What is the richest thing?

This has been an exciting year for the staff and board of the Fairbanks Rescue Mission.  Maybe you’re wondering what exciting looks like for us?  Bigger, faster, fancier?  Awards?  Recognition?  

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We wouldn’t pass any of that  up - being recognized for the service we provide the community or cool new office chairs, but here’s what gets us excited: 

In July of 2016 we began a transitional program, the 30-60-90 Program, which provides case management to everyone who stays at the Mission for 30 days or more.   We recognized we were missing people - they were falling through the cracks - so we did something about it.  And it’s working.  People’s stays at the Mission are shorter - they are finding helps and work and housing more quickly.

This summer we started the Joshua Community, a permanent supported housing project.   We have three cabins up and will have them, and hopefully more, finished by next summer, which will provide sober housing for those graduating from our programs.   We are so excited to be moving toward filling this gap in our community.  

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On September 1st, the Grand Opening of the Borough Recycling Center, which will be operated by our Green Collar Jobs Program participants and staff, was the culmination of eight years of our hard work.  We are SO proud of our staff and their good work and of Rodney’s vision to just keep on doing the right thing.  We know we made recycling in the Borough viable and we are proud of that accomplishment.  We look forward to partnering with the Borough and providing many of our citizens with great training through this program.  

Let me tell you what I find personally exciting at the Mission.  Our staff is extraordinary - flawed, deeply compassionate, and committed to walking out this Jesus life of being changed.  Our Leadership Creed challenges us to risk transparency which can make for some interesting and even difficult staff meetings but which creates rich relationship.  The last two sentences of our Creed say, “We are leaders, followers of Jesus, and serve God by serving His people. Together we will stand, strong and courageous.”  I love working with these people.  

So now you know.  People are exciting to us.  Getting to make a difference in their lives and getting to be in relationship.   It truly is the richest thing.  

AUTHOR: Michelle Harpole

From Newsletter Issue: August 2017