The Rewards of Employment

One of the things that sets the Rescue Mission programs apart is our emphasis on the back-to-work component of recovery. It is a priority of the program to equip men and women with the skills and confidence necessary to gain employment and live self-sufficient lives.

One of the ways we prepare these individuals for the job search and employment process is through our Road to Success workshop which you may have seen me reference in past posts.  This job readiness workshop helps men and women in the Rescue Mission program confront unhelpful habits or beliefs they may have previously had, and learn new skills to better equip them for the job search and interview process. The most recent job workshop group saw a 100% success rate, with all six of the participants finding employment within 16 days!

Please take a look at the following message from our Success Center Manager, Joey, for a glimpse into what our residents learn at the Road to Success Workshop:

Our July workshop consisted of six job seekers averaging 3 years of unemployment. While being unemployed for a while some may have discovered there are some things they like about not working.

However, by day one of the workshop all will agree the negatives certainly outweigh the positives. There is an excitement in discussing the rewards of employment yet all the more our students recognize it is the Lord that has created us to work and there is a sense of accomplishment and self-worth as we do. The realization that they are working towards self-sufficiency and that they will be providing for their family is one of excitement.

Here are some of the rewards of employment we discuss in the Road to Success: A Job Readiness Workshop:

  • Ability to support family
  • Enjoy and improved lifestyle
  • Learn while you earn
  • Become more employable
  • Be a role model to others
  • Increase confidence and self-esteem
  • Attain financial security

And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men,  knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. (Colossians 3:23-24)

Congratulations to our newly employed July Road to Success workshop participants and a huge thanks to Joey, the staff, and the volunteers that make this workshop such a success!


Giving online is easy, safe, and quick. Your donation will make an immediate impact to provide meals, shelter and services for a homeless family in desperate need of a hand up to self-sufficiency.

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Sonia’s Story: From Scraping By to Starting New

So often, I talk to the men and women that now call Orange County Rescue Mission home, and they recall a “moment of truth”. It is a moment that they are forced to make a monumental decision: to continue living in the brokenness and chaos they are in or to leave all they  know and start over.

This moment is often filled with fear: Where will I go? What will I do? How will I survive?

But for those that choose to step forward courageously, there is new life and freedom to be found.

This is Sonia’s story.

Sonia had reached her moment of truth.

She and her kids had just had a wonderful visit with her mom and sister, and now it was time to go home.

But something held Sonia back. She couldn’t face returning to the dingy house they were living in. She was pregnant and the thought of bringing a new baby into that filthy environment just made her sick. “I was pregnant and it wasn’t clean enough to bring the baby into that place,” Sonia recalls.

In a flash, she made her decision. She wasn’t going to go back.

Not to that squalid house. And definitely not to the neglectful father of her kids. Her pain and hurt from him was suffocating. There was just no other way. She and her kids deserved better.

As the thought raced around in her head, Sonia’s determination grew. But then another thought gripped her with fear: Where are we going to go?

Without a stable home, Sonia and her kids went from motel to motel, trying to bring just enough with them to survive. Day by day, Sonia did her best to keep a roof over their heads, put food on the table and make sure her kids went to school. But Sonia knew she could not raise her kids living day to day in motels.

Sonia heard about Orange County Rescue Mission through her sister. “The biggest blessing is the stability. I don’t have to think about, oh my gosh, it’s Friday, do I have to worry about getting another room?” Sonia remembers.

At the Mission, Sonia and all of her kids are thankful for the brand-new start they received. Sonia is excited about all of it. “Reaching for my goals, going through job search, putting my money in the bank and planning for my kids’ future . . . it’s a big burden off my shoulders,” Sonia shares.

Your support helps provide families with the care they need while they take steps to become stable and self-sufficient. Thank you for giving families hope for the future!


Giving online is easy, safe, and quick. Your donation will make an immediate impact to provide meals, shelter and services for a homeless family in desperate need of a hand up to self-sufficiency.

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How You Can Help a Child Succeed

As a parent with a child still in high school, my daughter always reminds me of what comes along with a new school year:  back-to-school shopping.  It’s sad to see summer go, but for students, there is an excitement in picking out new school supplies! And starting a new school year with fresh school supplies can make a student feel confident and ready to conquer the next school year.

But unfortunately, this is not the case for many kids, whose parents are unable to afford new school supplies. Here at the Rescue Mission, we provide these supplies for each of the 51 children that are living here, and the many more that will arrive throughout the school year.

More than simply pens, pencils, and paper, you have the opportunity to give them confidence and the feeling of being well-prepared as they take on a new school year. This can make such a  difference in a child’s mindset, and can mean so much for their future.

We need YOUR help to make this possible. Please consider donating school supplies to help prepare a child for school this year.  Here are some of the items we need:

  • Pens
  • Pencils
  • Lined paper
  • Graph paper
  • Glue sticks
  • Pencil pouches
  • Rulers

Thank you for contributing to the academic success of a homeless child!


Giving online is easy, safe, and quick. Your donation will make an immediate impact to provide meals, shelter and services for a homeless family in desperate need of a hand up to self-sufficiency.

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OCRM Employee Highlight

Each month we like to highlight an employee who exemplifies the mission, philosophy, and values of our organization. This month we are delighted to highlight Nia Cross as our Employee of the Month.

Nia faithfully serves in our Parent and Child Enrichment (PCE) Center as the Parent and Child Enrichment Center Manager. She works hard to serve the children of the Rescue Mission, as well as to diligently lead the PCE team.  Her heart for the Lord is clear to see through her care for and service to the Rescue Mission children, their parents, and the PCE staff.  It is an honor to serve alongside of you, Nia!

Tell us a little about yourself.   

My name is Nia Cross.  My husband, Doug, and I will celebrate our eighth wedding anniversary this August. Between us we have three grown daughters. Morgan is an OB/GYN, Erin is a social worker specializing in serving Asian and Pacific Islander victims of domestic abuse, Kelly is pursuing a career in Nursing. We have two grandsons: Roy is 2 and Ben is 10 months. I love spending time with my grandsons! My husband and I also love going on road trips. We take weekend jaunts whenever possible. I am looking forward to having time to drive across the US to see historical sights and natural wonders like Yellowstone and leaves changing colors in the fall.

How long have you worked at the Rescue Mission?  How did you hear about the job opportunity?

I have been at the mission for 3 ½ years. I responded to an ad on Craigslist. Originally, I applied for a Case Management position, but was called about the position of managing the PCE Center. Looking back, I cannot imagine being in any other position than manager of PCE. God always knows what is best!

What do you love most about your job?

I love seeing lives transformed. Watching the children transition from fear of a new place to seeing PCE as a safe, loving ‘second home’ brings such joy! Watching parents transition from fear and self-doubt to feeling safe and secure, and begin building a relationship with the Lord so that they find true  freedom is indescribable.

What is the hardest part of your job? 

It is so hard seeing people who have come so far in their journey to freedom to choose to leave the program before graduation. Some people think that they have grown enough to make it on their own.  Others go back  to what they know versus moving forward to experience the freedom that they have heard of. God’s word is true, “You shall know the truth and the truth will set you free.”

How have you grown since you began working at the Rescue Mission?  

Wow! Oh, how working at the Rescue Mission has changed me! I believe working arm in arm with the families who live here has helped me to truly see and love people as Jesus sees and loves people. This is huge for me and impacts many relationships.

What motivates you to keep going, even in the tough days?

It can be discouraging to ‘pour into’ people and then watch them walk out of the program.  I think about how Jesus endured many things and willingly went to the cross to be crucified knowing that many would not receive His gift of salvation. Nothing I do could ever compare to Jesus, but I am motivate to keep going because of what He did!

What is your favorite verse?  

James 1:27 “Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.” Ten years ago, I chose this verse to guide me toward my calling. I couldn’t help but chuckle when I saw that the meaning this holds for the Rescue Mission.

Join Nia and her co-workers!

Orange County Rescue Mission is a great place to work!  Go to RescueMission.org and click on employment to learn more about our current job opportunities.


Giving online is easy, safe, and quick. Your donation will make an immediate impact to provide meals, shelter and services for a homeless family in desperate need of a hand up to self-sufficiency.

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Heather’s Road To Success

Heather had tissues in hand as she stepped up to receive her certificate, completion pin, and red lanyard, signifying that she has taken another significant step toward self-sufficiency. The single mother is part of a group of six homeless adults graduating from the “Road to Success” job readiness workshop. You may remember Heather from the story I shared back in April. For her, this day in July is truly something special – and she ended up needing the tissues.

“This workshop brought out things in me that made me confident,” Heather said as she stood in front of Rescue Mission staff, her peers in the workshop, and volunteers. “I knew that it [the confidence] was in me. But I didn’t know how. The workshop taught me how to articulate what it was in me that I have to bring to the table.”

Having true, deep-down confidence in yourself is a skill few interviewing candidates can claim. Heather and the workshop graduates are now among those few, thanks to an intensive week of study, prayer, and friendship.

“I learned how to back up my statements,” Heather continued. “I learned really how to present me. I didn’t know really how to present ‘me’ before. I just came in like ‘hey, what’s happening?’ Now, I have words to put behind it.”

Each graduate spoke about the new confidence they felt and the love they experienced in the workshop. For the past five days, these men and women have prepared for their job searches. Despite the variations of their backgrounds and life experiences, they found family in that refining fire.

For Tim, one of our graduates from the Double R Ranch, it will be his first time job searching for a job with a high school level education. He graduated, along with 13 other homeless adults, with his high school diploma/equivalency in June 2017.

For Brandon, who helps in our warehouse, it’s a first chance to use ‘green light statements’ to make a positive lasting impression during an interview.

Each new skill, each expression of confidence, brings these graduates closer to the person God intended them to be. Praise God for rescuing them from hopelessness, and I hope you will join me in praying for their success as they lean into the challenge of a job hunt.

Thank you for joining us in celebrating this milestone in their programs and for all your support along the way.


Giving online is easy, safe, and quick. Your donation will make an immediate impact to provide meals, shelter and services for a homeless family in desperate need of a hand up to self-sufficiency.

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The Rescue Mission Welcomes Christmas Early!

Christmas comes but twice a year! This past Friday, the Rescue Mission welcomed the Christmas spirit with our annual Christmas in July celebration! It was a  special day full of joy, community, and celebration, complete with a “snowball” fight and all!

I want to give a special thanks to our community partners for making such a fantastic event happen: Tustin District Chick-Fil-A, Tustin Auto Center, and Boys & Girls Clubs of Tustin!

For a better look at our Christmas in July extravaganza, please take a look at the following OC Register article:


Giving online is easy, safe, and quick. Your donation will make an immediate impact to provide meals, shelter and services for a homeless family in desperate need of a hand up to self-sufficiency.

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Destiny’s Story: Affordable Housing Keeps New Mother Off the Streets

 

It is the Rescue Mission’s goal to provide comprehensive and supportive care to the Least, the Last, and the Lost of our community in various stages of need.  In addition to our residential transitional living program, the Village of Hope, we also offer low-income housing as another transitional step for families in need.

Through the Hope Family Housing program, I have seen many amazing stories of families on the verge of homelessness, brokenness, and hopelessness, who are now stable and thriving.  I would like to share with you one such story of restoration:  Destiny and her son, Levi.

This is Destiny’s Story.

Destiny was familiar with the Rescue Mission – her sister had gone through the Village of Hope program and her life had been radically changed and restored.  Destiny knew the Rescue Mission was a great program, but she was sure she would never need the assistance it could provide.  She had been living on her own since 18, able to rent rooms or live with boyfriends.  She had always been able to turn her life around when it got challenging.

But then she made some bad choices, and as a result she became pregnant unexpectedly.  She wasn’t prepared.  Things did not work out with the baby’s father and it became unsafe for Destiny and her son to stay with him.  Destiny had goals for them as a family, but it was too much responsibility for him.  He walked out on Destiny and their son before rent and bills were due, and she was given a three-days’ notice to move out.

It was then that Destiny remembered the Rescue Mission and how it had helped her sister.  She came to us for help and was accepted in the Hope Family Housing low-income housing program in Buena Park.

Living at Hope Family Housing has allowed Destiny to live independently and has given her the control over her life that she needed to raise her son, Levi.  She finally feels comfortable and does not have to worry for the safety of herself and her son.  Hope Family Housing has prevented Destiny from becoming homeless, losing her job, or living in dangerous circumstances.  It is a transitional haven for people like Destiny, who are on the verge of homelessness and just need a hand-up during a rocky season of life.

The Rescue Mission currently operates four Hope Family Housing locations, in Buena Park, Orange, Temecula, and Corona.  These facilities serve as the final transition for homeless men, women, and children, or as a preventative to homelessness.  Hope Family Housing’s primary goal is to provide affordable housing in an environment of independent living with supportive services.


Giving online is easy, safe, and quick. Your donation will make an immediate impact to provide meals, shelter and services for a homeless family in desperate need of a hand up to self-sufficiency.

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Volunteer Spotlight: Scott Schenck

I would like to introduce you to another Orange County Rescue Mission superhero: Scott Schenck

Scott Schenck has been a dedicated tutor in the Success Center at the Orange County Rescue Mission for more than 5 years.  Scott faithfully comes down a few days a week to work with the homeless residents in our program. He works one-on-one and in group settings, tutoring our residents and helping them succeed in their studies.

He helps our homeless residents who are working hard to obtain their high school diploma or high school equivalency.  For many of our residents, education has not been a priority in the past and the work can feel rigorous. Therefore, they are grateful for Scott’s patient teaching and guidance.

Scott has also helped some of our residents who are seeking employment.  It is invaluable to have a volunteer who consistently commits to working with our residents, helping them bring out their best. Scott has helped our residents reach untapped potential and realize their value.

Thank you for your service and dedication, Scott!


Giving online is easy, safe, and quick. Your donation will make an immediate impact to provide meals, shelter and services for a homeless family in desperate need of a hand up to self-sufficiency.

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Summer to Remember Continues with Computer Camp!

Summer to Remember continues on!  Our friends at Code Irvine, along with partners Maker Camp, Be Internet Awesome, and C.S. First Computer Science & Coding for Kids, organized a computer camp for the children of the Village of Hope!

The purpose for this full day of computer camp was to teach kids online safety, anti-bullying, good online citizenship, and general coding skills. These lessons were taught using Google’s new online safety initiative software for kids. Maker Camp also worked with the kids to develop and build robots!

This is an amazing opportunity for children that often do not have access to computers to learn how to navigate the internet wisely, safely, and with care for other internet users. And the kids are exposed to possible career fields at computer camp, giving them a better chance for success in their futures.

Thank you to Code Irvine and partners for making such a fun and educational day possible for the Village of Hope kids!


Giving online is easy, safe, and quick. Your donation will make an immediate impact to provide meals, shelter and services for a homeless family in desperate need of a hand up to self-sufficiency.

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It’s Christmas in July!

Tis the season!  Each year, Orange County Rescue Mission partners with Chick-Fil-A, Tustin Auto Center, and Boys & Girls Clubs of Tustin to bring the spirit of Christmas to the Village of Hope – in July!

This event is of course a favorite of the residents of the Rescue Mission.  Event partners and volunteers from the community bring the fun with games and activities.  I encourage you to get involved! Bring Christmas in July to homeless families at the Rescue Mission by organizing a donation drive!  Some items we are in need of are canned meat and fruit, twin bedding, hygiene items, and snack foods for children.

For more information, please contact our Events Coordinator, Ashley Binder, at (714) 247-4343 or Ashley.Binder@rescuemission.org.


Giving online is easy, safe, and quick. Your donation will make an immediate impact to provide meals, shelter and services for a homeless family in desperate need of a hand up to self-sufficiency.

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