Stories that Inspire.
Victories to Celebrate.
DIRECTOR’S NOTE – Let’s talk about alumni
This month I connected with five past graduates of our Life Recovery Program, and three clients who didn’t complete the program. These connections fill my heart and encourage me. They remind me to show grace to current clients, especially the troublemakers!
In recent years, the Mission has been focusing intently on alumni. We do this to provide support to our graduates. If things aren’t going as expected in the real world, they have a support network to keep the pieces from falling apart. This means our graduates are less likely to relapse back into homelessness, addiction or poverty. And if they do, they have support of peers and staff, so their relapse is significantly shortened. As Benjamin Franklin said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Even if a graduate isn’t facing struggles, an alumni network gives them an easy and fulfilling way to serve. I don’t know about you, but when I’m feeling depressed or out of sync, serving the Kingdom of God always seems to center me.
Some of our efforts to provide support to alumni are intentional. We invite them to graduations, weekly classes, and outreaches. Occasionally a graduate leads a daily devotional for current clients. One of my great joys is to reconnect with a graduate at our annual Christmas or Thanksgiving banquets.
We also have alumni support that’s happened totally organically. For instance, one of our 2019 graduates is working for one of our 2020 graduates. Another graduate from 2018 hired a 2019 graduate. In another case, two graduates from 2019 hosted a dismissed client from 2020 who needed a place to stay. As well, once a week, a donor, a former client and a graduate get together to play disc golf. One of my favorite anecdotes: as our local partner Good Samaritan was opening temporary emergency shelters at the start of the pandemic last year, they were using our graduates to staff it! We’ve even had two graduates make financial contributions in the past 12 months.
These examples of employment, sustainable and safe housing, stewardship, and fellowship are what our organization is all about. It all happened because of the life change clients experienced in the Life Recovery Program at the Mission. We want the least of these in our community to know Central Coast Rescue Mission will help them. With the help of volunteers and donors, we want to help end those destructive cycles. Alumni networks mean those cycles remain ended so we can pour lots of effort and resources into new clients, and ultimately end homelessness and addiction on the Central Coast.
Stay connected with the good work the Mission is doing, and learn more about the people we help.