The Mission staff addresses a person’s problem based upon the perception of the person in need. The goal is to establish a relationship, to show people that the Jersey Shore Rescue Mission cares about them, wants to help, and that the staff and volunteers at the Mission can be trusted. The Jersey Shore Rescue Mission’s Emergency Services play an important role primarily in the community of Asbury Park and Monmouth and Ocean Counties.
The Mission serves a hot dinner to whoever comes through our “Welcome Room” door. Dinner is followed by a Christian Chapel service at 7 p.m. which is open to everyone. Men who stay in our emergency shelter also receive a light breakfast in the morning.
Under the Homeless Shelter Emergency Program, a man with transient status may stay at the Mission and sleep in our shelter for approximately ten days. The Mission takes in almost any man ‒ there must be a good reason for a man to be turned away. The chapel is under constant supervision for the men’s safety and well being. Men can shower, have their clothes laundered, and enjoy a safe, clean, drug-free environment. With extensions, a man may stay up to 30 nights during the year. The mission works in cooperation with many other community services to assist men staying in our shelter, including Monmouth County Social Services, local day programs (particularly for mental health), veteran’s services, the Visiting Nurse Association, etc…
Some of the people referred to the Mission cannot be helped here. If the staff of the Mission cannot help an individual directly, then they do their best to help him/her by giving a referral to a more appropriate agency or group. The Mission staff gives referrals to detox centers for alcohol and substance abuse, the local emergency room or public health clinic for medical assistance, or to a crisis intervention center for mental health disorders. Women with or without children are referred to the appropriate agencies. A new program brings in visiting nurses who perform ambulatory physicals every Tuesday afternoon to whoever wishes to receive that service. Whatever the need, the Mission staff tries to meet it, such as providing assistance to obtain food stamps, social security cards, and birth certificates.
Jersey Shore Rescue Mission also works in conjunction with Monmouth County for Code Blue alerts. When the county declares a code blue alert, the mission keeps it’s welcome room open during the daytime hours as a warming shelter for men, women and children. Code Blue Alert nights are not counted in the maximum stay for men in our Emergency Shelter. The mission refers women, children and men who cannot stay at the Jersey Shore Rescue Mission during Code Blue nights to a providing shelter.
The store gives clothing, furniture and other household items to needy families or individuals. A pastor or social worker might refer someone to the store for some needed items, and the Mission always tries to meet their need. The county and city of Asbury Park refer people here, so the store is a good source of community goodwill. Most items ‒ from furniture to bicycles and dishes and all types of clothing ‒ are donated by individuals in the community.
In the fall of 2006 we started an annual Coat Giveaway where we give out approximately 1500 free coats to those in need. We will continue our coat giveaway each fall.
The emphasis of the Emergency Services Program is on bearing an individual’s burden. These services are offered and delivered with nothing asked in return. Many of the people coming to the Mission for emergency shelter are suffering from drug and alcohol abuse, which makes these programs ideal feeders for the Christ Centered Life change program.