Tag Archives: mission

What Are You Thankful For?

by Dr. Chad Audi

There are so many terrible things happening in our world today. The Paris terrorist attacks. The bombing of a Russian jetliner. Shootings and racist incidents on college campuses.  All of these tragedies and turmoil can make it difficult to find joy in this holiday season. But just as God makes beauty out of ashes, so should we find enjoyment in the spirit of the holiday.

Ask yourself what you are thankful for this Thanksgiving. Perhaps you’re grateful for having a good job or a roof over your head or food on the table. These are all things that we should delight in this holiday, even as incidents happening all around us suggest a civilization immersed in hatred, violence, and mistreatment.

You may have heard about the homeless man in Detroit who was lured to a fast food restaurant drive-through window by an employee who promised him a sandwich, only to throw a cup of water at him when he approached. The video of the incident went viral, causing outrage around the world.

Heartless and cruel acts such as this have no place in our society. The homeless and impoverished are entitled to dignity and respect, just like anyone else. Here at the Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries (DRMM), we work to restore the self-esteem and confidence of our clients. Many have lived on the mean streets for several years, fighting off attackers while fighting to stay alive. Most of us can’t imagine going through what they have endured, much less surviving it. When they make it to our facilities seeking help, we show them that they deserve better.

When you sit down at your Thanksgiving meal, say a prayer that the world will become a little kinder and that one day we’ll treat each other as Jesus would have us to do.

by Dr. Chad Audi

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Creating Blessings out of a Tragedy

by Dr. Chad Audi

As you can imagine, I have seen and heard many moving stories over the years as President & CEO of Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries (DRMM). However, the story of a young Detroit woman who was the unintended victim of a drive-by shooting six years ago, touched me like no other has in a while.

Dreia Davis was 13 years old when she was hit by the stray bullet. Today, she needs a wheelchair to get around and has endured years of surgeries and serious illnesses as a result of the shooting. Through it all, Dreia’s dad, Curtis White, has provided around-the-clock care for his daughter.

So, when a local television reporter told me about Dreia’s story, I immediately wanted to make life better for Dreia and her father. DRMM is giving the struggling family a new home that is being outfitted to accommodate Dreia’s wheelchair. We could have simply renovated Dreia and Curtis’s current rental, but it wasn’t in very good condition. Now, the family not only has a house, but they have a real home!

I’m so very happy to be able to bring some blessings to this young woman who is truly a living miracle.

Matthew 5:16 encourages us all to be a blessing to others: “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

You can read Dreia’s story at: http://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/detroit/2015/08/13/dreia-davis-shooting-detroit/31466877/

Dr. Chad Audi

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A Summer Experience for Kids

by Dr. Chad Audi

School is almost out for the summer. Children everywhere are looking forward to time away from the classroom and spending more time outdoors and traveling.

But not all children have the advantage of going on family trips to fun places like Disneyland or Cedar Point.

Would you believe some children have never been outside of their own neighborhood? It’s sad, but true.

For more than 40 years, Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries (DRMM) has run a summer camp for underprivileged kids from the inner city. Our 240-acre Wildwood Ranch in Howell, Michigan is equipped with all of the best camp equipment, and we offer academic, recreational and spiritual activities. The kids love it! They see and do things they have never seen or done before. They ride horses, climb the ropes courses, go boating, room with others in a cabin, and make new friends.

Now, DRMM is pleased to be named as the new operator for another summer camp for Detroit Public Schools (DPS) students. Camp Burt Shurly is located in Gregory, Michigan and we have a lot of renovations planned, such as updating the cabins, expanding the programming, and adding a nature center. DPS has launched a campaign to raise money for the camp improvements.

Just like at Wildwood, we want to make sure that the kids have a great experience on both the educational and recreational levels.

So, when you’re watching the kids in your neighborhood play outside this summer or taking your children on a family vacation, think about the young children and teens who are experiencing the beauty of nature for the very first time at summer camps like ours.

These are the experiences that will shape their futures and broaden their horizons. All kids deserve that opportunity.

Dr. Chad Audi

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Educating Homeless Families

by Dr. Chad Audi

It’s probably something you don’t give much thought to, but have you ever wondered how well homeless children perform in school? Due to their unstable living environment, many are at increased risk of not learning as well as other children. But, one way of increasing the chance of academic success is to provide education programs for the entire family.

Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries (DRMM) is pleased to be involved in a pilot project called the “Family Learning Program,” administered by the St. Vincent and Sarah Fisher Center (SVSF) and funded by Reading Works of Detroit.

The program works like this: SVSF creates personalized education programs for homeless women and children staying at our Genesis House II transitional housing facility. In a press release, Diane Renaud, SVSF executive director and CEO, said: “We believe that by working with multiple generations simultaneously, it will help break the cycle of resistance to education faster.”

Makes sense, right? After all, much of what a child learns about life comes from watching his or her parents. So why not teach academics and employment skills to the entire family at the same time!

Many of DRMM’s clients need help improving their reading skills. Detroit has an alarmingly high illiteracy rate: 47-percent of adults, according to the National Institute for Literacy. Without the ability to read adequately, it is difficult for our clients to learn job skills and land employment as we help them rebuild their lives. The ability to read is essential for them to become self-sufficient, productive citizens in our society.

Meanwhile, the children will get personalized assistance with their school work to make sure they keep up with the standard levels of achievement as they progress to the next grade. We also expect that this family learning opportunity will raise the self-esteem and confidence of the women and their children.

Thank you, SVSF and Reading Works. We are excited about the potential of this pilot project!

Dr. Chad Audi

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106 Years of Helping the Homeless

by Dr. Chad Audi

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

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A New Start in the New Year

by Dr. Chad Audi

This is a joyous time of the year. We are celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ and preparing to renew our spirit and hope for the New Year.

Unfortunately, not everyone is anticipating the arrival of 2015. For the nation’s homeless, January simply means it’s time to go deep into survival mode until the arrival of warmer temperatures and budding flowers.

Make no mistake, the homeless are very thankful for the special holiday meals and donated gifts they receive this time of the year. However, as the New Year arrives, they must face the prospect of another year of despair.

That’s why charitable organizations like the one I lead — Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries (DRMM) — depend so much upon the generous, year-end donations from our supporters, which enable us to offer our life-changing programs and services into the New Year without interruption.

The men, women and children in DRMM’s emergency shelters, treatment centers, transitional and permanent housing, and career training programs are in need of love, mercy, and hope. Our mission is to help the homeless find the strength and learn the skills to turnaround their lives and never end up on the streets again.

Every man, woman and child on this Earth is deserving of God’s grace, not only at Christmas, but throughout the year.

Make this a joyous time for the homeless. Let’s give them the opportunity for a new start in the New Year.

Dr. Chad Audi

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Poverty in America

by Dr. Chad Audi

There’s good news and bad news concerning poverty in America. New data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows the share of people living in poverty last year dropped ever so slightly — by half a percentage point — to 14.5 percent. While that may not seem like much progress, it is the first time the poverty rate has fallen since 2006. On the other hand, the rate is still 2 percentage points higher than it was back then.

The Census Bureau report indicates more people are working full-time jobs. But, the country’s median household income edged up only by about $180.

So, what does this mean for America’s economy? Since the recession of 2007-09, the climb back to economic recovery has been slow. Here at the Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries (DRMM), we have continued to see a newer category of people that we call the “working homeless” or the “working poor” come to our facilities for shelter and food.

They are employed parents who can’t afford to pay their utilities and feed their families, too. Or they are working families who were renting a home that fell into foreclosure, because the owner/landlord did not make the mortgage payments. Or they are individuals who were laid-off and forced to take lower paying jobs, but now cannot pay all of their bills.

It’s heartbreaking to me and the DRMM staff to see people in the food lines who have come directly from their job and are still in their work clothes. Most have never known what it’s like to stand in line at a homeless shelter for a meal. This is not the type of life they’ve led in the past, but their present economic situation has forced them to seek help. They are standing in line humbly, but inside they must be hurting.

It’s clear that the majority of families in this country have yet to see their incomes recover from the recession. As a result, the demand remains high on providers like Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries. And, it will continue until poverty in America is eliminated.

by Dr. Chad Audi

 

 

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