Sleep-out event aims to turn compassion into action to end homelessness
I am compelled to reply to the letter concerning the polices of the Boise Rescue Mission. There are many inaccuracies about our services and our policies related to providing those services.
First, the Mission does not “... ban the LGTBQ community from treatment programs.” Our programs are open to anyone in need of the services we offer. In my 17 years as CEO of the Mission, I can say with certainty that it has provided services to many people who self-identify as part of the LGTBQ community.
The letter writer, Ms. Morrison, says that she had no idea that the Mission “... discriminates against anyone.” Perhaps that’s because we do not, nor are we “ignorant” or “intolerant.” We are honest and transparent regarding our faith in Jesus Christ, our belief in the Bible, and we try to speak the truth in love as he requires of us.
The only program of the Boise Rescue Mission that is “religious specific” is the New Life Recovery Program. This Bible-based, Christ-centered program has assisted hundreds of people to find long-term sobriety through a relationship with Jesus Christ and the teaching of the Bible, as well as other addiction recovery curriculum. The fact that we explain our program basis and philosophy in the application is so that every applicant understands what will be required of them if they participate in the New Life program.
There are other requirements that people will not accept and that is their choice. Our responsibility is to fully inform them, before they and we commit to their acceptance, that the Bible is the center and primary curriculum, our staff members are all Christians, and everything they will be taught in that program will come from that world view.
Faith in Jesus Christ gave me the strength to get sober 43 years ago. My faith also caused me to make many changes in my lifestyle and thinking, all of which made me a different and I’d say much better man, husband, father and citizen. My staff and I know from our own experiences that the power of God makes recovery from addiction possible and brings a new life of hope and peace.
We also know and believe that according to the Bible, John 3:17, Jesus did not come to condemn the world (individuals) but that the world (individuals) through him might be saved. Our hope is that by participating in the New Life program, people will be set free from addiction and find eternal life by faith in Jesus. Certainly, not everyone agrees with these beliefs. We do and we want to share them with others seeking a truly new life.
The Rev. Bill Roscoe is president and CEO of Boise Rescue Mission Ministries.