Join Us at the Tustin Hangar Half!

Have you signed up for the Tustin Hangar Half Marathon & 5K yet?  This year’s race is coming up on March 11th,  and whether you are a regular runner or haven’t ever run in your life, this year there’s a great reason to run the Tustin Hangar Half!  For every racer that designates Orange County Rescue Mission as their charity of choice when registering, the Rescue Mission will receive 20% of the proceeds for each registration!

So not only will you get great exercise, as well as the incredible opportunity to run through the iconic hangar, but you’ll also be able to care for the Least, the Last, and the Lost of our community.

It’s very simple on your part:  just register for the Tustin Hangar Half, and select Orange County Rescue Mission from the drop-down menu! The Rescue Mission’s unique code is OCRESCUE10.

This is a wonderful way to get involved with the Tustin community! Thank you Tustin Chamber of Commerce for choosing the Rescue Mission as a beneficiary.  Click here to register.


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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Restoration Roasters Brews Up Hope at CoffeeCon LA 2018!

Photo by: Hannah Burnett/Daily Bruin

Earlier this month, CoffeeCon LA 2018 brimmed with coffee enthusiasts, all coming together for a love of all things coffee. Our very own Restoration Roasters was glad to attend, and add their unique flavor and personality to the mix!

This was an incredible opportunity for Restoration Roasters to build relationships within the coffee community and most importantly, share the mission and vision of the Rescue Mission. Restoration Roasters was recognized among other roasters, not only for the great coffee brews, but because of it’s  unique mission to train formerly homeless individuals in the field of craft coffee.  Through this model, these men and women not only gain work experience in a field they most likely would otherwise not have encountered, but they also gain self-confidence through the realization that they can learn and master a completely new and different skill.  We have seen incredible life-transformations through Restoration Roasters and I am so glad we were able to share this at CoffeeCon LA 2018!

I am so proud of the Restoration Roasters team for representing the Rescue Mission at this exciting event! Please take a look at the following article, which highlights Restoration Roasters at CoffeeCon LA 2018:

Read more about 2018 CoffeeCon LA here…


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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Orange County Rescue Mission at the Paper Football Challenge!

Kayla Jimenez, 6, of team Orange County Rescue Mission kicks the ball during the annual Paper Football Challenge, where members of Tustin-area nonprofits win money by flicking paper “footballs” across tables at Tustin Middle School. A total of $5000. was given away to 24 teams representing nonprofits and schools in Tustin.
(Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

Watch out Eagles!  Orange County Rescue Mission is coming for your Super Bowl Championship title!  Okay, maybe not quite the Super Bowl, but the Rescue Mission held its own in the Paper Football Challenge! The winning score was by six year old Kayla, pictured above.

Several Rescue Mission families represented Orange County Rescue Mission at the Tustin Community Foundation’s Paper Football Challenge!  This unique event, held at a Tustin Middle School, gives members of Tustin-area nonprofits the chance to win money by flicking paper “footballs” across tables.  What a fun way to win money for great causes!

Kayla Jimenez, 6, of team Orange County Rescue Mission gets a hand clap from Jael Gutieirez after kicking the ball during the annual Paper Football Challenge, where members of Tustin-area nonprofits win money by flicking paper “footballs” across tables at Tustin Middle School. A total of $5000. was given away to 24 teams representing nonprofits and schools in Tustin.
(Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

A total of $5,000 was given away to 24 teams representing various nonprofits and schools in Orange County, including Orange County Rescue Mission.  Thanks to our talented team of kids from right here at the Village of Hope, the Rescue Mission team was victorious in our game!  Special thanks to our Kayla, who helped to score the winning points!

A special thanks to the Tustin Community Foundation for putting on this great event and for your support of all of the nonprofits and schools that serve Tustin!  Orange County Rescue Mission is so grateful to be a part of such a wonderful community!  Photos are courtesy of the  OC Register, https://www.ocregister.com/2018/01/30/everyone-gets-a-trophy-at-the-paper-er-plastic-football-challenge/.


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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Gina’s Story: Finding Help and Hope Just in Time

I hear a lot of stories of the Rescue Mission providing help just in time. Many people come to us at their rock-bottom, when they have lost all hope and have nowhere else to turn. This was the case for Gina, who arrived just days before giving birth to her daughter.

Gina struggled for so long on her own, trying to make ends meet. But realizing if she did not get help,  she would give birth to a child and have only a car to bring her home, was a turning point for Gina. She finally accepted that she needed help to change her life for her, and her soon-to-be-born daughter.

Gina’s Story

As a juvenile, Gina had been arrested 23 times.  At 17, she lost the one adult in her life, her grandmother, leaving her to drift even further into the high-risk lifestyle she was living. By 19, she was doing a variety of different drugs. She was willing to do anything and everything she could to feed her habit.

“I didn’t have a stable income so I could never pay rent. I would just walk around. I felt like if I stood still, if I sat down, something bad would happen,” Gina remembers.

Her run-ins with police continued into adulthood, and her bad decisions continued to pile up. Finally at nine months pregnant, Gina came to the Rescue Mission for help.

“I got here on Friday, and then I had my daughter on Tuesday,” Gina recalls.

 

Today, Gina’s daughter Samantha, is a healthy, thriving baby girl, with sparkling blue eyes and a beautiful smile. “She’s lived here her entire life,” Gina says. “She’s been safe her entire life.”

For Gina, this means everything. At the Mission, Gina and Samantha have a safe place to call home, and for Gina, the healing process to begin. And it hasn’t been easy. “I thought when I got sober, everything would be better,” says Gina. “The journey was really discovering that that was just one problem in this big bucket of problems.”

But today, Gina has made so much progress. She quit smoking, and has been able to confront all of the reasons she was so hurt and angry. With her job assignment at the Village of Hope, she has gained valuable job skills, and she has also successfully completed the Road to Success employment workshop.

Now, Gina is employed full-time at a hospital and has a bright future ahead of her! She has successfully transitioned out of the Village of Hope and she and Samantha have moved to a rental home that also provides supportive community. Gina has even started college classes in addition to her full-time job!

Gina shares, “God was able to reach out to me and convince me that I could change.”

I invite you take a look at the following video to hear Gina’s story for yourself.

Because of your compassion, Gina got help at the Rescue Mission to get her life on track. You help those who have lost hope know that their lives matter and that they can start again.  Thank you for your support!


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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12 More on the Road to Success

Two weeks ago, 12 men and women became the first Road to Success employment workshop graduates for 2018.  Twelve people collected their certificates and shared their struggles and their victories.  Twelve people, who came from homelessness, addiction, abuse and brokenness.  Now, they stand before you as 12 job-seekers, confident in their skills and experience, and ready to put in the necessary hard work as they take this next step on the journey to self-sufficiency.

In 2017, we saw a 98% success rate of job seekers from our Road to Success workshop acquire full-time employment.   Forty-seven percent obtained the highest paid position in their working career.  That is a lot of successful interviewing!  These encouraging numbers are representative of real lives that have been transformed, and we eagerly look forward to even more lives changed in 2018.

My appeal here is to employers: if you are looking for a hard-working, capable employee, I encourage you to take a look at the Rescue Mission job-seekers.  These men and women have proved that they are reliable, tenacious, and willing to put the time and effort into their work.  These men and women are problem-solvers, having overcome much adversity in their lives.  These men and women are confident in what they have learned and what they have to offer, and because of this eagerly accept new and challenging work.  And these men and women are appreciative of hard work and a good employer, and desire to be the best employees.

If you are employer, I encourage you to contact Joey Gonzalez at (714) 247-4370 or joey.gonzalez@rescuemission.org to see if one our job-seekers is the right fit for your company!

Congratulations to these incredible men and women: Heather, Geovanni, Kim, Gabby, Justin, Jaye, Wannida, Trendalyn, Amanda, Mike, Virginia, and Danielle!  All of us here at the Rescue Mission are so proud of all your hard work, and I am eager to see what the future holds for you!


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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Success God’s Way: Jorge’s Story

“As it turns out, God is confounding me by turning all my weaknesses into strengths after letting me turn my strengths into weaknesses.”

This quote from Jorge O. Sanchez, our Winter Graduation valedictorian and one of our Tustin Veterans Outpost graduates, struck me as the perfect summary statement of the Christian life!

In every Christian’s walk, there comes a point (often, more than once!) where we, having been fooled into thinking we’ve got it all together, have the rug pulled out from under us only to realize we don’t have it together at all!  It is in these times that we are humbled and can look to God for strength and guidance.  As His word tells us, in these moments His power is perfected in our weakness.

Jorge’s story is an amazing example of this truth.  Jorge was a successful businessman, working in an industry he was passionate about – and he was great at what he did.  Over time, he got caught up in the “success” of the world, all the while ignoring underlying pain and hurt from his childhood.  Soon, his life choices spiraled out of control and he found himself homeless and living on the streets, a long ways from his previous life of luxury cars and expensive homes.

It was then that God moved in Jorge’s humbled heart, and He has been moving in mighty ways ever since!  God led Jorge to find the Tustin Veterans Outpost, where he has been living since June of 2016.  During that time, Jorge’s  whole life has been transformed, down to even his perception of what “success” in this life looks like.  He has learned to look to God to guide his life, and finds his worth in Jesus rather than in earthly wealth.

When Jorge was asked to be valedictorian, he was hesitant.  He shared as much as he opened his speech, saying he is a new Christian and just learning in his faith.  But as he continued, it was clear that he was the perfect person to represent and changed and restored life.  His words were full of wisdom and truth that could only come from the Lord.

Allow me to share an excerpt with you here:

“No attempt to give thanks is complete without trying to serve others, so I pivot on this point from 2 Timothy 2:24:

“And the servant of the Lord must not strive: but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,” (KJV)

“Must not strive.”  “Must not.”  “Must.”  That sounds dangerously like a decision to me…, and it is.  So, I shift my attention to all you [newer residents] sitting and perhaps wondering.  The answer is “Yes,” you, too, will be able to walk out of here with confidence, and the only thing you have to do is decide, one time, every day, to stay.

And, perhaps I was wrong about my faith because I at least had that belief.  That, if I stayed, it would get better, and He was working on fixing things all along.

Today, I still have to make a few more amends, but I have my license back, and I am working as a contractor doing what I love again.

And if, with my early faith, God is willing and faithful to do what He has in my life, I provoke you to imagine what He will do in yours.”

Thank you Jorge, for sharing these encouraging words and the way that God has been moving in your heart and life!  It is truly inspiring to see your transformation, and I have no doubt you will move on from here into great success, God’s way. From all of us here at the Rescue Mission, congratulations Jorge!  


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 Robert Woodson as our Employee of the Month.

Robert faithfully serves as one of our Case Managers for the male ‘freshman’ residents at the Village of Hope.  He walks alongside the men in our program as they first enter and are in the first phase of the program.  This is often a very difficult season as they adjust to being at the Village and begin leaving behind old habits, and it takes a specially gifted individual to assist them during this time!  Robert is patient, compassionate, and always points these men back to Christ.  It is an honor to serve alongside of you, Robert!

Tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Robert Woodson and I grew up in Fullerton.  I am the oldest of four brothers.  I like to hike, camp, and go to the beach in my free time.  I attend First Evangelical Free Church in Fullerton.

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

I have worked for the Rescue Mission for 17 months!  I was job searching and came across the position on LinkedIn.

What do you love most about your job?

I love the opportunity to see the Lord work in our resident’s lives and being able to see lives change.

What is the hardest part of your job? 

The hardest part of the job is when students choose to leave or relapse. This really breaks my heart.

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

I have grown immensely since I have been here at the Mission. I have grown emotionally and spiritually; not only by seeing the Lord work in the lives of the residents, but also being aware of how He is working in my own life.

What is your favorite verse?  

Matthew 25:34-36: Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’

Motivation to keep going:

I feel called by the Lord to do the work that I am doing. I really feel the Lord has supported me through my time at the Mission, through the good and the difficult days.


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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Why Does God Allow Evil?

A few months ago, I shared with you about the impact our  Apologetics class has been having on the residents of the Rescue Mission. It has been an incredibly beneficial resource for them as they learn and grow in their faith and knowledge of God.

I would like to invite you to come experience this for yourself as we welcome author and Biola professor, Dr. Clay Jones, to the Village of Hope! Dr. Jones will be teaching a session entitled, “Why Does God Allow Evil?”, a topic he recently wrote a book on as well. I am eager to learn from Dr. Jones, and so grateful to him for sharing his knowledge with all of us here at the Rescue Mission!

This event is FREE and open to the public, so please invite your friends, family, church members, and anyone who has questions about Christianity! Please RSVP to Katie Roberts at katie.roberts@rescuemission.org if you would like to attend.


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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Winter Graduation 2018: Stories of Hope

It is that joyful time again!  That time after our Graduation celebration when I get to share with you the real stories of the formerly homeless people who have lived here at the Rescue Mission.

It might be easy to write off the issue of “homelessness” as a nameless, faceless issue that merely requires funding or housing to fix.  But I am here to tell you that this is not the case.

Homelessness has a face.  It has names and it has stories; it has pain and it has hopelessness.  And it cannot be fixed simply with funding or more shelters.  But here at the Rescue Mission, I see lives truly transformed every day through the grace and love of Jesus Christ.  Men and women every day are finding hope and restoration that lasts.

Homelessness looks like this….

There are families like the Arambulas, who came from a dark and painful past filled with drug addiction, homelessness, and depression. But at the Rescue Mission, the family has found worth, hope, and joy.   Both Joe and Michelle are employed doing jobs they love, and are able to support Lucy and provide for her the safe and loving home they never had growing up.

There are single mothers like Amber, who isn’t sure if she would be alive today if God had not led her to the Village of Hope.  Amber found herself homeless after her divorce, which took a toll on her emotionally and mentally as well.  Today she stands before us as a changed woman, who now finds her strength in Jesus and is confident in her future.

There are veterans like Jorge O. Sanchez, who thought he was living a “successful” life when it all came crashing down.  He found his hope and security in possessions and wealth, only to lose it all and find himself on the streets.  He found his way to the Tustin Veterans Outpost, where God got a hold of him and completely changed his perspective on life and success.  He is now gainfully employed in his field, but this time he is doing it all differently, to the glory of God.

There are kids like Charlotte, Olivia, and Lucy, who have watched their parents go through tremendous trial and come out on the other side triumphant.  They have been with their parents through some very difficult and painful seasons, but today, they too stand on the brink of new life, with new opportunities open to them.

There are men like Larry, who was dropped off by a kind police officer who believed Larry was meant for more than sleeping on the streets.  And last week, Larry confirmed the officer was right as he walked across the stage and proudly accepted his diploma.

Please take a look at our Winter Graduation video to hear these stories, and others, for yourself.

It is my honor and privilege to present to you the Winter Graduates of the Orange County Rescue Mission!  These men and women have worked hard for months and even years, putting in the time and effort even when it would have been easier to quit and return to their old lives.  I am so proud of each and every one of these men, women, and children and am eager to see where God takes them next in life. 

Congratulations Joe, Michelle, and Lucy, Heather and Olivia, Amber and Charlotte, Danielle, Mya, and Mason, Larry, Tim, Jonathan, Jim, Jorge, and Reza!


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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Singing for Change

It is my privilege to share that the Singing for Change Foundation, Jimmy Buffet’s foundation, has committed to funding the Village of Hope for $10,000 in 2018. I’m deeply grateful to one of our volunteers for recommending the grant to the foundation. The key to connecting with foundations is often a personal contact, and I can’t overestimate the importance of having someone who will support your cause, and is connected to a foundation. Thank you!

The Singing for Change Foundation launched in 1995, funded by contributions from Jimmy Buffet’s summer tour. It receives one dollar from each concert ticket sold during his tours and has disbursed $12 million to community-based nonprofits since its launch.

Their gift will help the homeless individuals and families at Village of Hope turn poverty into self-sufficiency, improving their skills, education, and ability to secure housing.

I’m looking forward to seeing that impact, particularly at the end of this month as clients complete the job workshop and begin searching for employment. Each quarter, our workshop participants marvel at the strengths and skills they never knew they had, and how they can move forward into employment. Thank you, Singing for Change, for helping those realizations keep happening.

Though few of us can be internationally renowned entertainers, each of us has the potential to do something great. Talk to your employer, find out if they will match your charitable donation. Donate a used car so it can go to an employed homeless individual who needs reliable transportation to work. Volunteer as a tutor for homeless adults completing their high school diplomas.

Thank you for supporting the work of the Rescue Mission and for joining me in celebrating the Singing for Change Foundation’s partnership this year.


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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