Spinato’s Closes Restaurant to Serve Community

Four men, once broken, homeless and addicted, now sit at a upscale pizzeria on 7th Street and Camelback Road in Phoenix. As a Spinato's staff member came by to check on the men and their food, Chris a now Servant Leader at the Phoenix Rescue Mission is holding back tears. "They opened up their doors to us, they sat down and spoke with us, we prayed together." "I will be talking about tonight for the rest of my life."

Spinato's Pizzeria in Phoenix has a community based mindset, and giving back to their community is part of their Mission. "We have such a big family, our staff is family, our restaurant is a place where we can bring in people and make them feel at home as well," family of owner, Nicole explains.

Spinato's closed their restaurant down to serve 105 men currently residing and transforming their lives at the Phoenix Rescue Mission. "We told our staff, 'take your time, sit down and get to know these men and their stories.'" "They are who we are serving tonight." Efren, has been at the Mission for seven months now and said, "We usually wait in line to get our food everyday. To sit down at a beautiful restaurant and be catered to was so special."

Spinato's gave each men the opportunity to order "anything and everything," from their specialty pizzas, pastas, calzones and even dessert! Tables were full of delicious food, smiles, and full bellies were seen throughout the restaurant. "This is the best pizza I've ever had, 5-star!"

Efren is a part of the staff opening Mission Possible Cafe that will serve the community, and expand the Food Service Vocational training at the Phoenix Rescue Mission, and said, "this event has brought to life the idea of the Cafe." "We will be serving and welcoming our community and serving them, just like Spinato's has opened up our doors to us."

September is Hunger Action Month, and Spinato's has stepped up in a big way, but just like the Mission, Spinato's focuses on food 12 months out of the year. Thank you to the staff, family, and friends that made this incredible night possible. "It was heaven, a night I won't forget." Chris and the other 104 men finished dinner, and were given a hygiene pack to go. Filled with shaving cream, razors, a water tumbler, and other goodies to leave the restaurant with. The men of the Phoenix Rescue Mission left Spinato's with a renewed spirit, full bellies, and full hearts. "Tonight reminded me people care," Efron said as he walked out with left over pizza, a goodie bag, and a smile that will impact others for days to come.

Hunger Action Month

“Missing a meal” is not the latest diet craze, but the definition of “food Insecurity.” Right here in Arizona one in 7 families are considered food insecure like Andrea, who needed her car to get to her job.

“This month my car broke and the only way to pay for it was to take the money from my food budget. I would skip dinner to make sure my kids had something at night,” said Andrea. “Knowing there was a week until my next paycheck was when I found the food bank and was provided a cart full of groceries.”

“I was so thankful to find so many people who care. It meant a lot to my family.”

You can help neighbors like Andrea put nutritious food on her table this month. Here are some ideas YOU can take action this month.

September is Hunger Action Month. Here are a few ways YOU can take action, and make an impact in your community!

Hold a Canned

Food Drive

Hold a canned food drive at your church, office or in your neighborhood. Contact Catie to arrange your drive, and find out our greatest needs at chammann@phoenixrescuemission.org or 602-346-3347

#ShareYourPlate

Use the #ShareYourPlate hashtag on social media to let your friends and family know how you are helping food insecure families this month. Don't forget to check Phoenix Rescue Mission on Facebook and @phxmission on Twitter and Instagram to see our video highlights of those you are helping.

Feed a Family

Feed a family in our care. Hope begins with a meal, just a $1.92 provides a nutritious meal in our dining hall. Click HERE to donate.

Volunteer at Hope for Hunger Food Bank

Volunteer to pack food boxes at Hope for Hunger Food Bank. Sign up as a volunteer on VolunteerHub or click HERE to see the available shifts.

Become a Fill-A-Bag Partner

Join the Mission and help us support low-income families in our neighborhoods with bags of groceries and basic goods. To learn more about the Fill-A-Bag Program, click HERE.

Buy Cookies

You heard right. Buy  cookies. Support the Mission's Cookie Enterprise Vocational Program, where all proceeds go back into the program to support the very women baking up delicious cookies, made from scratch, just for you! Learn more at giftcookies.com

Volunteer Serving in our Kitchen

Serve at our Community Market

Every 2nd and 4th Saturday of every month, the Mission serves our low-income families. We open our campus and provide food bags, a chance to "shop" for clothes, shoes and basic household items, provide counseling and prayer, and plenty of water to get them by. See what happens at our market below.

Thank you for taking action to end hunger in our community!

Mission Possible Café

Mission Possible Café, located at 1516 West Van Buren Street, is the Phoenix Rescue Mission’s latest project—and it’s opening October 2nd!

The new café will offer southwestern-inspired cuisine with emphasis on Mexican grilled items. It will focus on strong customer service, as well as quality food at affordable prices. One of the key factors that will set this new restaurant apart is its story.

The Phoenix Rescue mission provides new beginning for men, women and children in the community who are struggling with homelessness, addiction and trauma. Many people who enter Phoenix Rescue Mission have little to no job experience. For this reason, the organization now takes a holistic approach to rehabilitation. Rather than solely focusing on the sobriety of the clients, it also assists with job training through the vocational development program. The Phoenix Rescue Mission's goal is to help the men and women in our programs get back on their feet through service.

“Adding Mission Possible Café to Mission Cookies and Mission Catering as a training ground for our already successful Food Service Manager’s Training program, will allow us to continue to serve our clients and help them advance,” said Jay A. Cory, President and CEO, Phoenix Rescue Mission.

All Mission Possible Café employees will be part of the vocational development program, an eight-month course designed to get participants back on their feet. The program begins with four months of classes, where men and women learn about food service and gain other practical skills. It concludes with four months of practical application, when participants can work at Mission Possible Café. Its ultimate goals are to prepare people for the workforce, and to give them the ability to give back using service.

“Clients will learn food service operations, development leadership skills, and be prepared for successful placement in management level positions in the food service industry. We hope the community will join us for a great meal and help transform lives in the process,” said Cory.

The Mission Possible Cafe will share space with the Mission's Cookie Enterprise and the Mission's catering business that is currently talking residence in the building. For years there has been room, and a vision to share this space with our community. Our community has been so supportive, individuals are stepping up to make this restaurant possible (no pun intended). The below video highlights one of the main walls in the cafe designed and painted by a local Arizona State University student studying graphic design. Katie and her team made this empty space come to life, and is the first stages of paint and decorations before tables, chairs, accents go up. Thank you Katie for sharing your gifts with the Mission and our community! Mission Possible Cafe opens October 2nd, so come stop by and give us a try!

Catering to a New Life | April 2016 Newsletter

Catering to a New Life

Mission Possible Catering

Chicken Caesar wraps. Quinoa salad. Fresh baked bread. On their own they make for a healthy, tasty lunch. But combined with the power of the Phoenix Rescue Mission they are a part of something so much more.

They’re vital ingredients in transforming lives.

It’s called Mission Possible Catering and it’s the next step in changing lives and building new futures here at the Phoenix Rescue Mission.

The goal is to give the women and men who have earned their ServeSafe certifications in the kitchen through our vocational development program the opportunity to exercise what they’ve learned in a professional environment – serving real customers, handling all the problems of a real business while earning valuable on-the-job experience at the same time.

Mission Possible Catering

At its head is Michelle. You may remember her from our November newsletter – a young woman who had learned valuable culinary and management skills through our vocational training course at the Changing Lives Center. When we last visited with her she had graduated our recovery program, finished her certifications and was on track to earning back the custody of her son that addiction stripped from her life.

Today she has full custody of her son; she has applied for and has been accepted into Ministry Training, our most rigorous and demanding leadership training program, and is spearheading the creation of our new Mission Possible Catering social enterprise program.

Monday through Friday, Michelle and her staff are working hard to perfect each item on their menu, tirelessly practicing their technique, their bake time, tweaking the recipes and making sure everything turns out as delicious as they’ve planned. But even before their catering service opens for business, the recipes they’ve poured their hearts and souls into are already making a difference.

Brandi

Brandi, one of our women in recovery currently working under Michelle, tells us, “I love what I do here. I’m learning new things every day. I feel like God was calling me to the Changing Lives Center for a long time. Now that I’m here, He’s blessing me in ways I never imagined – emotionally, spiritually and now with new skills and abilities.”

Michele, not to be confused with Michelle with two l’s, was addicted and contemplating suicide before her Aunt suggested finding help at the Changing Lives Center. It’s a decision that saved her life.

Michele explains, “I had this attitude and this demeanor about me that was so self-destructive. This place has changed me. I’m not angry, I’m not bitter anymore. I look at myself now and I just shake my head. I don’t know who that person was. At Mission Possible Catering I get to be a part of something exciting. I see all the wonderful dishes and I can say ‘I made this.’ It makes me feel important… something I’ve never really felt before.”

With your partnership, we’re taking simple things like chicken and tofu and using them to transform lives.

“The beautiful thing about this program is that you not only gain the skills restaurant employers are looking for, you have the opportunity to put those skills to the test and build our resumes at the same time,” says Michelle.

“Where else do you get the chance to do all this? For women who were lost and broken and whose self-worth was non-existent – it’s something we can be proud of. I love this place. The Mission is opening the doors for so many women in so many different ways.”

But it’s only through the prayers and support of friends like you that these life-changing programs are possible – a fact that is not lost on the women we serve.

“It amazes me how much the donors care – they genuinely care.” says Michele, “And that’s what most of us never had was someone who cared. The fact that people who don’t even know us care that much about us… it’s amazing!”

We’ll have Mission Possible Catering up and running soon! For more information, give us a call at 602-688-6220!

The women we serve can’t wait to serve you!

A Bizarre Meeting... Unexpected Hope

Twenty years old and homeless. Addicted to a $100 a day habit. Mixed up with the Mexican cartel. There are a number of reasons Austin shouldn’t be alive today. But instead of cutting his life short, God instead used an unlikely messenger to save it.

His dealer.

Austin had been living without a home for about a year and a half. His daily routine consisted of waking up, finding some way to make money, buying heroin, getting high and going back to sleep. But it wasn’t because he enjoyed the feeling. He was trapped.

“When you withdraw from heroin, you wake up freezing cold, you’re sweating, you’re throwing up, it feels like your bones are breaking and that you pulled all your muscles.” Austin explains, “A day without it and that’s where I was. After two years, my habit wasn’t about getting high for fun any more, I needed it just to survive.”

Traveling from drop house to drop house, Austin’s life was a blur. Then one night he got caught without a place to sleep and found a dugout to hole up in. At three in the morning a group of thugs happened upon him and beat him severely. Fortunately he managed to get away – but not before they broke his jaw and his cheek bone in three places.

But even a scrape with death wasn’t enough to motivate Austin to get help. Then something miraculous happened.

Austin explains, “I got into debt with my dealer. I owed her $30 and she confiscated my ID and my social security card as collateral until I could pay her. I convinced my mom that I owed a friend some money and she agreed to help me out so I could get my cards back. But when my mom handed her the money, instead of taking it, my dealer handed it back, told her all about my drug problem and that I needed help. She gave my cards to my mom and that was that. My mom had heard about the Phoenix Rescue Mission from a family friend. So the next day I checked in.”

Today, Austin is a graduate of our recovery program. He is sober, and thanks to our vocational development program he has a steady job at Subway with the goal of working to become a phlebotomist.

“Even though I grew up in a Christian home, it was here at the Mission where I experienced God for the first time,” admits Austin. “When that happened, I completely lost my desire to get high.”

Instead of traveling down a dead end road, Austin has a bright future ahead of him – and it’s because of the friendship and support of friends like you. Thank you!