Since 1894, Hope Rescue Mission has helped the men of Berks County have a place to sleep, something to eat, and get the help they need. The organization offers four different residential programs to enable men to re-enter the world and become a productive member of society. They provide physical, emotional and spiritual help to all homeless people in the community and greater Reading area.
“Hope Rescue Mission is a place to find the immediate physical needs you have when life reaches a crisis point”, Executive Director Rob Turchi explains the mission of Hope Rescue Mission.
At the mission, men come when they need it most. For many, it’s like a last resort, as they may have cut ties between family, friends and those who have been in their lives. When they have no more personal resources, the men can come to the mission. In difficult times, the mission provides them with a place to sleep, a place to shower, three meals a day, and a variety of toiletries.
“If they come to the mission, it’s because they’ve cut ties elsewhere. This means they have no family or friends willing to take them in,” Turchi explained. “So the mission is a temporary family, a temporary home.”
Robert Turchi has been the executive director of Hope Rescue Mission for 11 years. In many ways, the mission has changed over the years he has held this position.
In the 128 years the mission has been open, their primary focus has remained the same; to feed the hungry, shelter and clothe those in need. When Turchi started, he was running the show. Always trying to ensure that everyone who came through the doors of the mission received the help and support they needed.
“My role has really evolved. We were able to elevate the mission to the public, revitalize the facilities and open our arms wide to the volunteers who provided more support,” Turchi said. “Over the past few years, my role has evolved into a fundraising role and focus. In addition, I oversee finances and our staff.
Before they had professional staff, mission men were the ones who ran the kitchen, the thrift store in the back, and more. Now Turchi has brought in professional chefs and many more professionals. By replacing program participants with outside professional staff, it relieves the men who are in the mission. These men can still volunteer with more appropriate roles as part of professional staff.
“I was able to develop the team and bring in specialized people. Like doctors, nurses, mental health care providers and a professional chef.
Turchi Say, the public has many opportunities to get involved in the mission. At Hope Rescue Mission, they facilitate the entry of volunteers. By having volunteers, it brings light and love through the installation. Students, families and children of all ages come and help serve meals to everyone who enters the facility. Once people are more familiar with the operation of the facility, their skills and talents can be used throughout the mission.
“We try to facilitate the process of the arrival of volunteers”, said volunteer coordinator Jayme Eenigenburg. “They can contact us through our website to fill out a volunteer form, and then I’ll set them up!” »
Although Hope Rescue Mission only sleeps the men in their dorms, they are in the process of building a new division called “Lighthouse”. Lighthouse will be a refuge for women and children.
For now, women and children are invited to come to the mission to have a hot meal, shower, buy clothes from the thrift store and any toiletries they might need. Starting in the summer, the construction of the new shelter will be underway.
“The Lighthouse Shelter will be made up of private suites. We want to be able to keep families together, so mom and kids can have their own private space” Turchi said.