the sunday breakfast mission is a shelter for homeless men, women and children. it serves the homeless, the addicted and the impoverished. that more or less comes from the description of themselves. they have alot of people who support them here in delaware and the surrounding area. they also have their share of critics. in this blog i'm going to tell you what i think is right about it and the services it provide
first of all they do exactly what they're designed to do. they have a long term alcohol and drug program and from what i've seen, for a mission or shelter, it probably has a better success rate than most organizations of comparable size and type. they protect their "residents" and generally will support them thru the duration of their program and recovery. one of the most striking things i've become aware of about this recovery program is also one of the more simple things that alot of recovery programs fail to recognize. at the end of a program, alot of organizations have a tendency to rush you out the door. "you've completed the program, god bless, good luck...good bye." from all indications and from what i've observed, the sunday breakfast mission does the opposite. if you complete the program, you have more than ample time to seek employment, school or housing without the added pressure of knowing they are anxious to open the door on the way out for you. just because you complete a recovery program does not mean you are in complete recovery. it means you are well on your way to recovery. but the pressure of having no job, having no place to live and basically being in the same position you were in when you walked in the door, except for being in recovery, can be overwhelming. i think it is the single biggest cause of relapses and a return to your addiction. the mission gives you that time without feeling rushed to regroup and begin a new start in life. i admire them for this and i think it a very big positive in their whole recovery outlook.
the mission provides a relatively clean and safe environment for its overniters....the street homeless. it's not the hotel dupont, but for a mission that serves the homeless and sees as much traffic as it does, it is kept clean. it is also a safe environment that you can enter without worrying about violence, theft or worse. yes, it has its moments when some of the homeless get out of line and cause a ruckus. but it is usually brief, not that extreme and it is handled quickly by the staff there. they have a zero violence policy....as well they should....and violence is met with a no service penalty....as well it should be. it provides a safe refuge for the homeless to come at nite to stay off the streets, stay safe and get some much needed rest and sleep, another positive for the mission is the fact that they do not put a time restriction on the overniters as far as the duration of their stay. they do not limit the number of nites you can stay there on a montly or yearly basis. i think this is a very unnecessary and heavy burden for the homeless when you attach a time limit to the refuge they desperately need.
the mission serves dinner at nite and breakfast in the morning to the homeless. it is usually a decent meal and it is served in an environment that is clean. the meals are usually not too bad and it is well organized and efficient. the community is also allowed to participate in the evening meal and invariably there are people from the surrounding neighborhoods who come there to enjoy a meal. children are present and in observing them, seem unfazed by their surroundings. this meal prevents them from experiencing hunger and it also relieves the parents of the burden of worrying about their children and where that meal is coming from. the staff treat ...as they should....the children with extra attention and provide them with as much of an enjoyable surrounding as is possible under the circumstances. as long as you come before the serving line is shut down, i've never seen anyone walk away hungry from the mission. even if they have to pull out the reserves or scramble to find a substitute if they run out of the main meal....they always manage to feed the hungry people that walk in the door.
on rainy days or very cold days the mission opens its doors early so the homeless won't have to be in the extreme elements. the year that katrina came thru, they were open to the homeless for two days. from what i understand there were several homeless who chose to take refuge there for those two days and they were well cared for and they were safe in a very difficult time. just the fact that they open their doors early on very rainy or very cold days is a very compassionate thing to do for the homeless.
the staff is courteous for the most part toward the homeless. they're not abusive and they don't mistreat the homeless. tom laymon, the ceo of the mission is surprisingly accessible. if you have a major concern about the mission, its staff or incidents that occur there , you can actually speak with him if you go thru the proper channels. he is not isolated or detached from the every day operations or occurrences at the mission. he walks thru and among the homeless and seems to be very aware of the people. he seems to a compassionate and courteous individual and has guided the mission well in his time there.
the mission also serves the community in other ways, such as a food pantry. food pantries are second to snap benefits as being the biggest reason this country doesn't experience a large hunger problem. it does prevent hunger and provides food and nutrition to countless thousands of people yearly. they also provide a clothing closet where you can pick up some items if you need to. the mission also serves the community in alot of other ways such as giving away fully loaded backpacks at the beginning of the school year and giving toys to families for their children at christmas. there are numerous other programs and events that they participate in that i won't detail here. but the bottom line is that the mission is a invaluable member of this community and serves those families and individuals who are not homeless and provides a much needed and often under appreciated service to them. to the homeless...it is a life saving organization and it should never be underestimated or under appreciated for its service and value to them.
the mission is a christian and faith based organization. it never waivers or falters in the core beliefs or principles of the christian faith. it has not and will not bend to the demands of non christian organizations, individuals or other religions and allow them to compromise their beliefs or guidelines. you can utilize the services of the mission if you are of another religion, but not at the expense of the christian faith. while you are inside the doors of the mission you will adhere to the principles and conduct of the christian faith. in a time of surrendering our christian values to minority faiths and religions i have to applaud the mission for this stance. it is refreshing, admirable and a bold stance that all christian organizations should heed. if you don't agree with their beliefs and it offends you to hear about god, pray or respect the christian faith you are free to spend the nite at a mosque, synagogue, temple or strip club. but while you stay at the mission you will respect the principles of the christian faith and respect those that apply it.
there is alot more about the mission that they do right. but for space and time purposes i think you get the general idea. the mission's creed says they serve and assist the homeless, the addicted and those struggling with poverty. indeed they do....and in a very efficient and compassionate manner. well done sunday breakfast mission.....well done.