Following Jesus… Serving The Homeless

Homelessness is a complex problem with many contributing factors, including addiction, poverty, unemployment and personal tragedy. Waterfront Rescue Mission has a variety of emergency, preventive and extended stay services to assist each homeless person’s unique situation. Our goal is to connect men, women, and children with community resources or offer specified care to provide the tools needed to lead a life of stability and self-sufficiency.

Read Tony’s story to see how the Mission’s programs are helping to lead people out of homelessness and into meaningful, productive lives.

The Day Resource Center gives homeless men and women a safe place to rest and enjoy recreation during the day.

Services Offered at the Day Resource Center:

  • Showers
  • Laundry facilities
  • Mail and phone services
  • Storage lockers
  • Water and refreshments
  • Lunch at the Mission
  • Library
  • Bible study
  • Spiritual counseling with on-site chaplain
  • Recreational activities
  • Rotating community service providers
  • Clothing and shoes
  • Personal meeting rooms for community service providers

Day Resource Center services are available Monday through Friday 8 AM until 4 PM. The Day Resource Center is located at 350 W. Herman St. in Pensacola, right next to the Waterfront Rescue Mission.

The new Mobile Rescue Mission shelter also has a Day Resource Center services provided by 15 Place which is located on the same campus as the Mission.

Illiteracy is a contributing factor to poverty and homelessness. Many people struggle to find a job and to make ends meet. Imagine how much more difficult it would be if you could not read help wanted ads or fill out a job application.

The Mission’s Learn to Read program works to help homeless men reap the benefits and increased opportunities that come with gaining this valuable skill. Men who are in our Extended Stay program and are interested in learning to read are paired with personal tutors.

What happens to the homeless when they are discharged from the hospital after an illness or injury? Often they are too weak or ill to recover on the streets, but they have nowhere else to go and no one to help them.

Robert was hard at work as a painter when his ladder slid out from under him. He fell twenty feet, breaking both of his heels.

“I was worried about where I would go to heal. I was homeless, and I knew that I wouldn’t be able to reach my camp in the woods in a wheelchair.”

Luckily, the hospital knew about the Waterfront Rescue Mission’s Respite Care program. Here sick and injured homeless men like Robert have a safe, quite place to heal and regain their strength. Our Respite Care dorm has hospital beds and a handicap bathroom that includes a wheelchair-accessible shower allowing men to bathe themselves unassisted.

Extended care services can cost hundreds, even thousands, of dollars and are not available to those without insurance. Thanks to the generous support of our donors, Waterfront Rescue Mission’s Respite Care services are provided free of charge.

“I don’t know where I would have gone if it wasn’t for the Mission,” Robert said.

Respite Care is available at the Waterfront Rescue Mission in Pensacola and is also available at the Mobile Rescue Mission. Please call or visit your local Waterfront Rescue Mission if you or someone you know needs respite services.

Robert is one of hundreds of sick and injured homeless men who come to us each year. If you would like to help us care for them, a donation of just $28 will provide a day of healing, and $196 will provide a week of recovery in the Mission’s Respite Care dorm.

What happens to veterans when they have no one to come home to, no one to help them deal with the emotional and physical trauma of war?

Robert served in the Army and was homeless for many years. Facing numerous medical conditions related to his service, he didn’t know where to go to get help.

“The Mission welcomed me with open arms. They will give anybody a chance. If you are willing to do something with your life, they will keep you and help you.”

The Mission contacted the Veterans Administration to come interview Robert. They discovered that Robert was eligible for assisted housing through Volunteers of America and helped him through the application process. Now Robert has his own apartment.

“I’m so grateful to be off the streets. Now I don’t have to live out of a backpack. I can come home.”

The brave Americans in our military make unimaginable sacrifices to protect our freedoms. Military veterans account for 23 percent of the nation’s homeless population, according to the National Coalition for the Homeless. At the Mission, Veterans have accounted for as much as 30 percent of those we serve. At Waterfront Rescue Mission, we are proud to serve those who risked their lives every day to serve our county.

At the Mission’s Veteran’s Affairs Care Program, homeless veterans work with a representative from the local VA to secure eligible benefits such as pension, housing and medical assistance. But getting benefits takes time. Once they enter the program, veterans who are eligible for VA benefits can stay up to three months at Waterfront Rescue Mission Pensacola or Mobile Rescue Mission.

Each year, more and more veterans like Robert come to us. If you would like to help homeless veterans achieve the dignified life they have earned, a donation of just $17 will provide a day off the streets, and $119 will provide a week of care the Mission’s Veteran’s Affairs Care Program.

“When you give to the Mission, you’re offering someone the chance to have a better life. I look at my life now…I can never thank them enough,” Robert said. “Give from your heart because it works.”