GUEST VIEW: Who can stay at Hope Rescue Mission?

By Daily News • Last Updated 11:28 am on Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Guest View | Barbara Vickery

Lately we have had several people express frustration that we wouldn’t allow their family member or friend to become a resident at the mission.

This has troubled me so I decided to share some reasons we have to direct people to other organizations that are able to help them better than we can. While we would like to help everyone that comes to us it is not always in their best interest for us to do so.

It is easy to be on the outside and become frustrated when you hear we did not help someone you know until you know all the details.

There are several limitations we have that other rescue missions do not have. When we received our special land use permit from the city of Greenville there were several restrictions. It is our intention to be the best mission we can be and not to be known as a flop house.

Because of our limited staff we will not house anyone who is unable to take care of themselves due to physical or mental handicaps. The pace and tone of a rescue mission program is too intense and too high functioning for vulnerable clients. We are not a nursing home or a mental institution and do not have staff to give proper care that may be needed. We can not allow anyone who shows any hint of suicidal tendencies to stay. For their safety and the safety of our other residents, they must find a facility that can deal with these issues.

We can not be open to persons who are currently incarcerated in prerelease, work release or similar programs, or persons on parole under the supervision of Michigan Department of Corrections. Each person shall have background check conducted and must have no outstanding warrants. No person with a criminal sexual conduct conviction will be allowed to stay at mission.

A resident must show they have been a resident of Montcalm County or within a 10-mile radius of Montcalm for a minimum of 30 days and must be 18 years of age.

A resident can not be on any narcotic medication. Any medication that has been prescribed by mental health, hospital and/or doctor must be on approval list and they must be able to show compliance to medication for a minimum of 30 days.

In most cases if a person has been connected with community mental health we will ask for a report on their condition prior to acceptance. If a person is under the care of a doctor for a specific medical condition we will request a report from doctor.

Alcohol and drug addictions , they must first go through detox prior to coming to shelter. Not staffed to help them dry out. (Liability issues.)

We are not like most shelters because we are a program mission. Most shelters will let people come and go as they please. Here they have to be serious about making life changes. Our goal is not to just give them a bed and food. Our mission is to give them the tools they will need to get on their feet. We offer an opportunity for them to acquire job skills, money management programs, nutrition programs and much more. If they are not willing to make the changes and work toward a better life we will suggest other options that may be available.

We also have an accountability program and a list of house rules. We ensure each potential resident reads and understands the rules before they decide to come here. If they do not agree with them then we will also suggest other locations. If they do not abide by them they may be asked to leave.

I am often asked, “How long can someone stay at the mission?”

The answer is as long as it takes to get someone on their feet.

We have had people stay as long as 1½ years. We have residents right now that are going back to school to get their diplomas and/or GEDs. This is not something that can be done in a short period of time. Also if someone comes in with an addiction it may take a long time to get a firm foundation before we even send them out looking for a job. If this takes as long as a year before we have them seek employment then that is how long they can stay. As long as a resident shows they are putting forth an effort is all we can ask. Can they all stay at the mission? I hope we were able to answer your question.

If you have any questions or have heard rumors, please feel free to contact me anytime at (616) 754-7951 or

 Barbara Vickery is the Executive Director of GLC HOPE Ministries and God’s Love Closet & Hope Rescue Mission

The opinions expressed in the Guest View do not necessarily represent the opinions of The Daily News.

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