Regan and Sam are part of the team that forms the Rescue Mission of Trenton, an agency in the City of Trenton that serves the truly needy men and women who have no place to turn for shelter, food, and clothing.. The Mission provides a safe, clean, warm, refuge for the homeless, the hungry, the transient and the addicted
Regan is the Manager of Admissions and has been with the mission for three years.
Sam is the Private Development Associate and has been with the mission for almost two years.
An Interview about the Rescue Mission
“Every single day you see that your work touches somebody in some way and I think that is just invaluable and its so incredibly rewarding.” - Sam
Why did you decide to work with the Rescue Mission?
Personally for me, the best part about working with the mission is working with and for our clients. It’s really rewarding to see people’s development as they go through the program, as they come to us everyday to stay in the shelter, go to our addictions program, job training and just to see their own personal development and know that everything we are doing is working for their benefit is my favorite part and I think that’s what a lot of people like about the Rescue Mission. (Regan)
I think what drives many of the staff members here and many of our volunteers is the amount of work that we do here. We have so many different social service programs, so its not just our shelter – its our treatment facility, its our job development program, our permanent supportive housing program – you know, we offer a full array of services and I think that when the volunteers get the full scope of things, they see how committed we are to helping anyone who come to our doors- whether its “ok I need a hot meal” vs. “I need to know how to write a resume.” (Sam)
How would you describe the volunteering experience to be? Do you ever see changed perception from when people come to volunteer to when they leave?
Yes,absolutely. Every volunteer goes through an orientation. When they come here, we explain to them all the different services and programs that we have. And they end up seeing the complete package of what we do and how, you know, say they are sorting clothes – how that impacts the rest of the organization. So they leave here seeing how the tiniest thing can make a difference. And a lot of people have their perceptions of Trenton and their perceptions of what its going to be like when they come to the Rescue Mission totally changed. They think they are coming to a scary place but they find out that they are coming to a place not only well run, organized and looks clean but “oh! I was walking around with one of the guys in the program and he was really nice and he wasn’t scary and he was friendly to me and he told me about his personal journey” and I think that that is a huge perception change.
What do you think should other residents and outsiders care about the Rescue Mission of Trenton? And what might they expect to get out of it?
I think we provide a huge community service – #1 with the shelter. We are the only licensed emergency shelter for adult single men and women in the community. There is a serious need for an emergency shelter in the community – 188 people needed a place last night to sleep and to not be outside on the street. And I think that people, not just in the immediate Trenton community, recognize that need but throughout Mercer County. We depend on the support of people throughout the area to help fund these services and provide that service in the community.
Additionally, we also operate a thrift store here. Not only does that give job training opportunity for our residents, it provides the community service for the rest of the neighborhood we are in. There are very few retail opportunities in this neighborhood of Trenton. To have some place where people can know that they can come and get things at an affordable rate is also an additional service that we are providing to the community. It’s a little bit untraditional – but it certainly is a community service.