The Rescue Mission

The Rescue Mission is a not-for-profit organization headquartered in Tacoma, Washington. The Rescue Mission works with people at all stages of homelessness, addiction, or other life challenges, offering proven services and support facilities. The Rescue Mission originated in 1912 to serve homeless men in Tacoma and now the Rescue Mission also serves women and children in all parts of Pierce County with six different locations.

Since the Rescue Mission had its 100th birthday this year, there was a gala in March and number of events throughout the summer including open houses to show the community what the Rescue Mission is about. Kari Engelson, director of interns and volunteers at the Rescue Mission, shared what she thought about the organization, “I think it is a phenomenally run non-profit. There are a number of other jobs in the non-profit world that I think are well run as well. We’ve been around for 100 years so we must be doing something right. People who come out of our drug and alcohol recovery program are outstanding citizens. The Rescue Mission is extremely awesome in all the ways it functions. We’re extremely high tech when it comes to our GED classes, we stream between two campuses the downtown campus (men’s shelter, male drug and alcohol recovery program, and soup kitchen) and Adam’s Family Campus (for single women, individuals, and children as well as another drug and alcohol recovery program as well).” The downtown Rescue Mission is located at 425 South Tacoma Way Tacoma, WA 98402 and the Adam’s Family Campus is located at 2909 South Adams St. Tacoma, WA 98409.

Kari disclosed the best thing about the Rescue Mission, “The amount of lives we are able to change on a day to day basis. I have an internship program and tell the interns that no matter how bad your day is at the Rescue Mission somehow a life has been changed. For example, through our drug and alcohol recovery program, GED courses that we offer, a case manager helping a family work through an issue, a housing manager that helps find someone permanent and stable housing, or someone who walked in and gets a meal and that was how their day was better.”

Kari discussed what many people may not know about the Rescue Mission, “We are much more than a male shelter and soup kitchen. They think of our downtown campus and not the women at the Adam’s Family Campus, the transitional housing, drug and alcohol rehabilitation program, and GED classes that we offer.” Kari mentioned the uniqueness of the Rescue Mission, “The people that we have working on our team: employees, interns, and volunteers. It is the heart, drive, and passion behind every employee and volunteer that makes us capable of changing the lives that we do. Our CEO David Curry and COO Elis Taylor are encouraging staff members and ensuring we’re taking care of ourselves so we in turn can take care of our clients efficiently and effectively.”

There are a couple upcoming events the Rescue Mission will feature for the community to learn more about them: Saturday, August 18, 2012 from 2 pm to 4 pm there will be the 100th birthday celebration of the Rescue Mission at the Adams Street Family Campus located at 2909 S. Adams St. Tacoma, WA 98409. There will be a BBQ, jump toys for kids, crafts, games, a balloon man, face painting, and more. Kari stated: “We strive to teach our clients that being part of a community is really important in making our community better.”According to Kari, there will also be a yearly luncheon in October that will take place two days in Lakewood and in November for two days in Puyallup. Kari commented: “It’s another great opportunity to get involved and learn more about the Rescue Mission. Details will be posted on the website soon.”

Kari concluded: “We have such a huge need all year round. We get so much help during the holidays; it’s a huge, huge blessing. Every other day of the year we do the exact same thing as we do on the holidays. We feed the same clients, through our “Need a break program” where clothing, toiletries, and small appliances are provided as well as small car repairs. Emergency housing is always open and people coming into the shelter. All donations whether in-kind, clothes, foods, unused grocery items, or donation of time, volunteering options, and money options are always very welcome and needed.”

For more information about the Rescue Mission, please visit:

By: Carly Calabrese, staff for

1 thought on “The Rescue Mission”

  1. My family and I would like to volunteer, we have three children, 8,9 and 10 who are interested in helping. We are a Jesus family, and would like to volunteer after Christmas, since your need seems greater then. Please let us know how we can help.

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