The History and Purpose of the Mission
The Community Rescue Mission has served the residents and homeless of Fort Smith for nearly 32 years in the River Valley. It provides social services in a Christian atmosphere for thousands of individuals each year. In the year 2008, the CRM served 52,631 meals and provided shelter to 773 individuals. 2010 our shelter took in 842 individuals providing them 10,524 nights of shelter, 133 were children, and served 56,500 meals to our community. In 2011 we sheltered 825 for 11,410 nights of shelter and served 59,577. These numbers continue to rise in our current economic crisis in America. Homelessness effects many people in the two-state area we serve. Fort Smith is located on the Arkansas/Oklahoma border, serving individuals from both states.
The Community Rescue Mission started with one family sleeping in Creekmore Park in Fort Smith. Help came through the form of one Christian businessman considering the homeless in harsh winter conditions, and another individual who was willing to serve the poor. The current property where the Community Rescue Mission has been established was purchased from the West Side Baptist Church. Through much work the church was converted into the Community Rescue Mission in 1981. The Community Rescue Mission was founded with a faith in God that transcends to those it helps. The mission consists of a chapel, called Hope Chapel, family section, mens dormitory, dining facility, laundry facility, day room, and showers for the homeless. It can currently house up to 70 people. Our chapel is called Hope Chapel, offering hope to the homeless through the local churches that provide services there.
Our Current Board of Directors consist of 19 churches from the local community. They are Christ the King, Evangel Temple, East Side Baptist, First Baptist in Van Buren, First Christian, First Lutheran, First Presbyterian, First United Methodist, Goddard Methodist, Harvest Time Tabernacle, Immaculate Conception, South Side Baptist, Sts. George & Alexandra, St. Johns Episcopal, St. Luke Lutheran, St. Paul United Methodist, Wesley United Methodist, and West-Ark Church of Christ.
These churches have committed their time and resources to assist the homeless and poor in the community. They also see the value of the mission as a referal for those seeking shelter funds or food from their churches.
To end homelessness in our community through Christ love. Providing emergency shelter,meals and employment guidance to those in a crisis or poverty. We provide food and shelter 7 days per week working with schools, law enforcement and many others agencies who meet people needing help.
The director is Brian Hilts who is from Fort Smith and has lived here his entire life. Brian is committed to serving the poor and is an advocate for them in the community. If you would like to follow Brian's blog, you may do so at: http://blog.fscrm.org/
You can also contact him by e-mail at: Brian@fscrm.org
We would like to thank the community for its generosity, hospitality, and kindness to the poor through it's generous donatons.
Gratefully in Gods service,
Community Rescue Mission