Getting more done with less money sounds like an oxymoron. Doesn’t it?
With US inflation rate put at 2.9 percent as at June 2018, things like office supplies, groceries and gas are costing more. Building maintenance costs are going up as well – just as insurance premiums and utilities. And none of these items is dispensable.
So, financial management skills have to avail in a big way, and when coupled with unmitigated love for people, it all seems like an art.
For a large human services organization like Detroit Rescue Mission whose mission has been to help individuals and families turn their lives around, higher costs may bite hard but they pale in comparison to the dangers of allowing people remain in their homelessness, substance abuse, hunger and hurt.
Imagine, for instance, veterans who risked their lives in the service of our nation but are now struggling with difficult challenges in our community. Isn’t it a huge embarrassment that they are homeless, hungry or embroiled with substance abuse? Don’t they deserve better?
That’s why we have always maintained an open door policy to veterans and others like teen moms and returning citizens who need our array of services.
Anyone who walks through our doors is taken care of, even if we don’t receive government funding for it. To us, coming to the right place is coming to the right solutions.
Assuming the weather is 90 degrees (or minus 10 degrees in winter) and a young woman comes to our female shelter in Detroit with her four children seeking help, should we refuse her admission and service?
You and I know it would be inhumane to let her and her children go back to the streets, without much-needed shelter and food. It doesn’t matter if the cost of food has gone up. Life is worth more than food prices. And those children need all the help they can get from us, with your help.
That said, we do all that is necessary to reduce our costs in such a way that would enable us serve more people in need.
We believe strongly in efficiency and effectiveness for greater results.
In fact, last year, despite receiving less money from most government funding sources, we served more people.
- 20% annual increase in number of returning citizens served (a total of 465 men and women) with reentry housing, mentoring and employment assistance;
- 54% annual increase in number of people (a total of 215 homeless men, women and children) who benefited from our permanent housing program;
- 5% annual increase in the number of people (a total of 3,147 men, women and children) served in our emergency shelters;
- 47% increase in the number of people (a total of 664 men and women) that received licensed and accredited residential substance abuse treatment services;
- 200 % increase in the number of people (a total of 6,507 low income and disabled households) that received emergency food assistance at our Lighthouse Food Bank in Roseville, Macomb County; and
- 12% increase in the number of children (a total of 2,023) that received Christmas gifts at our Christmas party;
The list goes on and on.
And we did all these – including serving 1.5 million meals, giving out 520,000 pounds of food to community residents, and distributing 850,000 pieces of clothing to more than 43,000 people – with the kind help of our faithful donors and volunteers who increase by the day. For instance, our volunteers increased by 13.5% to 12,150 last year.
Our prayer therefore is that the donors and volunteers will support us even more as we go through the “dry” summer months (dry because people are traveling, spending more time with family and friends, and perhaps thinking less of financially supporting services to the homeless, hungry and hurting).
As late civil rights icon, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., rightly opined, “The time is always right to do what is right.
Experience has shown that every season has its own share of people in dire need. Many are as homeless, hungry and hurting in summer as they are in winter. Just visit one of our service delivery sites in metro Detroit and see.
On their behalf, we sincerely thank you.