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More About the Mission

Dear Rescuers

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Dear Rescuers,
Thank you to the community that helped us in our stay at the City Rescue Mission. My family was homeless for almost a year, but being at the City Rescue Mission was a good time. I got to learn about God and how He makes a way for people who love the Lord. I have a mom and five siblings and because of the community we were all safe and taken care of during the hardest time of our lives. So [on] behalf of my family, I want to thank you.
From “Ryan,” Age 13

“Ryan’s” mom came to the Lansing area due to a domestic violence situation. Her plans for housing fell through, leaving the family homeless. At the Mission, they were able to stay together. Mom worked with our casework coordinator and a number of local service agencies, many of whom come right to the Mission to meet with guests in-person.

This Christmas, the family will be celebrating the holiday in their own home. It was a long journey with many challenges. However, they prayed, worked hard, and grew closer as a family. Your gifts supported them, as you support many others. Thank you for your faithfulness, during the holiday season and throughout the year. Thank you for being a rescuer!

Merry Christmas

message from mark

“For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.” Romans 5:6

It is hard to believe that this will be my 20th Christmas at the City Rescue Mission of Lansing in a leadership role. I think my mother was right when she said, “You’ll be amazed at how fast time will fly when you get older.” It is odd that you never think you’d be able to relate to such a comment…until you do. The years seem to go so quickly that we have barely scraped the surface of planning for next year and the current year is ending. The needs in our community continue to increase, but God’s provisions through His people always meet the need. If someone asked me, “What is the biggest lesson learned in 20 years?” My answer would be split between, “God changes hearts through hearing the Gospel,” and, “God provides through His children.” Experientially, I can say this is true and they are both equally miraculous.

Over the years, I am confident that my focus during the Christmas season has shifted from time-to-time, based on the current need. I haven’t gone back to read our December newsletters and the “Message from Mark” but I am sure they vary from renovation projects, to food, to coats and clothing, etc. However, today, the most striking significance of Christmas to me is the reminder that God humbled Himself and became man for you and me. Just at the right time, Jesus Christ died for us. The power of the Gospel is that He enables people to see their sin and their need for salvation. This perfect timing is what began in the small town of Bethlehem in the region of Judea nearly two thousand years ago. Jesus’ servitude and humility speaks volumes of His love for us. This Christmas season, I pray the 250+ individuals will recognize what Jesus has done, just at the right time, beginning in a manger.

I am so thankful for how you have continued to give for this ministry of rescue, to enable us to stand firmly and not be ashamed of the Gospel. Thank you for making 2023 a successful year in meeting more needs and sharing the truth of Scripture to so many people. We look forward to where God will lead in 2024!

To God Be the Glory,
Mark Criss
Executive Director

Aging into Homelessness

rescue news

In the November newsletter, we highlighted the story of “Tony,” who had many challenges to finding a stable living environment due to rapidly declining health and issues with memory loss. Tony is only one of many, as we are witnessing not only the aging of the chronically homeless population but also individuals “aging” into homelessness because they do not have families to advocate for them and their longterm care. Of the 254 we served every night in October, 56 were seniors.

Sadly, with our medical systems and elder care severely overtaxed, it is deemed easier to deal with “emergency” cases, and when someone is staying at the Mission, they are not seen to be a priority. Unfortunately, we do not have the staffing or capability to accommodate those who cannot take care of themselves. For this reason, our executive director is working with local service agencies who specialize in elder care. Recently, he joined the Long Term Care Collaborative, and we hope this is a first step in finding long-term solutions for this vulnerable and growing segment of the homeless population.

Another Year of Service

mission expansion project update

Thank you for supporting us as we provide food, shelter, and hope in Michigan’s capital area. We have staff working 24/7 to provide a clean, safe haven in Michigan’s capital area. There have been many challenges in the past few years, and your faithfulness and compassion are so appreciated!

If you are interested in serving as the hands and feet of Christ in Michigan’s capital area, visit or call 517.485.0145.

Mitch and Candy

volunteer spotlight

If you have crossed paths with Candy and Mitch, you would recognize them by their genuine smiles and witty jokes. It is difficult not to notice their overflowing positive energy. Candy has been volunteering since 2019, and her husband Mitch joined her in 2022. Both are incredibly devoted fill-in calendar volunteers, giving the volunteer coordinator a call each month to fill in some much-needed gaps. Candy knew exactly what to expect from volunteering at other shelters, but each day, the couple take advantage of their time by showing love to the homeless with smiles, hugs, and so much encouragement. This is just one way they show the love of Jesus in their lives, and they hope that you will join them in providing food, shelter, and hope. If you hesitated to volunteer because your schedule does not allow you a regular time or you can only commit occasionally, you too can become a fill-in calendar volunteer. Contact the volunteer coordinator, fill out an application, and you will start to receive an email with monthly, open volunteer opportunities. You can choose the dates that work best for you. For more information, email, email