2216 S. Cedar St., Lansing MI 48910 ~ www.BEaRESCUER.org ~ 517.485.0145
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Renovations on the building that would house the Mission’s new drop-in center, the Outreach, began in mid-September. The Mission had not planned to expand services, but the sudden and unexpected passing of Mark Bozzo, founder of the City Outreach, meant that no other options existed in our community for the “unsheltered” men and women living on the streets due to struggles with addictions or mental illness. As we worked to update the facility (the location of the former City Outreach), make much-needed repairs, and hire staff for this new ministry, the clock was already ticking toward winter. When it finally came, the winter was fairly mild. October became November, November became December, and the work continued with a goal in sight of opening the facility in time to offer a safe haven before the bitter winds of a true Michigan winter made their inevitable arrival. When the winds came, they brought a massive storm and extended cold front, now familiarly referred to as “the polar vortex”; within days, the Outreach opened with evening hours, to allow a respite from the extreme cold and to provide services, such as food, coffee, showers, and laundry. Other local agencies offered places to stay during the day, but for many struggling with addictions and mental illness, their only place of refuge through the long nights was the Outreach.

Your gifts provided that place of refuge and rescue, and we are excited to announce that as of June 3, less than a year after the City Outreach had to close its doors, our drop-in center, the Outreach, was able to open to provide services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. While we already offer a place to stay during inclement weather and other basic life services, these extended hours present opportunities for a daily Bible study, weekly classes, and times for guests to meet with representatives from agencies that can help with long-term care and stability.

A recent article, written by a regular guest of the Outreach expressed, "We the clients of the Outreach believe in the building. Many of us knew the Founder of City Outreach in the same location, Mark Bozzo, and remember his heart to see no one fall through the cracks. Every life matters." Truly, “The Outreach fills a niche and serves society’s broken...” We can do what we do because of you. Thank you for being a rescuer.

Quotations from "How Mercy Unfolds," by Daniel Arnold. For the full article visit: https://www.noahfilipiak.com/how-mercy-unfolds-by-guest-author-daniel-arnold/.

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A Message from Mark: Building Relationships

“I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.” Jeremiah 31:25

“I’ll play the winner” is how our conversation began. Cameron was a visitor at the Outreach on a rainy and chilly Sunday morning. He was familiar with the drop-in center because he was staying at the Men’s Ministry on Michigan Avenue. Thankfully, now the homeless have an option during the day because, other than Advent House, most agencies are closed on the weekend. Cameron was on the cusp of winning his first chess game of the day as he accepted my offer. He razzed me a little bit as I explained that I couldn’t remember my “opening move because I haven’t played chess except for a few times in the past decade or so.” He didn’t want excuses and warned me that he would not coast because “every time someone starts making excuses, they are just sandbagging…and I’m not going to let that distract me.” He made a very good point and made me laugh. “No, I don’t expect you to take it easy on me” was my reply.

The importance of the game was not the game itself or the level of competition. The importance of the game was that two men shared a common interest, and we had a chance to get to know each other a little better. Cameron was hoping to get work soon and was overly expressive of his appreciation for the City Rescue Mission (CRM) and the opportunity to participate in our “extended stay” dormitory, called the Community Dorm. He is now contributing back to the community by volunteering his time at CRM and pursuing work and housing options. Part of Cameron’s appreciation is that he had a “nice place to stay” while he got on his feet. Ultimately, “you all saved me from being on the streets with no place to go.” He didn’t know that such a wonderful organization existed until he needed our help. He is committed to continue volunteering once he is no longer in need of our services but looks forward to giving back in a new way in the future.

I am thankful that we can offer a place for our guests to come throughout the day, as well as stay in the evening. The Mission is a place where you can be revived and ready for the challenges of life. Building relationships is an important foundation for helping with physical and spiritual needs. We are there to help with these challenges and to direct people with their next steps. Thank you for enabling the Mission to provide a safe haven for so many men, women, and children. Thank you for being a rescuer!

To God be the Glory,
Mark Criss
Executive Director

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"Rescue" News: the Difference a Year Makes

“We ask that you pray for the Mission and our leadership as they decide how we can best be involved to fill in the gap left by Mark Bozzo and his nearly two decades of outreach in our community.” This sentence began our “Rescue News” segment exactly one year ago. Today, because of your faithfulness, the Outreach is now fully operational, offering services at any time of the day or night.

In addition to providing a safe haven and basic life services (showers, laundry, etc.), we were pleased to hold our first Bible study on Monday, June 3. In addition to a study in the Word, we are offering weekly classes: "Wellness inX (addiction recovery services)" and "Life Skills Behavior Management (anger management)." Every other week, representatives from the Advent House PATH program visit to assist guests with housing, addiction recovery referrals, and mental health referrals. Monthly, faithful volunteers provide haircuts, and currently, every other month, the health department comes to offer free Hep A vaccinations.

There has been much progress over the past year, and we could not do what we do without you. Thank you for helping us help others. Thank you for being a rescuer.

Within the First 148 Days of Operation:
Safe Haven (Nights): 5,532
Percentage of Women: 20%
Showers Provided: 1,705
Laundry Services: 1,044
Total Number of Guests: 677

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Cook's Corner: Safe Food Handling Tips

 

 

As many of you know, the Mission is required to meet the same standards as any restaurant. We have regular inspections, and our food service staff members receive "Serve Safe" Certification. With the arrival of cookout and picnic season, we thought it would be helpful to share some food handling tips.

Cold Food
You can "hold" cold food, without a refrigerator or freezer, for up to six (6) hours if you meet these conditions:
1) Food must be at 41° or lower before removing it from the refrigeration.

2) Label the food with the time you removed it and the time you must throw it out (6 hours from the time you removed it from the refrigeration).

3) Make sure the food temperature does not exceed 70° while it is being served. Discard the item if it exceeds this temperature.

Hot Food
You can "hold" hot food without an oven for up to four (4) hours if you meet these conditions:

1) Hold the food at 135° or higher before removing it from oven.

2) Label the food with the time you removed it and the time you must throw it out. The discard time must be 4 hours from the time you removed the food from the oven.

These are just a few healthy standards. Our cooks and food service staff are diligent to ensure that the 100,000 meals we serve yearly are delicious, nutritious, and safe for our guests.

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