From Jim Watkins, Board Chair
"The PRM Board faced a momentous challenge during 2019 searching for a new CEO to lead our Mission."
Read the Board Chair Update
In hindsight, we were reminded once again that God’s timing is perfect. He eventually presented Ken Brissa to us and we snapped him up immediately; but not before we did the appropriate due diligence to affirm that he possesses the leadership skills and strong faith to be both an organizational leader and a spiritual leader.
Concurrently, in late 2019 we prepared to break ground on the Life Solutions Building at our Transforming Lives Center, which is our new men’s dormitory. It will more than double our capacity for serving men in our recovery programs. New CEO, new TLC, new year.
God is so good!
From Ken Brissa, CEO
"Family simply doesn’t give up on each other."
Read the CEO Update
Here at Phoenix Rescue Mission, we picture those who come to us as part of an extended family.
When I joined Phoenix Rescue Mission as CEO in February, I knew I was coming to a place where God is at work – and that excites me. I have the opportunity to see the work God is doing to transform lives at the Mission firsthand.
We continue launching some of the most innovative programs in our sector. In 2019, the Mission grew to over 100 employees. These innovative, intelligent, and driven leaders tackle incredible obstacles and care for the people they serve with a passion.
As a member of our community, you are also a member of the Mission family. It’s your support that impacts lives. Your donations. Your volunteer hours. Your advocacy for the hurting and homeless.
We are carrying the hope that is found in Christ and I’m honored that you are a part of the Phoenix Rescue Mission family.
It was a year of firsts in our men’s program at the Transforming Lives Center. The changes have stretched us, but we are serving our clients even more thoroughly and creating a deep community among the men here.
In 2019, we expanded our bed capacity from 160 to 170, expanded intake, perpetually remained at full capacity, and hosted three weddings for our program graduates on the campus. Sections of our program doubled in number because retention was so high. A record number of men are moving into leadership and being gainfully employed in society. We launched a court-friendly Domestic Violence Class and a Parenting Class for fathers on our campus. We also increased recreational and social activities to teach the men healthy, productive ways to interact with their families and the community.
None of these had ever been done before! God has truly blessed our team and our clients as a Christ-centered recovery program that offers wholeness of body, soul, and spirit.
The thing I love most about this program is the comradery the staff and clients have with each other. We are truly brothers in Christ. Many alumni who are serving in leadership, including me, have been cross trained in multiple positions, which keeps the vibe on campus one like a family as opposed to a workplace. I am so grateful to the staff for treating me like family and blessed that God has chosen this as my path.
- Shawn Petrie | Transformations Program Client (and now graduate)
Our focus at the Changing Lives Center for Women & Children in 2019 was building family and community on campus. The Changing Lives Center is often the first place where women and children experience God’s unconditional love and a true sense of family and community. We encouraged our ladies and children to take pride in what God has blessed them with and those He has purposely placed in their life during this journey.
A few of the highlights from 2019 included hiring four alumni as Mission employees and seeing our alumni pay off over $8,400 in debt before moving off campus as part of our New Start program. We held our first annual CLC Alumni Camping Trip, five of our clients were Peer Support Certified, and we successfully launched Anchor Point, our weekly recovery group for clients in our program. We implemented financial literacy, healthy sexuality, and parenting classes for the women as well as faith-based curriculum into our childcare classrooms.
Just like any family, we had our ups and downs, but there is no doubt that God was ever present and the Changing Lives Center family came out stronger and closer because of it.
What I love about being a counselor at the Changing Lives Center is the process, pain, courage and victories these women and children endure. I get to witness their highs and lows and their new ways of doing things, with God and each other. I get to watch God’s love in action as they get to the “ah-ha” moments. Most of all, I get to watch and celebrate at the many graduations, as they tearfully share from their past and then encourage their fellow sisters in Christ who they KNOW are struggling. I was a believer before I came to work here. Now, I can truly say and feel, that I am a disciple for Christ!
- Jackie Zumach | Counselor
Street Outreach is a mobile program that sends teams throughout the Valley of the Sun with the goal of providing basic services, engaging, and assisting individuals who are living on the streets with solutions to end their homelessness.
In 2019, we doubled the size of our Street Outreach team in response to the growing problem of unsheltered homelessness in Maricopa County. Whether the team is handing out a water bottle or offering assistance, people are encountering the love of God. This program seeks to meet people where they are at and offer them solutions to a better life, where they can deal with any underlying issues to find hope and restoration.
Anyone who has had the privilege of seeing this program in action will know that, without a doubt, God is still in the business of transforming lives.
When the opportunity arose to become part of the Street Outreach Team in 2019, it was a no brainer. The team atmosphere is ingrained into the fabric of the Mission. Each department has its own purpose, but we all work to accomplish God’s mission. I wake up each day and can’t wait to get to work. My job as a Street Outreach Case Manager is challenging and difficult at times, but I can serve confidently and am encouraged knowing I have the support of the Phoenix Rescue Mission as a whole.
- Isaac Healis | Street Outreach Case Manager
2019 was a year for our Mission Sharing team to ramp up and build out the programs we have been developing.
At our Hope for Hunger Food Bank in Glendale, we addressed an increasing demand for food assistance by expanding our service hours from four days a week to five.
At our annual Easter Outreach event, we served 491 households with over 1,300 Easter baskets and a petting zoo for the first time! At our other events, we provided thousands of loaded backpacks, school uniforms, turkey dinners, and Christmas toys across the Valley, with a special focus on people living in the communities surrounding our campuses in downtown and west Phoenix. We added a mobile food pantry program In August, we added a mobile food pantry program to provide healthy, nonperishable food options and serve even more families.
We also had a special opportunity for our Mission Sharing team to participate in ASU’s Knowledge Exchange for Resilience. We used this opportunity to develop a plan for how the Mission could use its resources toward fighting food insecurity in Maricopa County. This is in preparation for the new Community Engagement Building that is planned in our Expanding Hope Capital Campaign.
I’ve always wanted to serve in a place like Phoenix Rescue Mission. As someone who has also needed help from a food bank as a single mom in the past, I was drawn to PRM and the hearts of the people here. I see their Christ-like love that they show each person that is served. I am thankful that I am able to be used by Him to show others His love and grace like others showed me. I am truly enjoying my new friendships that I know will be lifelong. Thank you Phoenix Rescue Mission for the opportunity.
- Angie Hatcher | Hope for Hunger Volunteer
In 2019, we completed the rebranding of Mission Possible Café and Mission Possible Cookies, including launching brand new websites for each.
We revamped our menu to feature some of the best burgers, salads, and homemade bagels in town. In October, we hosted our café’s Grand Opening Celebration. Mission Possible Cookies also introduced five new cookie flavors! All of these changes resulted in record sales in the month of December. (If you want to check this out for yourself, visit missionpossiblecookies.com and missionpossiblecafe.com!)
Our Vocational Development Program uses an individualized and systematic process to learning to aid our clients in identifying viable vocational options and developing employment goals and objectives.
2019 proved to be another prosperous year for our clients. Vocational Development worked closely with community partnerships such as Graduation Solutions/Smart Schools to equip our clients needing education with a high school diploma. Twenty-two clients received a high school diploma or GED in 2019 and two clients were awarded college scholarships. The Mission’s partnership with Skillsoft proved to be extremely beneficial by advancing our clients’ knowledge with online computer training and customer service skills.
Nearly 3,000 volunteers made all the difference across Phoenix Rescue Mission in 2019.
Our team recruited, trained, and launched of a group of 40 dedicated mentors and table leaders. They have been providing life-on-life, transforming engagement with our clients in Anchor Point, our in-house recovery small group. On Thanksgiving Day, ninety volunteers helped us serve over 250 meals to our neighbors in need and provided twenty portable showers in our very own Mission Possible Café parking lot.
Over 130 groups from businesses, churches, schools, and community and civic groups partnered with us to provide life-transforming services to our clients and our neighbors in need!
In 2019, our team partnered with the City of Glendale for a program that provides day labor opportunities to individuals living on the streets.
Glendale Works clients complete landscaping and beautification projects in the City of Glendale. This program focuses on bringing meaningful solutions to people experiencing homelessness and instilling them with a sense of dignity and self-worth, all while beautifying the community. In 2019, Glendale Works provided 1,013 shifts to individuals experiencing homelessness and rescued nineteen individuals by connecting them to residential services or housing.
Criminal Justice Diversion
The Criminal Justice Diversion program was developed in 2019 to work with law enforcement throughout Maricopa County to identify solutions that will help individuals end their homelessness instead of facing prosecution.
Phoenix Rescue Mission is determined to meet people in their despair by offering a way to make things right through resources and programs to change their lives. As it says in Matthew 25:36, “I was in prison, and you visited me.” This program is the hands and feet of Jesus to those who are desperate for transformation.
Inmate Reentry Program
Our reentry curriculum is designed to support inmates at any jails operated by the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office (MCSO) as they plan for their release back into society.
It is largely taught by a dedicated and compassionate group of volunteers. Phoenix Rescue Mission is a recognized and respected provider for instruction and residential recovery services for inmates in the MCSO community. We are teaching classes in three different detention facilities and support the MOSAIC substance abuse recovery program with classes and on-site intake interviews.
In 2019, we reached over 1,150 inmates in both the jails and Arizona prisons to provide hope and to extend the hand of community from the Mission for residential recovery programming.
We take responsibility for the time, talents, and treasures entrusted to us by God and our ministry partners. Therefore we strive to maximize the impact of these resources.
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