The house at 131 W. G St. has long been a fixture in the Oakdale community, on the corner of Church and G, and it has now become home base for the Oakdale Rescue Mission, ORM.
Oakdale Rescue Mission is a faith-based non-profit dedicated to transforming lives in Oakdale and reaching out to those in need, most notably the homeless community.
The rescue mission’s purpose for their house is ambitious. It will not, however, be a homeless shelter – instead it will prepare many people in the community for learning how to make their way in the world.
They have 10 major goals that were listed at an open house, staged over the course of several days during the past week. According to ORM board members, the home will “make available humane necessities (e.g. toilets, showers, laundry),” provide for a mailing address and storage, and “offer toiletries, clothing, and food as/when appropriate.”
These goals are especially relevant when it comes to how a house can provide, but ORM also wants to offer services, and aims to “establish partnerships with local business to provide contacts for work opportunities” and “establish structures, assertive, and precise support in contrast to merely giving out a phone list or information.”
Assistance with job searches, résumé writing and more are high on the priority list.
Their number one goal, as indicated by information given out at the open house, is to “provide a home where we can meet daily to establish trusting relationships that foster cooperative citizens and opportunities for life changes.”
Reese VanderVeen, Vice Chair of the ORM Board of Directors, explained that when people come to ORM for help, they’ll sit down with them to assess their situation. After, the person can help with yard work, construction, or some other project going on at the home in exchange for utilizing the various services such as laundry or showers.
“We’ll start developing some routine, some meaning, and some skills.” he explained as he gave a tour around the house. “Give them something meaningful to do with their time is the goal.”
ORM put up posters around the two-story house to designate what each room’s purpose is. For example, the Kitchen’s poster designated it to be used “by meal teams to provide large group meals.” At the bottom of each poster, ORM listed the needs they had for that specific room: “IMAGINE ... a large mobile island for preparations and as a sit down area.”
Though their plans are big, the Oakdale Rescue Mission is already in the process of making their vision come to life, and has been working within the community for the last several years. Because there still is a lot of work to be done with the house, ORM is gratefully accepting donations, volunteers, furniture, and more. The ORM mission, vision, and needs are available on their website at oakdalerescuemission.org.