Joe gestures person to come inside the door of Shelter KC

An Important Message from Rev. Joe Colaizzi, Executive Director

YOU’VE PROBABLY SEEN ONE — a roadside map with a red dot which proclaimed “YOU ARE HERE.” It was a simple way to get our bearings and see a path to get where we needed to be.

When Kansas City Rescue Mission began in 1950, we were very much like a rest stop on the highway. For men who, because of bad breaks or bad choices had lost their way in life, KCRM was a safe place to stop and find a little rest and a little refreshment. And, as we presented the Gospel message — a road map of truth to find hope and home — KCRM was like a spiritual “you are here” red dot.

But over the last 70 years, our culture — as well as the needs of the people we serve — has grown more complex and challenging. Along the way, KCRM stretched and adapted to meet the challenges while steadfastly continuing to present a clear and simple Gospel message. Today, KCRM provides not only hot, filling meals and a safe place to sleep, not only nightly chapel services ... but also health care, case management, educational opportunities, spiritual and mental health counseling, addiction recovery programs, transitional living, and career and job training resources.

And with even more opportunities just on the horizon, God’s promise in Isaiah 43:19 rings true today: “See, I am doing a new thing!”

For several years now, as we’ve seen this evolution of change, we have sensed the need for a new identity to better convey who we are in this new season. Like the red dot, we asked God to show us where we were on the map, and where we needed to go.

Encouraged by KCRM’s board of directors, we researched, we talked to Mission staff, we surveyed the community, and we asked ourselves difficult questions. Most of all, we prayed, and prayed some more. We asked God to lead us to an identity that fit ... and then He surprised us. God brought us to a word so common in the world of homeless ministry that at first we wanted to overlook it ... but He nudged us to look at it again. And we did!

As of September 2019, Kansas City Rescue Mission officially renamed to Shelter KC!

THE IDEA OF “SHELTER” EVOKES CERTAIN IMAGES and feelings in our minds. A tornado shelter is a refuge during a life-threatening storm. A shelterhouse in a city park is a gathering spot for friends and family to share a meal and to celebrate. We think of someone who has lived a sheltered life as having been kept out of some of the chaos of life, at least for a season. 

A shelter is a safe place, a place that stays steady in the struggle. A shelter is a serving place, where needs are met and help is found. A shelter is a sacred place, where truth is spoken and God is present. A shelter provides rescue, but so much more. A shelter is a refuge, a temporary home to recover, to strengthen, to heal, to learn, to find hope, to be restored. 

As we complete our 70th year of compassionate service to our community, we’re excited to become Shelter KC: A Kansas City Rescue Mission! 

Donate to help take into 70 more years of ministry!