Monthly Archives: January 2009

Centennial Celebration

By Dr. Chad Audi

Without a doubt, 100 years is a long time. Some people are fortunate to live that long. Some businesses survive 100 years of ups and downs. General Motors recently celebrated its 100th birthday and Ford Motor Company marked the 100th anniversary of its Model T, an invention that put the world on wheels.

The Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries (DRMM) is also among the centennial celebrants. On February 14, 2009 we will commemorate the Mission’s humble beginnings as a soup kitchen that provided church services, shelter, food and clothing for the homeless and downtrodden. Founded by a minister named David C. Stucky, the Detroit City Rescue Mission — as it was called during that time — operated out of an old poultry store. It changed locations several times and added services to meet the needs of the ever-changing community. Those services include substance abuse treatment, transitional and permanent housing, job preparation and educational courses.

Since the beginning, we have rebuilt hundreds of thousand of lives destroyed by addiction, homelessness and poverty. We’re a firm believer that you have to treat the whole person to make a permanent change and that’s what we do. You’ve got to help the homeless help themselves.

Our main mission at DRMM is to find permanent solutions for the disheartened and disadvantaged so that they can look to the future and not look back at their past. Many of our dedicated employees have been there and done that. Today they give back to others who have found themselves in similar situations. You can see examples of these success stories at: http://www.metacafe.com/watch/1297082/drmm_success_stories/.

Yes, the need today is greater than it was 100 years ago. And unfortunately, I don’t see that changing anytime soon. But as long as people are in need, DRMM will be there to offer solutions. We’re looking forward to another 100 years of providing hope on the streets.

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The Power of Prayer

By Dr. Chad Audi 

“Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves, for a friend of mine has arrived on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’… And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened…” —Luke 11:5-6 & 9-10

If a friend came knocking on your door in the middle of the night, would you give him three loaves of bread to share with his friends? Unlike the man in the Bible scripture who did not get up to give anything to his friend, the Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries (DRMM) accepts individuals with open arms. They ask, and they shall receive. We don’t turn anyone away.

Regardless of the situations that brought the people to our doors, we are compassionate about helping them. It is through the powerful act of prayer that DRMM is able to provide for the individuals and families in need that come to our facilities. Additionally, it is through their prayers that they were able to find us. And it’s with your prayers that we can rebuild lives.

We provide for those in need 24/7, 365 days a year. DRMM is not just a place for individuals to come eat a meal and stay warm; it is also a place of worship and prayer. We pray that those struggling in our community are able to get back on their feet. It is not always easy to provide supportive services for 1,200 people per day, but with God on our side we are able to make it happen. The power of prayer should never be underestimated.

God has given me and others at DRMM the chance to be that friend that one calls on when he or she is in need. Through Him, prayers are answered and we are able to provide people with the necessities to survive through these rough economic times and the current frigid winter weather.

If you believe in the powerful act that is prayer, keep praying for DRMM. We believe that prayer is the number one tool for our success. And if you’re in need of spiritual nourishment, log on to our Web site at http://www.drmm.org to request prayer.

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Fighting Poverty

By Dr. Chad Audi

The fight against poverty in the United States has a new proponent — President Barack Obama. Not only is his presidency an historic occasion, but he also brings his own blueprint for change.

At the Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries (DRMM), we see firsthand the impact poverty has on individuals and families. It is heartbreaking to see so many people in need. Mr. Obama has a plan to decrease the poverty rate in this country. He promises to invest more than $1 billion in transitional jobs and career programs over the next five years to help low-income Americans succeed in the workforce, increase benefits for working parents, raise the minimum wage to $9.50 an hour by 2011, provide tax relief for low- and middle-income workers, and work to increase the supply of affordable housing.

Here in Michigan, the unemployment rate is climbing higher and higher. Right now, it stands at 9.6 percent. That’s compared to the national rate of 7.2 percent. Michiganders make up a large majority of the unemployed citizens of this country. As a result, DRMM and other homeless shelters are overcrowded. Whether it’s for food, clothing or heat, people who can’t support themselves turn to us for help. It could be your friends, families, neighbors or colleagues who are suffering right now. Even President Obama has experienced some of the hardships that people are going through today. When he was a child, his mother briefly received governmental assistance to help feed her children.

Think about this: What has occurred during your day by 3:00 p.m.? Chances are you did not wake up hungry because there was no food in the refrigerator. When you flipped on your light switch, your electricity was most likely working. Unfortunately, that is not the case for thousands of people in this country today. By 3:00 p.m. on any given day, all 250 of the shelter beds at DRMM are filled and another 300 people are waiting outside, hoping to find a place to rest and nourish their bodies and souls.

From 2000-2007, the number of people living in poverty increased by about six million. That is heartbreaking. Hopefully, with the leadership of new President Barack Obama, this country can meet the challenges that lie ahead. I pray that God will guide him as he embarks on this journey.

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Donations Down, Needs Rise

By Dr. Chad Audi

The current economic crisis is taking a toll on us all, and it has really impacted the non-profit world. At the Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries (DRMM), it is our mission to help support those individuals who are greatly affected by these challenging times. But as needs rise, donations decline. Just about everyone is cutting back and that impacts DRMM and other non-profits who depend upon financial contributions and grants from local, state and federal government, as well as from generous individuals and businesses.

According to a recent article in the Detroit Free Press, “about 71 percent of more than 300 non-profits statewide noted a spike in demand for services in the past year . . . meanwhile, 63 percent of the metro Detroit agencies surveyed reported a drop in financial and in-kind support.” These statistics are from a survey conducted by the Michigan Nonprofit Association and the Johnson Center at Grand Valley State University.

With the economy in a slump, DRMM is seeing more people than ever before who are looking for a helping hand. That means we need food, clothing, bed sheets, hygiene kits and much more for the 1,200 plus people that we service on a daily basis. Stop for a minute and think about what it takes for you to survive each day. What resources do you need? How much money does it take to cover all of your bills? Now, pretend 1,200 people are living in your house and need the same things you do. They’re using the gas, water, and electricity. Plus they’re eating three meals a day. Those are the kinds of expenses that DRMM faces regularly. And we don’t turn anyone away.

We understand that not everyone can give during these trying times. People first need to help themselves. But if we don’t reach out to help others, the results can be devastating to our entire society. It can lead to increased drug use, a jump in the crime rate, rampant homelessness and tragically, even death. Through prayer and people uniting to help others, we can overcome this situation together.

I’m curious to hear how the economic crisis is affecting non-profit organizations in your area and what they are doing to cope. Drop me a line.

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Hope for 2009

By Dr. Chad Audi

The New Year typically brings new hope. We feel as though we are embarking on a new beginning. We can wipe the slate clean and start over again. There’s a lot to hope and pray for in 2009.

Number one on my wish list is a positive economic outlook. The magnitude and impact of the current economy has been shocking. The record amount of home foreclosures and massive job layoffs across all industries have resulted in a huge number of people finding themselves in a situation they have never been in before: homeless, hungry and needy. We’re seeing a lot more people who are coming to the Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries (DRMM) for food and shelter. The numbers of “working homeless” have increased. We see people who line up for meals while wearing their work clothes. What a heartbreaking sight! They have never known this type of lifestyle and they stand humbly, but are certainly hurting inside. Additionally, there are more families who need help with food and securing a warm place to stay.

The perception has long been that the number of homeless and hungry seeking shelter and food intensifies when the weather turns cold. But now, in this economy, it is no longer only a winter occurrence. It’s not seasonal anymore. All year long, our beds at DRMM are 100 percent filled. On many days, all of our 250 shelter beds will be taken by 3:00 p.m. Yet there’s another 300 people waiting outside, hoping to get a place to stay, food to eat, and a place to shower. So we improvise the best we can by placing extra mattresses on the floor and providing chairs to sit and sleep in.

If I can offer just one major resolution for 2009, it’s “Don’t Give Up.” This too shall pass. Things will get better. In the meantime, remember that the Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries and its caring staff are here 24/7, 365 days a year to help in these difficult times.

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