Programs & Services

Your support of the Rescue Mission equips us to reach out to men, women, children, and families with the Good News while meeting physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and practical needs. Your support results in transformed lives and hope for the future. We do this primarily through the following programs and services:

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Skills for Success – Job Training Program

Skills for Success is a construction skill building program where individuals strive to gain meaningful career opportunities and employment through a construction trades program. Participants who complete the program will receive a certificate in Carpentry/Masonry from Mohawk Valley Community College (MVCC).

The program will enroll approximately 15 students. The Rescue Mission, along with its partners, will provide assistance with job placement, upon graduation. Participants will take two semesters of carpentry and masonry classes, through MVCC, for a total of 41 college credits and will complete the program with a state-recognized certificate in Carpentry and Masonry; along with OSHA 10 certification and Lead Abatement. Classes run M-F from 8:00 am to 2:30 pm.

The curriculum is designed to provide the students with the knowledge and experience needed to enter various construction fields. Each semester and course will consist of both classroom theory and direct hands-on experience. Hands on experience will come in the form of rehabilitating a vacant home in the city of Utica. Safety procedures are emphasized. Graduates will be able to find employment, upon completion of the program, in many of the building trades.

Attacking poverty by equipping individuals with skills for successful and meaningful employment.       

In partnership with:

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Download Brochure

For more information, contact: 

Jim Haid, Executive Director at 315-735-1645 x101 or email:

Ernie Talerico, Director of Operations at 315-735-1645 x112 or email:

Download an application, complete and please return your application in one of the following ways:

  • Mail: Rescue Mission of Utica, 212 Rutger Street, Utica, NY 13501
  • Email (as PDF): -or-
  • Fax: 315-793-8211

Articles published about the program:

Observer Dispatch – Skills for Success program helping participants learn construction trade

MVCC News & Releases – MVCC and Rescue Mission team up for Skills for Success program


Parker House Aftercare Program

The Rescue Mission believes that change begins within. Men who are committed to overcoming their drug and alcohol addiction can enroll in the Parker House Aftercare Program. The 6-9 month, 15-bed facility provides good meals, free clothing and godly counsel. Residents participate in:

  • Outpatient services at a local facility of their choice
  • The Morris Learning Center, where they work on education goals, including training in computer and job skills
  • Weekly meetings with the Mission Chaplain
  • Spiritual guidance through chapel services, devotions and Bible studies

Contact the Parker House Aftercare Program at 315-735-1645 x140 or email
Please visit our Alumni Page.

emergency shelter

Emergency Shelter

 If you are in danger, dial 911 The 28-bed Emergency Shelter provides safe lodging, meals, clothing, critically needed counseling, education, advocacy and referrals to agencies that meet the needs of the clientele. The overall goal is to help homeless people improve their quality of life, become self-sufficient and get reestablished in the community. Ours is the only emergency shelter of its kind from Syracuse to Schenectady, New York. In 2015, the Emergency Shelter provided 12,551 shelter nights of care to 642 homeless men; 86% of them ultimately found permanent housing. The shelter, which can expand to 34 beds with overflow, was at or beyond capacity 128% of the time. Our average length of stay per individual was 22 days. This continues to be due to economic challenges and lack of affordable housing and employment. Stan’s Story of Hope: Stan had been staying at our shelter for the past several days. At morning devotions he shared how thankful he was for the Mission. “When I came to the Mission I thought I would stay a few days, but I can’t tell you how welcomed I felt. The staff cares about me and wants to help me have a better life. First they took care of my immediate needs and then helped me get some appointments scheduled. They even transported me to my doctor’s appointment – I have trouble with my legs – so I didn’t have to walk in the snow and ice. I have never felt so loved and cared for!”

Contact the Emergency Shelter at 315-735-1645 x150 or email

Addictions Crisis Center

The ACC is a medically monitored withdrawal service, meeting the needs of those who are intoxicated by alcohol and/or other substances, who are suffering from mild withdrawal, are in a situational crisis and are unable to abstain from those substances. In a motivational, safe, structured setting, clients are screened for the presence and severity of chemical dependency and/or medical and mental health services. Duration of stay varies, with a maximum of 14 days. For those entering a long-term treatment program, the stay may be extended to 21 days. Residents are educated while waiting for access to treatment in the areas of HIV/STD testing and prevention, the bio-psycho-social-spiritual benefits of maintaining a lifestyle of abstinence, and preparedness for long-term treatment. The ACC is a 20-bed, medically monitored facility regulated by the NYS Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS). This 24-hour-a-day treatment center for men and women is FREE to all clients for withdrawal from alcohol or other substances.

In June 2016, the Mission implemented a new Peer Support Advocate program to help those who struggling with addictions. Click here for more information on this important ministry.

Program requirements include:

  • 18 years or older
  • Unable to abstain from substances without admission to ACC
  • Likely to complete withdrawal and enter into treatment
  • Able to meet all physical requirements for services

Resident must meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Intoxicated or under the influence of a psychoactive substance
  • Experiencing a situational crisis
  • Is at risk of suffering from mild withdrawal
  • Is in danger of relapse

Residents are provided with:

  • Food, personal hygiene items, clothing and safe shelter
  • Laundry services
  • Spiritual counseling (as requested)

Frequently Asked Questions:

“Do I have to be homeless to enter ACC?” No. “Do I have to be intoxicated?” No. “Do I have to pay for treatment?” No. All services are free to all clients. “Can I come to ACC if I am currently engaged in treatment?” Yes.

Contact the Addictions Crisis Center at 315-735-1645 x163 or email
       Nick’s Story of Hope: Nick was admitted to the ACC in 2008. He actively participated in the group therapy sessions and worked stringently with his counselor to achieve and maintain the goals set forth in his treatment plan. Nick was referred to Insight House outpatient and the Rescue Mission Parker House program. He successfully completed both treatment programs and has now moved into the Rescue Mission’s transitional house. Today, Nick is a full-time student at MVCC working toward his degree in Chemical Dependency in hopes of becoming a CASAC (Certified Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor). Nick is a true example that with hard work, dedication and love for the Lord, all things are possible. “Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)

spiritual life

Spiritual Life Program

The Bible tells us to “go forth and make disciples” (Matthew 28:19-20). “The primary emphasis of the Rescue Mission’s Spiritual Life Program is to train men in the principles of the Kingdom,” states Mission Chaplain Rick Johnson. These principles include:

  • Spiritual assessment
  • Spiritual counseling
  • Bible study
  • Spiritual surveys
  • Baptism
  • Chapel services (6 pm Sun. & Wed.)
  • One-on-one and group sessions
  • Assistance into the local church
  • Marital counseling and reconciliation
  • Life-skills education and training

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20).

Learning Center

At the Rescue Mission, our focus is not just about getting people off the street. It’s about helping them build a foundation for a changed life. Important to that change is providing the educational support and tools toward becoming gainfully employed and/or to further their education. At the Learning Center, participants are provided with resume-building assistance, job-readiness skills, interviewing skills, access to employment searches online, and professional clothing for interviews. The Learning Center uses a self-paced, computer-oriented model of study. It offers a safe place where men and women can work on academic and vocational skills, and set healthy life goals while working to remove barriers to employment. Each student is initially assessed for academic aptitudes and career interests. Our staff then crafts an individualized plan of study to help the student progress toward personal goals. Certificates are awarded in various subjects such as reading literacy, computer aptitude, math and vocational skills. Since its inception in December 1998, nearly 1,000 students have participated in the program, and more than 2,500 certificates have been awarded.

To learn more about the Learning Center, call 315-735-1645, x221 or email The learning center can also use volunteers!
David’s Story of Hope:David, a Learning Center grad, says, “For 14 years, I smoked crack. It took everything away from me. I checked into the Mission and a staff member gave me a Bible. After several months, I gave my life to Jesus Christ. I have been studying at the Mission’s Learning Center. After a lot of hard work, I passed my GED! Now, I am a straight-A student at MVCC.”

Representative Payee Program

Serving 648 individuals in 2015, the Representative Payee Program provides bill paying and case management services to people in the community who are unable to manage their own financial affairs. Staff assists clients in developing a budget for payment of rent, utilities, living supplies, food and other necessities. Clients are primarily referred from Social Services, Veterans Administration and Rescue Mission programs The program is also ready to assist people seeking assistance on their own. The staff assists clients by helping them with developing a budget; payment of rent, utilities, living supplies and food or other needs; collaborating with other community services to ensure that they are living in a safe, clean and comfortable environment.

To learn more about the Representative Payee Program, call 315-735-1645, x223
Margaret’s Story of Hope: Margaret was living in a home in Oriskany that had no utilities or running water. She became one-half owner when her father passed in February. She was referred to us by Adult Protective due to a number of calls from Oriskany police. The original plan was for rep-payee only as they thought her problem was only money management. When Margaret moved to Utica, her SSI benefit stopped as SSA saw the house as an asset. It took almost two months to come up with proof that her half-share of the current value of the home was an asset after all liens were resolved. Many Utica agencies were involved in helping her settle, including buying furniture and other necessities. Her SSI issues were resolved and she is doing much better living at Historical Apartments.

enriched living

Enriched Living Center

The Enriched Living Center is a New York State-licensed, 52-single room residential program for adult men and women with mental illness. The program is based on the principles of Psychiatric Rehabilitation. Staff are available on site 24 hours each day. Major services provided include:

  • Medication management
  • Transportation services to medical appointments
  • Community-based healthcare each week
  • Phlebotomist services
  • Pharmacy services
  • Adult daycare program through the local community
  • Social recreational activities
  • Representative payee services
  • Case management services
  • Crisis intervention
  • Education and counseling

Contact the Enriched Living Center at 315-735-1645, x120 or email
Patty’s Story of Hope: Patty ran away from home at the age of 16. A life controlled by drugs and mental illness kept her homeless and wandering from state to state for more than ten years. Today, she is a resident at the Enriched Learning Center and says, “I am so happy to be at the Mission and to have a place to call home. I feel safe here. The staff encourages me and gives me stability. They are my guardian angels.” “For the poor will never cease from the land; therefore I command you, saying, ‘You shall open your hand wide to your brother, to your poor and your needy, in you land.’” (Deuteronomy 15:11)

Community Services

We place a high value on our outreach services to Utica and the surrounding community.

AnnualRep15_18bEach food box provides 21 meals for each member of a family. Not only do we provide the food, but also counseling, advocacy and referrals to help with other critical needs. We strongly believe it is important to keep the family together in their homes and not have parents bring their children to the Mission for meals. If we can provide the food, along with additional services, we can keep people living in a safe, healthy environment, thus avoiding homelessness. A common theme of people coming to us for food boxes, some for the first time ever, has been the rising cost of living — too much month at the end of the money. We have seen a substantial increase in the number of food boxes given out in 2015. Some 2,921 food boxes helped 3,379 individuals for a total of 61,341 meals.
 If you or someone you know is in need of this free service, call 315-735-1645, x108.
AnnualRep15_03a Through the generosity of a caring community, we continue to provide free clothing to all residents and area community members. In 2015, a total of 13,287 pieces of clothing were distributed to 1,956 men, women and children. Our community clothing program is managed by volunteers and is open to the community two half days per week.
Located at 218 Rutger Street. Open every Tuesday & Wednesday from 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm.
20120201_gc_071a Free, nutritious meals are available during breakfast, lunch and dinner to anyone from the community who is hungry. In 2015, 14,755 meals were served. At our traditional Thanksgiving and Christmas day meals, volunteers delivered 2,820 meals to area shut-ins.

Request our Annual Report “Bringing Hope in the Time of Need” and learn more about our programs and the people whose lives have been changed.