About the I AM CAMPAIGN
The I Am campaign focuses on the community who comes together to help address the root causes of homelessness in Allentown. If we all work together, we can end homelessness in the Lehigh Valley!
Partners, sponsors, volunteers, donors and other members of the Allentown Rescue Mission community are putting themselves forward to show their support of The Mission.
We All Have a Story
The Allentown Rescue Mission has used Avenue Motors, a local Allentown Automotive Shop for maintenance on all 9 of our vehicles for over the past 6 years. On a recent service visit, owner Kevin Ward asked how he could support the Mission by sponsoring one of our vehicles.
I was born in Allentown in 1978. After graduating from high school I moved to Pittsburgh to attend college. Fast forward to 2014. After two decades living in Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and Portland, OR, my wife mentioned that she was offered her dream job, and that it was in Allentown, PA.
I had no idea the Allentown Rescue Mission existed, let alone since 1900. As a physician my wife was made aware of the Mission and the good work they do. We decided that we would become monthly donors. About one year later I decided that I would volunteer some of my free time at the Mission.
If you won’t help the Mission, who will?
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.
Trezhon, age 24, had been homeless off-and-on since he was 18. Down on his luck with nowhere to turn, a man in a local park told him about the Allentown Rescue Mission. Soaked with rain, Trezhan rang the bell at the Gateway Center. After focusing all of his energy into our programs, he now wants to walk the life of a Christian, get his own apartment, eventually get married, and be a responsible member of the community.
He’s learning how to re-write his story through the programs and resources of the Allentown Rescue Mission.
“Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, you do unto me.” ~Matthew 25:45
I came to the Rescue Mission after a hard life. I found the three tools to better myself: The Holy Spirit, the strength to stop drinking, and purpose.
I work full-time for the Clean Team. I spend my days cleaning the streets in Allentown, and I love doing it! I wasn’t able to reach this better place without the help of the Mission.
I think about my grandchildren every day. I try to do right by God every day. I live and work with other Clean Team members, and we support each other. I am one of the older guys, and I am thankful every day that I can do this. The Clean Team program has allowed me to support myself, and more importantly, it allows me to make my small contribution to making the world a better place.
I started using drugs at an early age. I was following the example of the people who should have been my role models. My bad choices caught up with me, and I found myself living on the streets.
I took the advice of a stranger, and I came to the Allentown Rescue Mission. ‘Love’ is the only word that describes what they provided. I wasn’t judged. I was accepted. I could stumble, and they would catch me. They would give me as many chances as I needed.
I came to the Mission, and I found faith and family. I am working on the Clean Team, and I am getting my life back together. I hope some day to get back to working as a professional cook. Through it all, I have the support of the Mission.