What is The Mission?
The Mission is a local faith-based outreach whose purpose is to provide for those in poverty, build meaningful relationships, and give those who desire the skills necessary move from the streets to their own homes or apartments, all without governmental assistance.
Who Founded The Mission
The Mission was founded in 2013 by two U.S. Marine Veterans, Richard and Robert Myers, along with Mark Aldridge. Their purpose was to serve the Lord by serving the poor and homeless of St. Mary’s County. Their motto was to offer whatever folks needed when they walked in the door. This led to the food pantry, showers, computers, transportation, Sunday breakfast, and many other services.
Who Funds The Mission
For the first three years (2013-2016), The Mission was funded almost exclusively by its three founders. They did not seek donations (although if the Lord led people to give, they gladly accepted). They firmly believed that anyone who starts and runs a ministry must be willing to support that ministry financially. In late 2016, with less than $200-$300 in The Mission bank account, the Lord led both Robert and Richard Myers to solicit donations. The outpouring was so great that within 45 days The Mission had raised over $40,000. This was followed by the First Annual October Fundraiser Dinner, which raised $80,000. In 2018 The Mission was entirely privately funded, with expenditures around $171K. All the members of the Board of Directors donate monthly to The Mission. We are also committed to transparency; our books are open to anyone who wants to see where the donated funds go.
What Does The Mission Offer?
The Mission offers more than handouts and warm showers. These services allow us to establish relationships and start conversations. Through these relationships, we offer encouragement and counsel to improve people’s physical and physiological conditions.
We train and equip those struggling to become competent, self-sufficient individuals who can break the cycle of homelessness. The Mission offers job training and basic computer skills. In the future, we plan to offer vocational programs to teach trades. We also provide support for those who need to break substance abuse patterns. However, the one need we could not meet was a place to sleep. We needed some way to get them out of the woods, so for the last five years that has been our prayer.
The Mission is called to serve the poor in our community by providing both temporary housing and job training. Since 2013 we’ve wanted to offer temporary or emergency beds for single men and women. In 2018, in honor of her late husband, Ms. Renee Kessler donated a property, The Steve Kessler Care Center. These three separate buildings and five individual units will be used for both temporary emergency beds and classrooms. In January 2019, with the help of St. Mary’s Roofing and Home Improvement, Christmas in April, and folks from various churches across St. Mary’s County, we began the process of rehabbing these buildings.
Organizational Growth, and Property Search
Since early 2017, the Savage Group (a Christian Consulting Group) has been working to establish The Mission as a transparent and solidly-built Christian organization. In early 2018 they started a new phase to secure a property which will facilitate a men’s vocational center with room to build a woman’s facility, as well as build a solid income/donor base to meet the financial needs of the various ministries. This process is ongoing, and we ask that everyone keep The Mission in prayer as the Lord leads people to help in great ways.
In 2017, when St. Mary’s County Department of Social Services asked the Mission to develop a budget class, we jumped at the opportunity! Classes started once the course was developed and approved. Although attendance, in the beginning, was minimal, St. Mary’s County later made the classes mandatory for all county residents who requested emergency funding or who enrolled in a special program which allows a person to rent to own their own home. This program has been highly successful with other agencies now asking for the class.
Who Operates The Mission
The Mission currently has one full time employee (Jean Harmon) who runs The Mission Dayroom and counsels the many people who come in daily. Many other people volunteer their time to help Jean run the daily operations and carry the load of keeping our doors open 365 days a year. These dedicated helpers wash towels, clean showers, and put on the Sunday Breakfast which serves 50-60 people or more. We are truly blessed to be able to serve our community through the work done at The Mission.
Note from the Executive Director
Thank you for visiting The Mission website. If you are just learning about The Mission, please visit our Facebook page. Our FB page has info on the many things currently happening at The Mission or at the Steve Kessler Care Center. I hope this website has been informational and helpful in finding help, telling you who we are, or even helping you decide whether to support our good work.
If you have any questions, please call The Mission at 240-718-8911.