months and just entered the fourth phase of treatment, which includes finding employment.  “I’m applying for jobs, and I feel more confident that I’ll get a job now that I have my diploma,” he explains.  Dan intends to continue his education at Santa Barbara City College.  He is planning to take automotive classes that will give him the certification to complement the experience he already possesses.

Congratulations Dan!

Kids Rock

The first hint that a team of teenagers was coming to SBRM last night was the three young musicians setting up in the chapel. I knew right then that the homeless guests and I were in for a treat.

One of the perks of my job is being able to worship almost every night with our guests. Pastors, musicians and Bible teachers from many local churches come once a month (or more) to lead us toward Christ.

Last night, Santa Barbara Community Church High School Youth Group came out in force under the guidance of Youth Pastor Benjii Bruneel, just as they do the second Monday of each month. While the musicians warmed up, other teens helped set up and serve dinner to our 122 guests. After dinner, they mingled with guests on our patio and in the chapel until the service started at 7:00 p.m.

The high school students planned and led the service. Musicians Carter Hudson (guitar and vocals), Libby Baker (vocals), Emily Gilman (viola), and Dallas Flannery (drums) guided us through about eight beautiful hymns, interspersed with reflections and teaching by Tyler Bradford, Tanner Neal, and Baker Johnson.

The chapel pews and the chairs in the back of the room were full with people of all ages. It was such a blessing to me to see old and young hands lifted in praise, song and prayer.

Thank you, Santa Barbara Community Church, for sharing this evening with us and enriching our lives.

Jill Wallerstedt
Homeless Guest Services Director

A New Range

Daniel Osti, Food Services Supervisor

Daniel Osti, Food Services Supervisor

The Santa Barbara Rescue Mission is deeply grateful to All Saints-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church of Santa Barbara for the donation of new state-of-the-art kitchen equipment. In order to serve our homeless guests and recovery program residents, we offer five meal services a day in our dining room. Thanks to the new range and food processor they provided, the daily operation of our kitchen has improved dramatically. The increased efficiency and quality of food we are able to prepare allows us to further communicate God’s care for men and women who might otherwise go without.
Rolf Geyling

Good Neighbors

“Love others as much as you love yourself.”  Matthew 22:39

This can be said of Calvary Chapel who happens to be our good neighbor.  Pastor Lars Linton and his team drove a large truck into our parking lot yesterday.  They were bearing gifts from a bedding and sock drive in honor of our homeless guests.  We are so grateful to everyone who participated and contributed to the immense amount of items that were delivered.

Thanks neighbors for living the word!

Tom Moves Up

Distress rarely keeps a schedule.  At SBRM, we never know when a desperate person will arrive and what their particular need might be.  This is most evident during the night—when most of us are sleeping comfortably at home—where for the past year our Night Security Clerk, Tom Melody, has rarely worked an uneventful shift.

In addition to maintaining vigil over the entire facility so 175 people can sleep in safety, Tom has routinely been charged with responding to some of the most challenging circumstances:  individuals finding themselves without shelter; law enforcement trying to get someone to safety; sick people in need of medical attention; scared people desiring security.  We are so grateful for his faith, compassion, dependability and clear judgment in the midst of unexpected and severe needs.

This month, we celebrate how God has led Tom from being a guest in need of shelter, to being a volunteer assisting with our nightly services, to being the paid employee responsible for the facility, to being presented with a new “dream job” opportunity as the live-in caretaker at Rancho La Patera & Stow House.

Tom, we miss you already, but are so grateful for your dedicated service and excited for your new position.  We trust this will involve many more uneventful evenings than you may have gotten used to around here.

Rolf Geyling