Amid uptick in need, Rescue Mission seeks help
An assortment of factors is bringing more people to the Mission for food and shelter.
Jim Killam
November 9, 2022

Rockford Rescue Mission finds itself in a season of urgent need, and is asking the community for help. With a downturn in giving during this season of inflation and economic struggle for many, plus a continuing shortage of staff and volunteers, the Mission is being stretched to a critical point.

A year ago, the Mission served an average of 345 meals each day. In the past two weeks, they have been serving more than 500 a day. They also are near their bed capacity most nights, averaging nearly 150 people onsite. Plus, they’re working with the City of Rockford and several local hotels to provide shelter for more than 60 additional people.

As a result of all this, the Mission is also running low on basic supplies: travel-size shampoo, travel-size soap, laundry detergent and more.

What is causing the Crisis Centers to overflow with people in need? There isn’t one reason, but a combination, Mission leaders say. Inflation is stretching people beyond their financial capabilities. COVID benefits have ended for many. Affordable housing is in short supply as more landlords have been selling their buildings. And of course, the approaching colder weather makes life harder for anyone who is homeless. It all adds up to increased needs with no end in sight yet.

“We are truly at a moment of crisis in our community,” Mission CEO Sherry Pitney said this week.  “We are asking for your help in any way you can. Financial gifts, donating urgently needed items, volunteering …  it all helps immensely as we meet these daily needs with help and hope.”

“Just as important as the tangible help, we need prayer,” Sherry added. “Please pray for strength and perseverance for our staff, and for the right people to soon fill our open positions. Pray for those in our community who are homeless and in crisis, that God will meet them there and that he will use the Mission and other centers and resources to meet their physical, emotional and spiritual needs.”

Rockford Rescue Mission’s Thanksgiving Banquet is coming up Wednesday, Nov. 23. For the first time in three years, guests will all be able to gather for the meal in the Mission’s Great Room. (2019 photos)
Jim Killam
Jim Killam is a journalist, author, teacher and terminal Cubs fan. He and his wife, Lauren, live in Rockford and work internationally with Wycliffe Bible Translators.


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