Southern New Hampshire Rescue Mission, winner of Sanford Temperature Control’s monthly Community Commitment contest (February 2017), has been offering hope to the homeless, the addicted, and those less fortunate for the last 13 years. The largest single emergency shelter in Nashua serves meals to 40-60 people daily, but its mission goes far beyond providing nutritious food for the needy.
The emergency shelter provides up to 21 nights of continuous shelter to those in need, during which visitors can receive basic care management, gain access to community resources, and are encouraged to enter the Transitional Employment Program, or the R12 Christian Discipleship program. The mission provides an invaluable service in the form of professional development, such as resume building, job placement, and access to vital resources such as the internet, as well as providing basic supplies such as clean towels, blankets, pillows, clothes, toiletries and more.
The Transitional Employment Program is a robust transitional work program, designed not only to benefit the homeless, but also to aid employed men who find themselves struggling with homelessness, and to prepare them for managing permanent housing.
The R12 Christian Discipleship program also seeks to transition the homeless into permanent housing and long-term employment, while also spreading its faith-based message of salvation through a relationship with Christ. Men dedicated to this program commit to one year of helping the mission, serving the community, and studying biblical teachings. In exchange, they are housed in the Disciple Room, a large room with bunkbeds, amenities, and workstations at which they can prepare themselves to move back into society.
Southern New Hampshire Rescue Mission spreads its faith-based message of salvation through biblical teachings, providing critical emotional and spiritual support to the needy. Pastor Montel Wilder of the Grace Baptist Church in Pepperell, MA, who runs the bible study programs within the mission, says, “I consider myself honored to be able to come here and minister.”
The mission has helped people like Shawn Terry, Kitchen Assistant of Southern New Hampshire Rescue Mission, who also has a full-time job, overcome his personal challenges to get off the streets and succeed.
“The mission saved my life,” says Terry. “It offers a stable place, accountability, and we’re open all day, every day. We offer the compassion that enables people to heal.”
It’s impossible not to get a positive vibe from staff members like Terry; it’s a vibe driven by a genuine passion for helping those in need.
“I was placed here to minister to the homeless,” says Rick Rutter, Executive Director of Southern New Hampshire Rescue Mission for the last 4 years. “We comfort others with the comfort we’ve received from God. We offer hope.”
Unlike a traditional soup kitchen, visitors are held accountable for their actions if they seek to secure the long-term support of the mission. The mission is a “dry shelter,” meaning drugs and alcohol are forbidden; everyone is given a breathalyzer test every morning, and must pass it in order to remain within the mission.
Currently, the mission can only support men, but Rutter and his dedicated team hope to expand their services to aid women as well.
“Sixty percent of the calls we get are for women, but we can’t help them yet,” says Rutter. He explains that many women are coming out of hardship or abusive situations and can’t, or don’t want to be, housed with men. Rutter and his staff are seeking ways to expand their services to include these women.
Southern New Hampshire Rescue Mission is funded entirely by individual, church, business and foundation contributions and grants; it receives no federal, state, or county money. As a result, the mission is actively seeking individuals/groups to host food drives, sock drives, or underwear drives.
“These are things which help to provide for the men who stay with us overnight, and help keep our overhead down,” says Rutter.
More information can be found at: https://www.hope4nashua.org/.
The mission is also actively seeking volunteers and monetary donations. Your support helps fund things such as breakfast every morning, lunch on Monday, and Wednesday to Friday, and dinner on Saturday and Sunday.
Tuesday afternoons are reserved for their Gift Center, a weekly event from 1 pm – 4 pm in which staff distribute items such as food and clothing to the needy, to help them get what they need to get back into the workforce, or just to make ends meet.
Please consider supporting this wonderful charity today! For more information, visit: http://nashuarescuemission.org.