Throughout the course of the year, there are at least 450 homeless individuals either living in shelters or transitional housing in Evansville, Indiana. This total does not include individuals or families living in abandoned buildings, along the riverfront, with accommodating family members, or in other unnoticed, neglected areas.
With 4,500 Tri-State families at-risk of becoming homeless, the causes of homelessness are increasingly diverse ranging from job loss, physical illness, a move, a divorce, domestic abuse, financial mismanagement, mental illness, and drug/alcohol addiction.
No matter the circumstance, the Evansville Rescue Mission opens its doors daily to provide for the basic needs of the Tri-State’s less fortunate.
With a capacity of 202 beds, the Evansville Rescue Mission’s Residence Center is the Tri-State’s oldest and largest service provider for homeless men but offers emergency services for the general public as well.
Despite this capacity, we do not turn any male (over the age of eighteen) away during times of inclement weather; specifically, between November 1st & March 31st and during the summer months when there are periods of excessive heat.
For an in-depth look into the Residence Center’s shelter policy and procedures, please refer to our ERM Guest Welcome Booklet.
As many as 175 homeless men call our Residence Center home on a given night and receive the following emergency services each and every day:
Our emergency services begin with a hot, nourishing meal served by faithful community volunteers. Each and every day (including holidays), not only our homeless guests, but the general public have the opportunity to visit the Residence Center for a meal. In 2013, 133,624 meals were served to feed the hungry at the Mission’s Residence Center. Meal times are offered as follows:
- Breakfast—6:30 to 7:00 a.m. M-F
- Breakfast—7:30 to 8:00 a.m. Sat-Sun
- Lunch—12:00 to 12:30 p.m.
- Dinner—5:30-6:30 p.m.
Considering our staff and volunteers do not take a day off in offering meals to the community, the Evansville Rescue Mission heavily relies on the generosity of various food distributors, grocery stores, restaurants and individuals to ensure we have enough food in our pantry. To see a listing of the Mission’s food partnerships, please click here.
Having enough food is important, but without the faithfulness and friendliness of our strong volunteer base, our meal services could not function. For volunteer information on serving a meal at the Residence Center, please click here.
Besides receiving a meal, Residence Center guests daily step out of the cold, heat and rain for a comfortable night’s sleep. With the inclusion of our long-term residential program (click here for a brief program description), 48,902 nights of lodging were provided in 2013.
The Rescue Mission uses a software program called Homeless Management Information System (HMIS), which is administered by the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority. We use HMIS as a database and case management system to collect and maintain information concerning the characteristics and service needs of our guests. Each guest has direct access to HMIS Notice of Privacy Practices, which can be found by clicking here.
Upon entering the Residence Center, each of our homeless guests has the opportunity to store their non-essential belongings in a 27 gallon bin. Guests can access their belongings once per day while storing essential items in a milk crate that is placed at their assigned bed. Our storage area has given our guests peace of mind knowing that their possessions are secure and protected.
For any guests needing particular clothing items, an individual completes a clothing request form. Depending on what they need, a guest can receive two of any requested clothing item with the exception of shoes (one pair of shoes given per request). Any of our guests can complete up to 2 clothing request a month except in the event of an emergency.
Please refer to this needs list to make a clothing or hygiene-related donation.
Any clothing donations can be dropped off at the Evansville Rescue Mission Residence Center’s main entrance 24 hours a day. Security personnel will be there to assist you whenever you arrive.
We provide laundry privileges for each of our guests each Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday where up to three sets of clothes can be washed during these three days. Meanwhile, bedding, linens and other miscellaneous items are washed and dried Monday, Wednesday and Friday each week.
Once the Residence Center Administrator and Spiritual Life Program Director complete an initial assessment for every guest, our Client Advocate meets with residents to begin intensive case management. Our Client Advocate’s role as counselor is to initially identify a guest’s potential barriers in reaching successful independence and then to develop a life plan for each of our guests. With all of our guests living at or below 80% of Vanderburgh County’s area median income, even a birth certificate fee can be expensive. Once a birth certificate is procured, our guests can take the necessary steps toward self-sufficiency by receiving counsel from our Client Advocate on the following:
- Personal identification (social security card or valid state identification card)
- Eligibility for either social security, supplemental security income/disability income, or food stamps
- Medical/mental health services
- Addiction recovery support
- Employment/housing opportunities
- GED instruction
- Self-improvement (skills taught include personal finance, hygiene, interviewing and resume writing)
Our success rate for guests being housed in the last five years is 100%!
Beyond the daily provision of meals, shelter and clothing, we feel the most important component of any of our homeless service programming is spiritual development—the desired outcome of the Evansville Rescue Mission’s long-term residential program called P.A.C.E.S.–Purpose Accountability Christ Education and Service. Any individual desiring to spiritually grow and to have a relationship with Jesus Christ can voluntarily commit to enroll in our long-term residential program which lasts a little over a year, led by our Director of Programming and Chaplain, Steve Kochersperger. To learn more click here.