I had the pleasure of meeting with Warren Cole Smith last week when he came to visit the Village of Hope. Warren is, among many other things, an incredible and very successful journalist and he wrote the following piece about his time here at the Village. I am honored by Warren’s interest Orange County Rescue Mission, and so thankful for his help in sharing what we do here and how lives are being transformed through God’s work through the Rescue Mission!
Please take a look at Warren Cole Smith’s article here.
Of course, OCRM hasn’t always had the robust facilities it has today. When Palmer became executive director 27 years ago, the Rescue Mission was $90,000 in debt. “That was more money that I could even conceive of then,” he said. “I promised God that if he would get us out of debt, I would not make any decisions that would put us back in debt.” Soon after, the debt was paid off, and all the facilities that make up Orange County Rescue Mission – now worth tens of millions of dollars – were all acquired or built debt-free.
(Palmer and OCRM are also committed to financial transparency. For a close look at the organization’s financial statements, click here.)
Jim Palmer says one of the most gratifying parts of his job is seeing the alumni of the OCRM’s various programs, who come back for special events. He says that when the students first come to the Village of Hope, they are often in crisis, with all kinds of physical, spiritual, and emotional problems. But seeing many of the former students years later, knowing that the crisis is behind them and they are leading transformed, productive lives, is what keeps him going.
In fact, outside Palmer’s office is a photo of the first “class” of students to go through the Village of Hope’s program. Palmer points to one of the men and says, “See that guy. He’s now on our staff.”
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