What does the Rescue Mission mean to the community, county as a whole?
As I look back to a time before the Merced County Rescue Mission lost their home, they had about 30 people being housed either in their building or in their women’s home. They were doing great work, and then one day they lost their home.
Many of us thought that would be a great loss for Merced, but God had a different plan. He blessed the diligence of the Mission staff with many more opportunities.
Today, the Mission has 128 beds in an array of settings. probably the most vital is the discipleship program, because of the eternal salvation of the men and women. Close behind is the respite care facilities in both Merced and Los Banos. As homeless people come out of the hospital and return to the streets, their chances of being back in the hospital in the next few days is very high.
With love and care of the mission’s staff, people who are homeless are now provided with a place to call home, where they can recover. Nurses visit or clients are taken to clinics to make sure wounds are kept clean and medicines are taken correctly. Healthy meals are provided, and the men and women are helped to feel human again. Next comes the sober living homes that house the balance of the men and women.
Here we are today, and the impact of the Merced Rescue Mission has been profound. The skills and talents of the staff are enhancing not only the lives of those in the Mission’s programs, but they are permeating out through the larger homeless community as well. There are a tremendous amount of people working together to help reduce the homeless population in Merced County. The Continuum of Care is the hub for this work, and the Rescue Mission is an engine that provides a lot of the power through leadership in many of the arenas making a difference.
Many of the organizations that fund different portions of this care rely on the Rescue Mission to carry out the work and make a difference in the lives of the most vulnerable in our community.
I personally am thankful for the Merced County Rescue Mission, their board, staff and the work they accomplish here in the County of Merced.
Lloyd Pareira serves a member of the Merced County Board of Supervisors, representing District 4.