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Mission helps homeless get back on track

  • St Mary's County
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Lexington Park, MD -- The Mission in Lexington Park offers a lot more than just handouts to the homeless, they offer a hands-up and a way out to those in poverty.

Back in 2013, when U.S. Marine Veterans and brothers, Richard and Robert Myers, along with Mark Aldridge, started the faith-based organization, they wanted to serve the Lord by serving the poor and homeless of St. Mary’s County.

Their motto was to offer whatever folks needed when they walked in the door.

They offered a food pantry, showers, clothing, haircuts, computer use, Sunday breakfasts, and transportation. They soon realized that other services were needed to help the poor and homeless become competent, self-sufficient individuals who can break the cycle of poverty and homelessness.

Finding the funds to provide those services has been a challenge. For the first three years, The Mission's founders funded the organization almost entirely out of their own pockets. They didn't actively seek donations, but did accept them if someone offered.

In 2016, with their bank account running low, the Myers brothers began to solicit donations and held their first fundraiser in October of that year, raising $80,000.

The Mission continues to be entirely privately funded.  All the members of the Board of Directors donate monthly to The Mission and the organization prides itself on its open books, should anyone want to see how the money they raise is spent.

With just one full-time employee, The Mission relies on volunteers and partnerships with groups to provide services to the needy and help those with substance abuse or mental health issues find the help they need.

The center currently offers a budget class, which St. Mary's County made mandatory for all county residents who requested emergency funding or who enrolled in a special program which allows person to rent to own their own home.  This program has been highly successful with other agencies now asking for the class. The Mission wants to expand that program as well as provide on-site job training.

They are currently in the process of rehabbing three building to serve as a residential job training facility that offers both classes and a safe place to stay. These dreams are going to require money. That's why this year's fundraiser for The Mission is more important than ever.

The Mission’s 4th Annual Fundraiser and Silent Action will be held on Thursday, October 24 at the Hollywood Volunteer Fire Dept from 6-9 p.m.

This 5-Star semi-formal event, which includes live music is open to the public. Individual tickets are $39 and their are several sponsorship levels available.

Go to http://www.Themissionevent.org or http://www.seekingshelter.com for more information or to purchase tickets.

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