Have a question about the Mission? Below are answers to the questions asked most frequently.

Clay Romano

President Clay Romano on community relationships

Ken Bell

Board member Ken Bell on the importance of being faith-based

Does a person have to be a Christian in order to receive services?

No. Waterfront Rescue Mission is a faith-based organization; however, services are provided without regard for religious affiliation or beliefs.

Is Waterfront Rescue Mission tied to any particular church or denomination?

No, the Mission is a Christian organization and not tied to any one church or denomination. The Mission encourages and enjoys support and involvement from a large constituency of volunteers and donors.

Is Waterfront Rescue Mission a national organization?

No, like most rescue missions, Waterfront Rescue Mission is autonomous and governed by a local Board of Directors. All donations received support Waterfront Rescue Mission facilities and programs in Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties in Florida, as well as Mobile, Escambia and Baldwin Counties in Alabama. Waterfront Rescue Mission is a member of the Citygate Network, a national organization that works to accelerate quality and effectiveness in missions and urban ministries who are working together to reach the lost through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Is chapel attendance mandatory for homeless people to eat at the shelters?

Guests who do not want to attend chapel services should let a staff member know when they first check-in. Instructions will be given at that time concerning the Mission’s process for accommodating those who want to receive a meal but do not want to attend chapel.

How can I join the Mission's programs?

If you or someone you know needs the assistance of the Mission, please call 850-436-7868 or visit your local Mission to learn more about space availability and program requirements.

How did my name get on your mailing list?

Annually Waterfront Rescue Mission has acquisition drives to welcome new donors to help support Mission programs. This is accomplished through special mailings using lists of names acquired for one-time use. Your name may have been included on one of these lists.

Do you sell donors' names to other organizations?

No, Waterfront Rescue Mission does not sell, rent or loan supporters’ names to anyone. Names are kept strictly confidential.

Does the Mission receive government funding?

Waterfront Rescue Mission relies completely on private donations for its operating budget. Support comes from individuals, corporations, businesses, churches, foundations and groups that see a need in their communities and want to support their local Mission in helping those who are facing challenges in their lives.

What percentage of my gift goes toward program services?

We invite you to view our Annual Report. Waterfront Rescue Mission is an accredited charity with the Better Business Bureau, an accredited member of the Citygate Network, a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, and has achieved GuideStar’s highest rating of Platinum Transparency.

Can I get a copy of your most recent financial statement?

We invite you to view our annual report.

Is Waterfront Rescue Mission a United Way agency?

Yes, Waterfront Rescue Mission is a certified and participating agency with the United Way of West Florida. Donations can be designated for Waterfront Rescue Mission through United Way giving. Military personnel, federal employees and employees of the state of Florida can also give to the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC).

How can I tell where my contribution is going?

If a gift or donation is unspecified, it will be used where it is most needed. Any funds collected over the cost of the designation will be used in other vital Mission services. A gift may be designated toward a specific facility or program with a note stating where you would like your contribution to go. An annual report of Waterfront Rescue Mission’s accountability is available here.

Why does the Mission send me all this stuff in the mail?

Donor mail is the best tool for communicating Waterfront Rescue Mission’s goals and financial needs to those who are concerned about the less fortunate in their community. We understand that people might not be able to give regularly, but it is the Mission’s responsibility to keep the needs of the homeless and hungry in the minds of those who can help.

Can I cut back on the amount of mail I receive?

We want to honor your request for mailing options. Call 888-853-8655 or e-mail info@waterfrontmission.org to let us know how often you would like to hear from us.

What should I do if I have a new address?

Notify the Mission of your new address or any new contact information either by making the necessary changes on your latest donation form or by e-mailing your new information (be sure to include your outdated address), info@waterfrontmission.org.

Can I give monthly, instead of getting all of your mailings?

Absolutely! The Mission would love to talk to you about the Mission’s monthly-giving program, Monthly Miracle Partners. Visit our Monthly Miracle Partners tab at the top of this page or call 888-853-8655 today for additional information.

What should I do if approached by a homeless person?

  • Donating to a reputable organization with proven outcomes is the most reliable way to put your dollar to work. Well-intended gifts are sometimes used to buy drugs or alcohol. When you give cash to a panhandler, you simply do not know if or how it might be helpful.
  • Talk to the person with respect. Even if you are unable or unwilling to help, talking to them with dignity will help them gain their self-respect and can make the difference in a person’s life. Take precautions for your own safety. Be cautious and careful while conversing with homeless people and do not take unnecessary chances. Stay in areas where other people can see you and help if needed.
  • Tell them about Waterfront Rescue Mission. Giving local homeless the opportunity to get off the streets is the first step toward breaking the cycle of chronic homelessness. Help them discover that opportunity by telling them about Waterfront Rescue Mission.

How do people end up homeless?

There is no single answer or an easy explanation that leads a person to homelessness. Factors such as mental illness, drug or other substance abuses, divorce, financial hardship, loss of job, personal or family tragedy may be contributors to this situation.

How can I learn more about homelessness in this area?

The Department of Children and Families Office on Homelessness located in Tallahassee produces an annual report on homelessness conditions in the state of Florida that can be made available to you by contacting that office. In addition, Opening Doors Northwest Florida, Opportunity Place, and Housing First are also vital resources in assessing the homeless population in the area and their needs.

What makes Monthly Miracle Partners a better way to give?

Because we can rely on recurring monthly gifts, the Mission can better plan for the future. Monthly Miracle Partners provides a constant foundation of support ensuring that we can shelter, feed and care for the hundreds of local men, women and children who need help each month. A monthly plan can also help you budget your annual giving.

What is an EFT and how does it work?

EFT is an Electronic Funds Transfer, in which your credit card or bank account is automatically debited in whatever amount you are comfortable with giving every month. You simply fill in an authorization form that allows your monthly pledge to be automatically debited to your credit card or checking/savings account.

Do I have to give through EFT?

No, Monthly Miracle Partners members generally prefer the convenience of EFT, but checks and cash are gladly accepted. The Mission recommends electronic giving because it greatly reduces the time and costs associated with processing donations, ensuring that your gift goes further.

How do I become a Monthly Miracle Partner?

Send us an email. We’ll help you set up your recurring gift. Or give us a call, 888-853-8655.

How do I cancel my recurring gift?

You may cancel at any time by emailing us at info@waterfrontmission.org. We will process your cancellation request as quickly as we can.


Together, we are making our community a better place to work and live — one restored life at a time! Make an investment into our community by investing into the lives of others.