The first place a person off the street comes to at the mission to try to find relief from the streets is the Contact Office. The Contact Office is where they meet the first person on staff and where they are greeted and processed to begin their rescue. It’s also the first opportunity we have to make them feel loved, valued and safe. It’s the space where First Impressions are made.
The Contact Office is also the most dreary of all the offices in the entire building. The staff works in space that hasn’t seen a good cleaning or a new piece of furniture since the mission opened in the mid 90’s. It’s cluttered, dirty, dark, and unkept. It’s not the First Impression that says, “Jesus Loves You and So Do We”… so Deed and Truth decided to do something about this.
Thanks to Deed and Truth we put together a plan, purchased all new office furniture, and designed a new space to turn the Contact Office into a space everyone could be proud to work in and welcoming to our first time guests who are already traumatized and seeking shelter.
We planned ahead… rallied 25 volunteers on Friday and demolished the space. We removed every item off the floor, walls, and windows. Overnight we sanded the floor and painted it so it would be ready for the remodel the following day.
On Saturday we sanded and painted the walls, cleaned the windows, replaced electrical, did a deep cleaning of every square inch of the place. After lunch we were ready to bring in the furniture and set it up to function as a Contact Office again on Monday.
It is a night and day difference. The guests in the rescue unit on the first floor were looking through the windows with big smiles and giving us the thumbs up sign. It’s bringing life and light and renewal to a space and people who use it every day.
A special thanks to our Christian School friends all the way from Rancho Cucamonga and the Millennials from Eagle Rock church who put in the sweat and to all those who contributed financially to make this transformation happen. Deed and Truth is making a major impact on the Union Rescue Mission, it’s employees, it’s volunteers, and it’s guests. We hope that the transformation of the space plays a part in the eventual transformation of the individuals who enter the building… and their first stop is the New and Greatly Improved Contact Office!