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For 75 years in Pulaski County, Union Rescue Mission has reached out to help restore broken lives. During that span, the faith-based charity has transformed from its beginnings as a pastor’s soup kitchen into a shelter and recovery center for men and women.
The three-fold mission of the nonprofit is to provide a place of refuge for the abused, recovery for the addicted and rescue for the hopeless through the transforming love of Jesus Christ.
“What we get to do is a privilege,” said Derek Jones, director of recovery at Union Rescue Mission. “We get to see lives changed. There’s no better business.”
Supported by a staff of 26, Union Rescue Mission operates two Little Rock facilities on an annual budget of $1.7 million.
The nine-month drug and alcohol recovery program at its Nehemiah House is geared to homeless, addicted and disadvantaged men. With a capacity of 50, the facility serves as a base for workforce preparedness and connecting with mental health service providers.
Dorcas House annually provides emergency services such as food, shelter, clothing and crisis intervention to more than 400 women and children who have endured domestic violence. With a capacity of 60, Dorcas House launched its drug and alcohol recovery program in October 2009.
The nonprofit receives no federal or state funding. That’s a fiscal consequence to maintaining its Christ-centered principles for recovery. “We won’t waver on our stance,” Jones said. “It’s through the Gospel of Jesus Christ that people’s lives are changed.”
Union Rescue Mission is developing a Jacksonville property in which program graduates will live while transitioning into more independent living. The structured arrangement helps graduates maintain a recovery lifestyle and provides an opportunity for restoration with their family.
“About 75% of our people who graduate from the program stay clean and sober,” Jones said. “We want to see it get up to 90%. We want to be one of the top drug and alcohol recovery centers in Arkansas.”