Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries (DRMM) celebrated its 106th anniversary over the weekend. We spent it doing what we do best — helping the homeless. The frigid temperatures in the Detroit-area made it dangerous for anyone to spend time outside, so DRMM staff and volunteers were out on the street looking for the homeless who were trying to survive on the streets. In addition to looking for the homeless on the streets, we asked the public to call us if they saw anyone in need of a warm place to go.
Ironically, Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries was founded on Valentine’s Day — a day traditionally set aside to show acts of love and caring. And, that’s what we did. We presented a universal sign of love – the rose – to the homeless individuals to show that we cared and were concerned about them. This act of kindness made the homeless feel appreciated and made it easier to initiate a conversation with them. We were able to take them off the cold streets and transport them to our shelters.
Our flagship facility on Third Street in Detroit was overflowing with men seeking an escape from the below-zero wind chill and craving a hot cup of coffee or cocoa. Although our shelter has about 70 beds, we had to make accommodations for more than 100 men who came in out of the cold.
The Detroit Rescue Mission has always been a place of refuge for the homeless and hopeless. The mission opened in 1909 as a place where the disadvantaged could receive food and fellowship. It was the brainchild of David C. Stucky, a minister who saw to it that the hungry were fed and those new to Detroit had shelter, jobs and clothing.
Over the years, we have grown to offer services that meet the changing needs of the community, whether it’s substance abuse treatment, rebuilding career skills or having a place to live while working or attending school. Every day, more than 1,400 people are serviced through DRMM, and 3,500 meals are served to the hungry.
We are a faith-based agency devoted to meeting the basic needs of humanity, while motivating individuals to rebuild their lives.
Today, I want to thank the many DRMM volunteers and workers who braved the cold to let the homeless know that someone cared about them on this Valentine’s Day 2015 — the 106th birthday of Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries.
Dr. Chad Audi