Frequently Asked Questions

To help provide a complete picture of the services of the Rescue Mission, here are frequently asked questions with answers to help guide an ongoing conversation around helping people move to wellness, hope and recovery. Working together, we will continue to reduce the numbers of those experiencing homelessness, addiction and poverty in our community.

Do you have to be Christian to receive services at the Rescue Mission?

No.  No one is required to make a profession of faith to receive a meal, a safe place to sleep or any of the other resources offered here.  If anyone would like to learn more about Christ, we are here to talk, share and pray together.  This is never forced on anyone.

The Mission Statement of this Rescue Mission is “Helping Hurting People in Jesus’ Name.”  We strive to create a safe place of welcome for all people regardless of their faith or lack of faith.  We love because Christ first loved us.

In addition to comprehensive care ranging from food, to emergency shelter to long term residential treatment for addiction, to medical care and case management, we offer Christian chapel services, spiritual direction, prayer, or just a quiet place to reflect.

Who can eat at the Rescue Mission?

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served at the Rescue Mission daily, 365 days a year, to anyone.  Often positive steps out of crisis start with a hot, nutritious meal.  All are welcome for food and fellowship.

In addition to on-site dining, the Rescue Mission offers a food box distribution every Saturday starting at 8am.  People can drive up or walk up one Saturday a month to receive a food box weighing 60-80 pounds filled with canned goods, meats, vegetables, pastas, rice, breads and pastries.  Larger families with more than four members can get multiple boxes based on family size.

In 2021, nearly 14,000 Manna food boxes were distributed and over 100,000 meals provided.  All this is possible thanks to partners who provide over 1.5 million pounds of food annually.

Are beds available for those needing Emergency Shelter?

Yes.  We currently have 257 total emergency shelter beds.  There are additional beds for men and women seeking long-term residential treatment for Substance Use Disorder in the Way Forward Recovery Program.

We are exercising COVID precautions.  During this time, individuals presenting for shelter are asked to provide a recent COVID test (within the last 24 hours) or participate in a quarantine process.

We ask that individuals participate in case management to maintain services.  Services to the shelter are not limited by a particular number of days but an individual’s active participation in case management.

Space is always available for those needing a safe place.

Can an intoxicated person enter emergency shelter?

Yes.  Again, we have no requirements, outside of the current COVID precautions as mandated by the CDC for emergency shelters, to enter emergency shelter.  Guests cannot actively use substances while onsite.

Does the Rescue Mission keep 75% of emergency shelter guests income?


When an emergency shelter guest meets with a Case Manager for the first time, the conversation starts with helping the individual get a valid form of identification and if needed moves toward an assessment of strengths to help the individual obtain employment.

Employment support can take many forms including helping guests complete applications, connecting them to hiring managers and organizations looking for skill sets the individuals have, going with them to the interview, and then arranging transportation once they are employed.  Staff continues to monitor the guest’s progress and even helps to coach them if challenges with the job arise.

Once employed, guests invest in their future by saving 75% of their income to create the resources needed to move into safe, affordable housing.  This money goes into a bank account and guests are connected with financial counselors with the goal of paying off any outstanding debt that would stand in the way of getting into permanent housing.

As doors open for housing either through housing vouchers offered through partners, or a stabilized financial situation and savings, 100% of a guest’s savings come back to them to pay first month’s rent, utility deposits, etc.

At any time, guests may withdraw their savings either in part or in full and receive this within 2-3 business days.  Again, we ask that guests participate in case management to maintain services.

Can someone be suspended from services at the Rescue Mission?

Suspensions from services are rare and there are always second-chances at the Rescue Mission.   Suspensions are needed in cases where behaviors create safety concerns for others in emergency shelter.    Suspensions in these cases are temporary except in extreme cases and usually can be removed with a conversation with the Emergency Shelter Manager.

What additional resources are available in the Women & Children’s Center?

The Women and Children’s Center, located on-site at the Rescue Mission’s main campus, provides comprehensive crisis intervention services for single women as well as moms and dads with children. Many, if not all, women experiencing homelessness have also experienced abuse and domestic violence so additional precautions are provided in this standalone facility.

Children and families have a dedicated chaplain who coordinates services including connection to schools, transportation, childcare, afterschool programs and other enrichment activities. This is done with Roanoke City Public Schools and other partners.

What other services does the Rescue Mission offer?

In addition to 3 hot meals a day (breakfast, lunch, and dinner), emergency shelter, case management and the long-term addiction treatment program:

  • Clothing is provided at no charge through the Rescue Mission Thrift Store
  • The Fralin Free Clinic, located on-site at the Rescue Mission offers comprehensive free medical clinic services. The Fralin Clinic is led by a volunteer Physician as Medical Director, and is an active member of the Virginia Association of Free and Charitable Clinics.
  • A variety of classes are offered from helping people get their GED, to improving math and reading skills, and more.
  • Once housed, the Rescue Mission offers Aftercare follow up for individuals and families moving out of emergency shelter into permanent housing to reduce recidivism back into homelessness.

Our goal is for people to find health, hope and healing as a part of their stay at this Rescue Mission.

How does The Way Forward Recovery Program work?

The Way Forward Program is a long-term, residential, faith-permeated and holistic approach to recovery from Substance Use Disorder.  This program is directed by an Addiction Counselor with more than 20 years of professional and personal experience in treatment and recovery.  Coaches who guide participants are Peer Recovery Specialists who are either certified or in the process of becoming certified.

We offer a 12-15 month commitment-based program.  Classes include a variety of evidence-based and faith-permeated offerings.  Intakes happen daily based on availability and pre-screening.

The Way Forward Recovery Program provides a place of grace for all seeking an intentional lifestyle change.

Who is welcome at the Rescue Mission?


What is next for the Rescue Mission?

As the face of homelessness is constantly changing, we are preparing for what the future will bring so that we can minister the most to individuals and families in crisis.  We will continue to “Help hurting people in Jesus’ Name” while employing the latest research and strategies to prevent and alleviate homelessness, reduce addiction and end generational poverty.

How can I learn more?

Join us for a tour of the Rescue Mission.  Seeing the work for yourself is the best way to understand the comprehensive and compassionate care offered at the Rescue Mission.   To schedule a tour, call 540-343-7227 or email

The Rescue Mission is open 365 days a year.  We are here for you!  Call or stop by at:

  • The Rescue Mission: 540-343-7227, 402 Fourth Street SE, Roanoke, VA 24013
  • The Fralin Free Clinic: 540-777-7671, 321 Tazewell Avenue SE, Roanoke, VA 24013