Archive for June, 2014
We are holding our seventh annual 4th of July Carnival for our homeless guests on Friday, July 4 from 1:00 to 3:30 p.m. The celebration will occur in the parking lot located at 535 E. Yanonali St. We are preparing to serve a BBQ dinner to feed approximately 300 homeless men, women and children. Through the efforts of the Women’s Auxiliary there will be music to entertain guests, a carnival of games, and raffle prizes provided. The men and women in the Mission’s 12-month Residential Recovery Program will also be present to lend a helping hand.
Rolf Geyling, President of the Rescue Mission, stated, “Life on the streets is never easy. That is why the Santa Barbara Rescue Mission works so hard to create a warm, welcoming, homelike atmosphere––especially during the holidays.” The Santa Barbara Rescue Mission is the only local agency providing summer overnight shelter to the homeless, along with other emergency services and life-changing recovery programs.
Summer’s here, and with it comes our annual Summer Tribute to Recovery issue of Milestones:
In beautiful, sunny Southern California, Kevin thought he had it all, even playing high school football with John Elway. “I was like the life of the party,” he remembers. “The class clown type of guy. It was fun . . . until it got painfully worse. They say it is a progressive disease,”says Kevin about his alcohol and substance abuse, which began during those high school years. “And it finally caught up with me. I lost everything. I didn’t know where to go . . .”
“My wife left me, I lost my job, my car. I was destitute. It was horrible, the homeless scene out there: there’s drinking, people fighting, asking for cigarettes. Luckily my grown daughter knew about the Mission,” he says, and smiles for the first time in a long time. “I wanted to get into the Mission so bad,”Kevin recalls.“I came through the homeless line for days, then I got into volunteering,”he remembers—and it was just the lifeline he needed.
Perhaps most importantly, Kevin says, “I lost touch with God, but now since I’ve been here in a Christian-based program I’m finally getting that connection back.” Kevin’s on his way to a healthy, productive life because he found strength and hope in Christ at Santa Barbara Rescue Mission.
Sailors (12 each night) from the USS Ronald Reagan came to the Santa Barbara Rescue Mission to dine with 45 men in our recovery program and serve meals to our homeless guests on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night. At first, I must admit, we were disappointed that they didn’t show up in their white uniforms. However, as they rolled up their sleeves, so to speak, to wash our dishes, it became very clear they were here to work. It was definitely not about appearances. They blended well with their T-shirts and baseball caps, and they were such an encouragement to the men in recovery and our grateful homeless guests.