Established 1885

The Washburn Review

Established 1885

The Washburn Review

Established 1885

The Washburn Review

Topeka Rescue Mission changes lives through ministering to those in need

The+Topeka+Rescue+Mission+is+a+nonprofit+Christian+organization+seeking+to+help+those+experiencing+homelessness+and+hunger.+The+organization+has+helped+many+people+over+the+years+and+has+guided+them+into+a+new+life.+
Courtesy of Pexels.com and photo by Brett Sayles
The Topeka Rescue Mission is a nonprofit Christian organization seeking to help those experiencing homelessness and hunger. The organization has helped many people over the years and has guided them into a new life.

Homelessness in Topeka, Kansas, has been at an all-time high for the past four years. The Topeka Rescue Mission Ministries, a nonprofit Christian organization, seeks to minister to those in need by bringing hope and helping those experiencing homelessness and hunger.

Their vision: “Working together to transform the community through the love of Jesus Christ.”

Kourtney Barr, the deputy director of transformational services, emphasizes that though the organization is Christian based, all those needing help are welcome and are not required to affiliate with Christianity.

“We’re just called to serve you and love the one in front of us,” Barr said.

Though it is not a requirement for the guest, all of the staff for TRM are Christians.

Maria Ortiz, the administrative assistant for Children’s Palace, explains that she enjoys working for a faith-based organization and being surrounded by other staff who are faith driven.

“It’s just nice just to talk with people there, because you could tell somebody about your troubles and they don’t judge you,” Ortiz said. “They don’t judge you, they don’t talk about you, you know, you can trust people there and that’s the nice thing about it.”

Ortiz explains that her intention for working at TRM is to be a light in people’s lives and to be able to help them. She has found that there is more to the organization and believes others should know more about it.

“I believe that they should know that TRM is more than just a shelter for people to stay. It’s a community environment, which we offer more than just shelter,” Ortiz said.

Staff at TRM receive extensive training to learn more about trauma and development. This ensures that they are able to help guests coming in and understand what they’re experiencing.

TRM has several locations in Topeka tailored to certain programs. Pictured is the Hope Center where guests are set up for help. (Courtesy of Topeka Rescue Mission)

TRM provides a variety of services to those in need. This includes 24/7 shelter operations where guests receive a bed, three meals per day and a case manager to help them reach their goals. They also provide food services through food distributions.

Kenny Baal was once a guest at the men’s shelter and is now front desk staff. Baal shared his story of homelessness and how TRM helped him get back on his feet.

Before working for TRM, Baal experienced 43 years of homelessness and drug addiction. In 2012, he was brought to TRM for help.

“Rest assured, these people saw the worst in me, because I put them, for lack of a better word, I put them through hell,” Baal said. “I was very rebellious. I could do things my way, you know, and they never gave up on me. They never gave up on me.”

Baal found himself in and out of TRM still dabbling in his drug addiction until staff had him go through some ramifications not allowing him back in until he was ready to be helped.

Finally in 2019, Baal asked God to help him get back into the mission. He felt in his spirit that God was telling him to detox, so he did. Afterward, he was able to re-enter the mission and has maintained his promise to God to stay clean and sober.

Baal now looks to help men who are like him.

“​​A lot of the guys there have gone through the same things that I’ve gone through, and they can relate with me and I can relate with them because I’ve been there, I’ve done that.”

He stresses how much TRM helped him in his life’s journey, explaining that the staff always built him up.

“No matter how I’d come at them, they would always build me up. They wouldn’t give me a handout but they would give me a hand up,” Baal said. “I had to make the effort, but God would always bless the effort. He’ll never bless disobedience, but he’ll always bless obedience. It was a rough learning phase, but I had learned how to be obedient.”

TRM provides several programs to help people get back on their feet, such as guidance on entering the workforce and receiving education. There are also case managers who are trained to help guests reach their goals. For those in need of housing, their Rapid Rehousing program has helped house 400 homes with an 85% success rate of maintaining those homes.

To learn more about TRM or get connected, visit their website here.

Edited by Karli Bayliss and Jeremy Ford

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Washburn Review
$95
$500
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of Washburn University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Aja Carter, Editor-in-Chief Washburn Review
Hello, my name is Aja! I am a senior mass media major with a concentration in journalism and the Editor-in-Chief of the Washburn Review. I'm originally from Virginia, but I've lived in a couple of other states. I really enjoy writing, music, and spending time with my family. Outside of school and reporting for Student Media, I volunteer at my church, Light of the World Christian Center.
 
Donate to The Washburn Review
$95
$500
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The Washburn Review Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *