Long Beach Rescue Mission Celebrates 50 Years of Service

Long Beach Rescue Mission will be celebrating its 50 year anniversary on March 7, marking the opening of its doors back in 1971. 

Festivities will be at the Westin in Long Beach, and feature musical talent and event speakers that will be presenting the history of the Mission. 

Some key speakers include Wayne and Janet Tuerle, who will talk about their own story of how they started the Mission. 

The ability to sponsor a table or pay for a seat to attend the event will be available, with further details being posted on the Long Beach Rescue Mission website in the near future. 

According to the Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services, there are 2,034 homeless people in Long Beach as of 2020. 

The Mission’s main goal is to provide homeless and low-income men, women, and children with a better quality of life. 

The Long Beach Rescue Mission consists of two facilities.  The Samaritan House serves as a home for men, and the Lydia House offers a place to stay for women and children. Both houses provide food, shelter, and a warm bed for seven days. These facilities have offered more than 40,000 nights of safe shelter each year to those in need. 

If someone would like to reach out for help, an individual could work with a case manager either in a 90-day Case Management Program or a one-year New Life Program.  The one-year New Life Program helps men and women overcome substance abuse, addictions, and other life challenges.

Director of Development Lupe Lopez has stated that the one-year New Life Program is the most effective program that they have at the Mission.

“The Mission provides counseling, mentorship, guidance, and resources to help the participant go through recovery successfully. Everything that someone would need to get them back on their feet,” said Lopez.

Because the program is lengthy, it’s said that is why the program works for someone that may be trying to overcome substance abuse.  Once a participant has completed a year, the Mission follows the person’s progress for an additional three months. 

Long Beach Rescue Mission serves local senior citizens and neighborhood families to free meals and church services in the evenings.  The Mission has nearly 650 hot meals served each day and around 250,000 meals served per year. 

The Mission offers these meals during breakfast, lunch, and dinner hours. Breakfast is only available for residents and overnight guests of the Mission only. Lunch and dinner are available for everyone who visits the Mission. 

Learning Service Programs are available and offer seminars like employment education and financial aid assistance.  These seminars are hosted with access to computers and the internet. 

Chapel Services are encouraged at the Mission and are available 7 days a week at 7 p.m. in their Samaritan House located at 1334 Pacific Ave. 

As far as community relations, the Mission collaborates with other agencies and organizations to provide for an individual to transform their lives. 

“We are able to work with other agencies to ensure that individuals are getting the most amount of care so that it can transform their lives,” said Lupe Lopez. 

Lopez stated that the Long Beach Rescue Mission is now focusing on its plans for the future. 

The Mission hopes to develop a program that goes out into the community and talks to people in need.  They hope to reach out to people as opposed to them coming to the mission to be the only option to attain help. 

The ultimate goal is to make a mobile unit that goes out to locations and lets people in need know how to get involved in the Mission’s programs. 

For more information on the Long Beach Rescue Mission or to donate, please visit their website at lbrm.org. 

By Nick Vargas