Sigma Upsilon Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated brothers, Robert James, Fred Porter, Bernard Crawford, and Leonard Rusher serve dinner at the City Rescue Mission as one of many of their volunteer services throughout the year.
2005 CITY RESCUE MISSION STATISTICS
26,620 Shelter beds were occupied
63,127 Meal Count for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
34,487 Attended Chapel Service
8,061 Volunteered at the City Rescue Mission
The City Rescue Mission Distributed:
10,925 Gospel Tracts
2,320 Backpacks & School Supplies
2,634 Personal Needs
635 Food Orders includingHoliday Baskets
The mission always needs personal needs and kitchen items.
Source: City Rescue Mission
By Anir Seyah
The New Citizens Press
LANSING, MI — Four brick buildings located at 607 East Michigan Avenue contain The CIty Rescue Mission. For 94 years they have been providing food, clothing and shelter to those who need it. Without the help of numerous volunteers the mission of helping those in need would not be fulfilled.
For over a half a decade the Sigma Upsilon Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated have volunteered to serve meals to patrons of the shelter, providing also a donation of toiletries whenever possible.
Their membership is comprised of graduate members of the fraternity who reside in the Greater Lansing area.
The coordinator Jacques McNeely said, “For years, as a Black Greek organization, we have taken an interest in the serious problem of homelessness in this community.
Dennis Humphrey , 47, from Lansing knows the devastating effects of homelessness.
“ I know that homelessness is a huge problem here in Lansing. The individuals in this situation, need to have options and the Mission helps you get yourself together,” said Humphrey.
Humphrey added that there are many reasons why individuals become homeless; addictions, family problems, mental health and loss of job.
He was homeless for six months and now he has an apartment and a job.
Some of those who dine at the mission are his friends. He said that he goes back because he wants to encourage them and also he enjoys visiting his friends.
Sitting at a table of four friends, reminiscing about an event that occurred, he broke away from his conversation and smiled and said, “The mission is a very good place. They helped me start over and get back on my feet. They have so many resources. As a Christian based organization, they really show you that you can get up and do something. They also give you the tools to do so.
Art Miller, the part time night person, scurried around making sure that the diners had everything that they needed.
At the end of the dinner, he looked weary and satisfied while he held a broom in his hand. He thanked the members of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, for helping to serve meals that evening. In 2006, the Mission will probably serve over 63,000 meals.
The City Rescue Mission
The Mission was founded in 1911 by Thomas and Emily Dolton in October of 1911, since its founding, the Mission has existed solely on faith that God will provide through His people.
Early in the 1930’s the Mission added a soup line to its services. At first the Mayor of Lansing wanted the Mission to close the soup line, but as the Depression swept across the country, the Mayor commended the Mission for this service to the citizens of Lansing.
The four buildings, consists of the administration offices, public dining room, food pantry, chapel, Transformation Program, men’s shelter, and job counseling services.
The men’s shelter has 24 beds available for men needing overnight shelter, with fifteen additional sleeping mats available as needed.
The Mission provides two meals a day, with a chapel service before each meal. Food orders, haircut vouchers, temporary ID’s and personal need items are given away during lunchtime.
In keeping in their mission, to save lives through biblical principal and prayer the “Transformation Program for Men” was established. Biblical counseling, personal assistance, and job-training skills are part of this six month program offered to those wanting to make a lasting change in their life. Twelve beds are available for this program.
Since 1977, the Mission has expanded to include a Family Center for Women & Children (four houses). The Center provides emergency shelter for single women and women with children, who are in need of temporary housing. Those who stay here receive meals and personal needs as well as a place to stay. Forty-five beds are available at the center.
In 2005, the Center served 2,872 women, 7,666 children and 3,480 single women.
The Mission Free store is also located at 1515 South Cedar Street. They provide free clothing and household items to the need in the community at no cost. Their phone number is 517-485-0040.
Seasonally, the Mission is always collecting items to help those in need.
For more information about the Mission call 517-485-0145 or visit them at 607 East Michigan Avenue, Lansing, MI.
This was printed in the January 1, 2006 – February 3, 2006 edition.