Rescue mission

Long Beach Rescue Mission Celebrates 50 Years of Service

Long Beach Rescue Mission will celebrate its 50th anniversary on March 7, marking the opening of its doors in 1971.

The festivities will take place at The Westin in Long Beach and will feature musical talent and speakers who will present the story of the Mission.

Some key speakers include Wayne and Janet Tuerle, who will talk about their own story of how they started the mission.

The ability to sponsor a table or pay for a seat to attend the event will be available, and further details will be posted on the Long Beach Rescue Mission website in the near future.

According to the Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services, there were 2,034 homeless people in Long Beach in 2020.

The main objective of the Mission is to offer homeless and low-income men, women and children a better quality of life.

The Long Beach Rescue Mission consists of two facilities. The Samaritan House serves as a home for the men and the Lydia House provides a place to stay for the women and children. Both houses provide food, shelter and a warm bed for seven days. These facilities have provided over 40,000 nights of safe accommodation each year to people in need.

If someone wants to seek help, they can work with a case manager through a 90-day case management program or a year-long New Life program. The year-long New Life program helps men and women overcome substance abuse, addictions and other life challenges.

Director of Development Lupe Lopez said the year-long New Life program is the most effective program they have at the mission.

“The Mission provides counselling, mentoring, guidance and resources to help the participant achieve successful recovery. Everything anyone would need to get back on their feet,” Lopez said.

Because the program is long, it is said that is why the program works for someone who may be trying to overcome drug addiction. After a participant completes a year, the Mission tracks the person’s progress for an additional three months.

The Long Beach Rescue Mission serves local seniors and neighborhood families for free meals and evening church services. The Mission has nearly 650 hot meals served each day and approximately 250,000 meals served per year.

The Mission offers these meals during breakfast, lunch and dinner hours. Breakfast is only available for residents and Mission stayers only. Lunch and dinner are available for anyone visiting the mission.

Learning service programs are available and offer seminars such as employment education and financial aid. These seminars are hosted with access to computers and the Internet.

Chapel services are encouraged at the mission and are available 7 days a week at 7 p.m. at their Samaritan House located at 1334 Pacific Ave.

When it comes to community relations, the Mission works with other agencies and organizations to empower an individual to transform their life.

“We are able to work with other agencies to ensure that individuals receive the most care possible so that it can transform their lives,” said Lupe Lopez.

Lopez said the Long Beach rescue mission is now focused on its plans for the future.

The Mission hopes to develop a program that goes into the community and speaks to people in need. They hope to reach out to people rather than coming to the mission to be the only option for help.

The ultimate goal is to create a mobile unit that goes to the scene and lets people in need know how to get involved in Mission programs.

For more information about the Long Beach Rescue Mission or to donate, please visit their website at lbrm.org.

By Nick Vargas