The dreamers behind the Madera Rescue Mission established its roots on January 5th, 1987 when it became a “Soup Kitchen” with further plans of becoming a full service shelter designed to get those without a home off the streets and safe from the elements. This plan eventually began to take shape in 1989 when building began with a proposed 60 beds and a dining hall designed to seat 60 or so people.
But this growth wasn’t easy; in fact, there were numerous hurdles and slowdowns that caused those in the thick of things to wonder whether it would ever come to fruition. Then in July of 1990; under the blazing sun of the Central Valley, the 8,000 square foot Madera Rescue Mission was formally dedicated and fast became a safe refuge. In the inaugural year of 1990, some 19,500 meals were served while providing bed space for 12,775 displaced guests. But in all of this success the main thing remained the main thing, the Good news Gospel of Jesus Christ. Shortly thereafter, a 12 month in-patient Christ-centered recovery program began offering men the opportunity to turn their lives around so that they could return to society, both restored and ready to work.
In 1991 the Women’s transitional building was constructed. This building would serve a dual purpose of housing women and small children as well as providing space for women to get back on their feet while maintaining some semblance of dignity. In 2001 a Women’s recovery program was established under the banner of Christ that would re-establish the women as loved and valuable.
Yet another transformation was in store for the Men’s facilities, and beginning in 2005 a remodel expanded the potential Kingdom reach by providing for more bed space and a larger dining hall. (100+ beds and dining that now can accommodate 120 during any given meal.)
2007 brought an exciting edition to the suite of services through the construction of four Emergency housing units. These are multi-bedroomed condo style homes designed to bring relief to families that have found themselves displaced.
Then in 2010 the Mission had a brand new Women’s Emergency shelter built that would also provide space for moms with small children. These beautiful facilities provide a respite that is unrivaled in our community, and as such the community should be proud of their support. These new facilities in turn allow us to repurpose the old women’s shelter to better serve 8-10 women in our 12 month in-patient recovery program, as well as provide for much needed transitional housing for the community as a whole.
Today, we are undergoing a dramatic face-lift by way of a large foundation gift made by longtime residents Red & Nancy Arnold. Looking forward, only God knows what’s next for us but one thing remains, God’s love never changes and we will continue to do everything possible to make Him famous. Of course this extends well beyond the facilities He’s provided us, but when all is said and done, the Lord has provided beautiful facilities and for that we are grateful.