Thursday, April 10, 2014

A Class Trip to the Rescue Mission

by Rachel W., Panther Blogger

I am Social Work 330 - Human Behavior class. We have been diligently working on a class trip all semester and finally all the hard work paid off!

As stated on its website, the Rescue Mission in Roanoke, Virginia is "a Christ-centered, grassroots organization offering programs to help people physically, psychologically, socially, and spiritually. The programs are holistic and involve elements of personal responsibility, self-determination and an internal transformation of values and vision resulting in a restoration of self-respect.  The homeless, the hungry, the sick, the addicted, the abused, and the hopeless have all found a warm welcome at the Rescue Mission. Men, women, and children have found a safe place and compassionate friends in their darkest moments."

The Rescue Mission has been open since 1942 and for more than 62 years, it has served this homeless population in many ways.  The Rescue Mission is open 24/7, and yes, that includes Christmas!

Sculpture outside of the women & children's building
Leslie Holden giving tips to the
guests at the Rescue Mission.
So a few weeks ago, my class traveled to Roanoke to work with some of the folks at the Rescue Mission who are considered "chronically homeless," meaning they have been homeless for at least two years.  My classmates and I ran two workshops for about 35 of the guests at the Rescue Mission. For the first workshop, we went over resumes. We updated some resumes for some of the people and started new ones for others. After the resume portion, we started a mock interview process.  I got to interview two awesome guys and give them pointers on how to answer questions, what questions an employer should not be asking, and other important information that could be beneficial to getting a job!

After both workshops, we were given a tour of the Rescue Mission where we got the chance to see the men's building, the women and children's building, the free clinic, the thrift store, and the cafeteria!  After our tour, we had the chance to sit down and have lunch with some of the guests and employees of the Rescue Mission.

A room inside the Rescue Mission. Each guest is
provided with a quilt that was donated by local
church groups. The quilts are given so the bed
has more of a home-y feel!

An art piece called "The Path," made by a guest
of the Rescue Mission

It was a very rewarding experience, and I hope to return to the Rescue Mission to volunteer in the future!

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