The Rockford Rescue Mission shares hope and help in Jesus' name to move people from homelessness and despair toward personal and spiritual wholeness. For the homeless, survival is day to day, which often means searching for the next meal. At the Mission, a hot, nutritious breakfast, lunch and dinner are offered free of charge every day of the year for any hungry man, woman or child in the community. The Mission serves approximately 421 meals a day.
The Men's Crisis Center offers short-term housing for up to 130 homeless men. The Women’s Crisis Center allows the Mission to offer short-term housing for up to 48 homeless women and mothers with children.
Creating a Master Plan
For the past several years, Rockford Rescue Mission purchased several unoccupied storefronts in the neighborhood. They want to focus on vocational training, practical job experience, and work profitability. Restoration Cafe, a hands-on job training cafe, is located in an old car agency building. The Mission needed help to make their plans come to life with aging buildings that weren't very functional.
I've designed a master plan to add functional space with a new building that will allow much-needed services to be added and expanded. There will be room for job training programs, administrative offices, maintenance, and a learning center. New Life Recovery Program will be expanded and additional beds added.
Looking Big Picture
Whenever I design an expansion of any Rescue Mission facilities, it is critical to take into account, not only the Rescue Mission's goals, but the needs of their clients, the immediate community, and surrounding area. Planning Commissions are far more willing to give permits to new and expanded facilities that meet their community goals. It helps gain community support when the Rescue Ministry can show they are meeting one or more criteria of the city's master plan from the very beginning.
Staff is working to obtain a grant through the Affordable Housing Project (AHP) from the Federal Loan Bank. My years of experience in Rescue Mission architecture has given me an unique ability to point programs to new opportunities in grant funding. Knowing when and how to start a Capital Campaign is critical.
Building On Function
The Rockford Rescue Mission is already doing a great job serving the least, the last, and the lost. I helped the Board by asking the hard questions. It is important to think through the operations, services and needs, not just the building. By making the new facilities fit the services (and not the other way around) you end up with the most efficient and functional building possible.