Northridge Church has partnered with several local agencies dedicated to helping those in need in ways that “help without hurting.” One of those agencies is The Open Door Mission, a downtown Christian organization formed in 1952 whose mission is “to provide for the spiritual and physical needs of the impoverished and homeless men, women and children of Rochester, NY by restoring hope and changing lives.” The mission offers numerous programs for men women and children, including:
- - Men’s Emergency Housing
- - Community Meals Program
- - Christian Life Recovery Program
- - Clothing Distribution Program
The Mission’s Samaritan House Shelter on West Main Street provides meals year-round for those in need, including breakfast several times a week, and dinner served seven nights a week. As you can imagine it takes a fair amount of resources to make that happen. A small group of folks from the Simmonds-Rathbun community group recently volunteered to help with serving a dinner, and saw first-hand how organized and effective The Mission is at what they do.
The main course is prepared in advance at the Plymouth Ave. facility then brought to the Main Street kitchen for final prep and serving. We were given brief instructions, jobs were delegated and in no time we had an assembly line set up for filling plates with hot and cold food. “Runners” set up drinks at each table, and delivered the prepared plates. The patrons were very appreciative and courteous. Cleanup took only a few minutes, and the meal was followed by music provided by a wonderful band that frequently provides excellent worship music at the facility.
The entire event took only about two hours, which included a tour of the facility’s upstairs bunkhouse and a description of how things operate and what is expected of those who take advantage of the services.
Numerous volunteer opportunities exist at The Mission, and Northridge Serves can help you get connected if you would like to find out more about how you or your community group can serve and support this important local ministry. Contact us any time at firstname.lastname@example.org. (Please note, ODM is currently in transition in regards to volunteer coordination staff. This means setting up a time to volunteer may be more difficult and take more time than usual. Thanks for your patience!)