Show Them [How to Save] the Money: Part 2, Russ’s Story

February 10, 2022

“When you’re at the Mission, and you start working while you’re there, they really bend over backwards to help you—even more than they already do [by providing a bed and meals.] They even sent me on my way to my new job with a bag full of food … so that I wouldn’t be hungry out there!” – Russ T.

This week, we’re profiling Mission guests who’ve taken advantage of our Money Savings Program. Through this helpful resource, guests can get back on their feet while also acquiring lifelong money management skills. Today, in Part 2, we’re sharing Russ’s story.

Russ, a 26-year-old divorced dad and current Mission guest, found the Money Savings Program to be particularly helpful. After his six-year-old daughter got sick with a serious illness, he needed to be near her while she was in the hospital’s pediatric care unit. He was able to stay at the Mission so he could visit her, and while here, he landed a job in security.

However, he had also acquired a lot of debt after his divorce and needed help with some basic money savings tools. Providing for his daughter has always been his priority. He never wanted to be one of those “deadbeat dads.”

“They have this formula that’s built to help you reground yourself financially,” says Russ. “So that way, when you leave the rescue mission, your probability of returning to the rescue mission is slimmer than normal.  Because you’re not leaving with just enough money for an apartment or a rented room, but then you don’t have any money to make it through the next month. Really, it’s amazing how much they care about seeing you succeed!”

Just as amazing, says Russ, are the “little things.” For him, that means the provision of bagged lunches and a special dorm of around 14 beds where those who are working can sleep without interruption. This kind of practical help, along with daily chapel services that helped sustain him spiritually while his daughter was in the hospital, meant everything.

Russ’s story is a great example of how the Mission helps to give a hand up vs. a handout. You always want to reward those who are making a sincere effort to get their life back on track, while also helping them keep on moving down that track towards a destination or goal. As it’s true for all of us, circumstances may derail us, but they don’t have to take us out permanently.

The Mission exists to make sure that those who want and need help get that help. They give the gift of time,  a sense of community, and practical help. The Money Savings Program is just one example of how they do this and do it successfully.

Read Part One of our Money Savings blog post here where we talk about the generational curse of poverty, with a testimony from a former Mission guest.