Every day someone loses a loved one to the opioid crisis. In 2016 in Maryland, heroin and other opiate overdose deaths rose to over 2,000 — doubling the number recorded in 2015, and four-times the number of people killed in automobile accidents in 2016 in Maryland.
In response to this epidemic, Gov. Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency and pledged $10 million to help battle this crisis. The governor’s FY2019 budget includes a capital grant to the Westminster Rescue Mission of $250,000 to make improvements to the original, residential building on its campus.
These renovations are part of the Mission’s Strategic Plan to expand to serve more and to provide our long-term, faith-based, residential treatment program for women. For the past 50 years, WRM has served men battling alcohol and drug addiction. Now the vision is to expand to provide treatment services to women as well, who suffer the devastation of addiction, just as men do.
As the first step toward becoming a licensed behavioral health provider, the Mission recently received preliminary accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). This accreditation demonstrates that the Mission is managed with the highest professional standards of excellence in areas such as financial management, personnel, and health and safety. Also, CARF has determined that services are delivered with attention to safety of our clients, and that we work with each client to develop an individualized plan to promote his lasting recovery and physical, emotional and spiritual well-being.
Our campus also includes two detached houses: the original stone house (which dates back to the 1800s) and a small modular home. Through charitable grant funding, the Mission plans to renovate these homes to serve as transitional housing for our graduates as well as for individuals from the larger community who want to live in a sober, structured and supportive environment.
Additionally, six days each week as a part of work therapy for our clients in recovery, the Mission collects and provides surplus food for 700 households every month through our on-site food pantry, through four monthly community outreach events, and in partnership with over 30 other community organizations such as churches, public schools as well as many local soup kitchens and homeless shelters. For many years the Mission has developed our program to help provide food to our neighbors in need.
Since its inception, and with the generous support of donations from the community, the Mission has operated a thrift store. Today, The Mission Store is located on our campus and provides an opportunity for the community to purchase quality, used items at bargain prices. Through a voucher system, the Mission also gives clothing and households goods to those who face circumstances of extreme hardship. Recently, in three different instances, people who had been offered jobs needed clothing to be able to accept their new positions and the Mission was able to provide assistance.
The Westminster Rescue Mission has been a blessing to our community for over 50 years. As we continue to grow and improve we welcome your support. We depend upon your financial assistance, donations of items for re-sale, and your prayers. If you know someone in the throes of addiction, please encourage them to call us for help. You are invited to come for a tour and see for yourself the many ways we serve the local community.
Angela Phillips is the director of development for the Westminster Rescue Mission. Reach her at email@example.com.