(Allentown, PA)– The Allentown Rescue Mission’s “I AM” billboard campaign tells the stories of their graduates, partners, volunteers, and the Clean Team. Each of the billboards tells the story of someone who has been impacted by the Allentown Rescue Mission.
“I AM” is a slogan used by the Allentown Rescue Mission to demonstrate that everyone is a part of the Allentown Rescue Mission. The featured people on the billboards say, “I AM the Allentown Rescue Mission.”
Nick returned to the Allentown Rescue Mission during the coronavirus pandemic. Like so many men in need, Nick’s childhood was less than ideal. He had a loving family, but the problems he had led him to self-medicate. This, in turn, led to him choosing the wrong kinds of friends. He moved out of his parents’ home at 21, had several jobs, but his circumstances gradually worsened, and he found himself at the Allentown Rescue Mission. Nick is now at the Mission for his 3rd stay. He is doing well, and we have never seen him so optimistic. However, if he stumbles, we will always be there to catch him. The Allentown Rescue Mission does not give up on its men. Here, men are rescued and rehabilitated until they can be restored, regardless of how long it may take.
The Allentown Rescue Mission’s Clean Team plays a pivotal part in instilling positive and lasting change in the, formerly homeless, graduates of the Mission’s “Transformation Program.” Upon graduating from the Transformation Program, our life skills program, any man can be hired as an employee of the Clean Team. They are paid hourly, and they reside at the Mission until they find permanent employment and housing elsewhere in the community. “The Clean Team really works. It’s a program for the men, by the men,” says Clean Team and Facilities Manager, Michael Mauro. And adds, “Our Clean Team employees do great work, and we’re changing the perceptions of homelessness, one customer at a time.” The Clean Team is available for hire by both commercial and residential customers.
Jeff and his family are active supporters of the Allentown Rescue Mission. They participate in our fundraising efforts, and they employ the Clean Team for projects. They support our work because, according to Jeff’s family, the Mission gave them back their husband and father. Jeff came to the Allentown Rescue Mission about 6 years ago. His issues with addiction affected his family life to the extent that he was asked leave their home. He obliged. He joined our Transformation Program, worked on our Clean Team, earned his commercial driver’s license, and is now a truck driver. More importantly, he was able to rebuild his life with his family. Jeff’s wife says, “the Mission gave Jeff the tools to live life as a sober man, and they are always there for him if needed.” We both thank and congratulate Jeff for being a part of the Allentown Rescue Mission.
Our work and the men we help are supported by you; by our community. Take Jeff Virojanapa for example. Jeff is a restaurateur who owns two restaurants with his parents in the Allentown, Pennsylvania area: White Orchids Thai Cuisine and Notch Modern Kitchen & Bar. Thanks to the pandemic many restaurants are hurting, but still, Jeff and his restaurant Notch found a way to give to the community during this time. Jeff partnered with the Allentown Rotary Club, and donated 50 coconut rice and chicken bowls for the men at the Allentown Rescue Mission. The Allentown Rescue Mission would like to thank Jeff, the Allentown Rotary Club, and the staff at Notch Modern Kitchen & Bar for their generous donation.