Souls Harbour Rescue Mission: A Place of Help & Hope
For nearly 30 years, Souls Harbour Rescue Mission has been serving Regina’s inner city by providing essential services like food and clothing, along with a healthy dose of hope and support.
“Our mission statement is to rescue people from poverty, addiction and life issues through emergency services like food, shelter, clothing, and by providing those basic human needs. We share the Gospel message at the same time, to help address spiritual needs,” says Joe Miller, the executive director of Souls Harbour.
On an average weekday, Souls Harbour feeds 250 people — a number Miller says has stayed consistent over time. They also offer a wide range of programs, including a Men’s Emergency Shelter, the Little Souls Daycare and the Green Earth Daycare, affordable housing options, a youth centre and the Shayil Home Women’s Addiction Program for women and their children.
“Our Women’s Addiction Program is unique because a woman can come with her kids and they can go through the recovery process together,” Miller adds. “It’s a three year program. No one has to stay the full three years, but the option is there. The first year focuses on being clean, or sober, whatever the addiction may be. The second year is called a P31 program and they pick a stream. Maybe they want to go into ministry, complete their GED, or do education and training, and they also have the option to work and gain experience.”
Throughout the three years, the women have access to the daycare, ensuring trusted care for their children as they complete the program. Souls Harbour also has an endowment fund and uses the interest from the fund to provide scholarships for the women.
“There are always people in our addiction recovery programs,” Miller says. “We have success stories of people who have gone on to pursue education, get a job and get married. We’re very focused on dealing with one situation and one person at a time. We offer ‘real answers for real people.’ ”
With the focus on individuals and their needs, Souls Harbour has the ability to offer a whole continuum of care, from taking someone from the street and addressing their immediate and basic needs, to supporting them with housing, daycare, training and more.
Originally two separate charities, Souls Harbour began as the Souls Harbour Mission House, which was founded in 1990 by local Gerri Carroll. What started as serving coffee to others out of her own basement grew to Carroll feeding nearly 60 people each day as word spread that her place was a safe place to go to.
In 2007, Souls Harbour Mission House merged with the Regina Rescue Mission, which was a long-term recovery program started in 1999 by Ken and Michelle Porter. With this merger, they took on the name Souls Harbour Rescue Mission, and have been working together for over a decade to serve Regina’s community.
Miller says that of their $3.5 million annual budget, less than 10 per cent is government funded, and 90 per cent comes from the business community, social enterprise, affordable housing and donors. As a non-profit, Souls Harbour also does fundraising throughout the year, and recently had their Love Your Neighbour Banquet, which raised $100,000.
“The banquet is a chance for us to celebrate and share a variety of success stories with those who support us. This was our 16th year and we had almost 500 people attend. We heard from one tenant from our affordable housing and what it meant for him to have a safe, stable place to call home where he can focus on rebuilding his life. We also heard from a graduate of our Women’s Addiction Program and from some volunteers. Everything raised at the banquet goes toward supporting the general operating costs for the year,” Miller explains.
As of May 1, Souls Harbour has also moved in a new direction, taking over the operations of Riverside Mission in Moose Jaw. Miller says they’re looking forward to bringing their expertise and efficiencies to Riverside, and right now, they are in the process of looking for land.
“Once we have land, we will start a building campaign for a new facility there,” he says. “The need is everywhere; it doesn’t go away. I wish I could say we can help nine out of 10 people, but in the end, if we help one, two, three or four, then we’re still helping individuals and they’re still getting a second chance.”
To donate or get involved, visits shrmsk.com.