Rescue mission

Central Coast Rescue Mission Adds New Women’s Facility in Santa Maria Valley | Local News

Since 1999, the Santa Maria Central Coast Rescue Mission has provided care for men struggling with addictions and homelessness. Now they are expanding, adding a facility for women.

The new facility – a six-bedroom home on over an acre of land in the Orcutt area – will provide a safe space for women to recover from addiction with counseling and support 24 hours a day. 24 hours.

“We get over 20 calls a month asking for services for women,” said Chris Rutledge, director of the Central Coast Rescue Mission. “It’s wonderful to be able to expand and help more people.”

The non-profit organization used donations collected from individuals to purchase the new location, which was not specified due to privacy concerns.

As part of the job training stimulus program, the charity operates a thrift store at 305 N. Broadway, using the net proceeds to help with staffing, food and other essentials.

Currently, the Mission’s Men’s Facility provides a long-term recovery space for people who are homeless and struggling with addiction. The application process requires the person to be committed to the Bible-based program, which includes time for morning devotions and Sunday church. An in-person interview is also conducted to ensure that the assignment will be the best option. Staff members expect to use the same criteria in the new women’s facility.

The mission also provides grocery and clothing services to homeless people in the area, whether or not they seek addiction treatment.

Once opened, the home will immediately begin helping six homeless women complete the Mission’s 8- to 12-month recovery program, which includes residency, counseling and job training at the Mission’s thrift store, between other services.

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“We understand that women have unique concerns,” Rutledge said. “We will be staffing around the clock and eventually we want to provide space for women’s families. These are not things we offer at the men’s facility.”

According to Rutledge, the mission plans to increase the number of customers once a conditional use permit is approved by Santa Barbara County. Paperwork is underway and, if approved, the shelter could expand to more than 12 women and their families.

“Often these women leave traumatic and abusive situations that only worsen cycles of addiction,” Rutledge said. “So it’s important for us to be able to offer this place not only to single women, but also to mothers. Here we can help bring families together and keep them together.”

An extensive remodel is underway at the Women’s House, which will include a brand new kitchen, paint job and landscaping overhaul. Rutledge envisions the backyard providing space for meditation and a large garden – a place where women can feel safe and recuperate. He believes that everything should be done and opened before the end of the year.

Much of the work is done by volunteers, including a small group that recently removed over 20,000 pounds of firewood that had been left behind. Other local vendors donate materials. According to Rutledge, although they receive occasional grants for projects, more than 70% of the mission is funded by donors.

“We rely on our volunteers and supporters,” Rutledge said. “We always welcome more help, but we’ve also been very blessed.”

The nonprofit joined the Rescue Mission Alliance, a collection of recovery centers on the Central Coast and Southern California, in 2002, opening its thrift store in 2008.