The purpose of the Clean Team at the Allentown Rescue Mission is to help formerly homeless men transition into the workforce. The men on the Clean Team are the same men who began their journey of recovery at our Gateway Center Shelter. After their stay at the Gateway they decided to join our Christian Living Program.
There are 31 men on the Clean Team. However, some men can have difficulty transitioning to work outside of the Clean Team. For them, the Clean Team becomes more permanent. Just as important, those men who spend more time on the Clean Team are working and making their contribution to society.
Tom is 55. He and 15 other men are the long-term members of our Clean Team. They work at the Mission, they clean our streets, and they help with various Clean Team contract jobs. Tom is one of longest-serving members with seven years on the Clean Team.
We know that for men like Tom, who often have few employment options, the Clean Team is their lifeline. Perhaps these men have a disability or chronic injury. Perhaps they just can’t keep up with the physical demands of available jobs. The Clean Team offers an option that allows them to work and be self-sufficient.
Like the other long-term Clean Team members Tom no longer lives at the Mission. “I’ve been outside for 5 years. I have 2 roommates who are also on the Clean Team. I pay my bills. I’ll be on Clean Team as long as they let me.” And we’ll have Tom on our Clean Team as long as he wants to be here.