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When asked, panhandlers often have seemingly legitimate reasons for refusing help from The Rescue Mission. The tall tales may actually be true, but you’re probably not hearing the whole story. Here are some of the most common excuses you may hear, and the truth behind them:

The Tale: "The Rescue Mission won't let me work."

The Truth: The Rescue Mission offers several programs, each with varying levels of commitment. When residents first arrive, life coaches make program recommendations based on an individual’s specific issues and goals. Some of these programs involve searching for employment and housing, while others have an employment and a recovery component. Our long-term program is focused exclusively on recovery, and residents are asked not to work until completion.

The Tale: "The Rescue Mission won't let me have my medication."

The Truth: In most cases, we require residents to continue taking their prescribed medications. However, due to the potential for abuse and illegal activity, we do not allow narcotic pain medications or other controlled substances on our premises. Our staff works with residents and their doctors to obtain other acceptable medications.

The Tale: "The Mission would make me get a job, and I'm unable to work."

The Truth: We believe that working and earning a living builds self-esteem and helps people feel needed and connected to society. But we are also sensitive to underlying physical and mental conditions that render some people unable to secure work. Residents who verify a physical or mental disability with a doctor’s statement are supported to apply for disability and participate in programs that are compatible with their needs.

The Tale: "I was kicked out of The Rescue Mission."

The Truth: No one is kicked out of The Rescue Mission, they choose to leave. We provide many housing options for individuals to stay at The Rescue Mission. We do our best to help everyone who walks through our doors, but occasionally residents are asked to leave. This only occurs after a resident has repeatedly failed to adhere to The Rescue Mission’s guidelines. These guidelines, such as the request to abstain from drugs and alcohol, are all in place for a single purpose – to help people overcome homelessness.

The Tale: "I'm not within The Rescue Mission's district."

The Truth: Generally, The Rescue Mission serves Allen County and the nine surrounding counties. However, if a person ends up in our community for various reasons, no matter where they are from, we will do our best to accommodate them. If not, we will help them find safe shelter in their own community.

The Tale: "They wouldn't let me bring my pets."

The Truth: It is true that we do not accommodate animals. Sometimes we’re able to find animal shelters that can temporarily board pets. We also recommend that residents ask a family member or friend to care for the animal while they stay at The Rescue Mission. We never want our facilities to become a permanent home – and we always hope our residents can eventually be reunited with their furry friends!