Partnership helps Mission address key link in breaking cycle of homelessness

Baker Nursing PartnershipBaker Nursing Partnership with Topeka Rescue Mission Ministries [Photo Courtesy WIBW]The Topeka Rescue Mission is partnering with the Baker nursing program at Stormont Vail to provide developmental assessments of the children, all of whom are homeless or formerly homeless.

"Developing appropriately gets them ready for kindergarten, making sure that they can interact with kids their same age," said Lynn Fergola, APRN, with Stormont Vail Pediatrics who oversees the students as a clinical adjunct with the Baker program. "A lot of the kids here, because of their background, don't have the resources that some other kids in the community might have. They tend to all further behind in school because they can't keep up."

Fergola said the students use what is called the Denver Assessment to evaluate the children in four developmental areas: social contact, fine motor skill, language and gross motor skill.

TRM quoted in CJ Online Article on Homelessness

Home Advocates Searching Abandoned BuildingHome Advocates Searching Abandoned Building [Photo courtesty CJ Online]

‘There are a number of people who don’t want to live in close proximity with anyone,” said Mark DeGroff, of the rescue mission. “They don’t feel like they fit in ‘normal’ society. That’s why they want to live so remotely. They deserve our love and they need our help, and we want to help them.”

DeGroff said it is important for the social service and law enforcement agencies to work together to find the homeless in Topeka on the “Point in Time” count day and for “wraparound” services throughout the year.

“We don’t want to enable them, but we do want to help them stay alive,” he said. “We do want to love them and we do want to wrap services around them and we do want to work together so we know where people are so that we can help them.”

Speakers: "Difficult work" is necessary to uplift Topeka

Rev. T.D. HicksRev. T.D. Hicks [Photo courtessy CJ Online]

“What we had here today was a great huddle. We need for you to leave out of here and break the huddle and run the play.”

Those words from the Rev. T.D. Hicks, emcee and former football player, echoed to 750 people attending the Greater Topeka Partnership 2018 annual meeting. They summarized the message presented at the meeting: Take action.

Community leaders attend 12th annual luncheon

Frank Henderson at 12th Annual LuncheonFrank Henderson at 12th Annual Luncheon [Photo courtesty CJ Online]

Several community members were honored for their professional leadership and community service in Topeka at this year’s 12th annual Executive Leadership Recognition Luncheon.

Among those recognized were Frank Henderson Jr., the Deputy Director of Topeka Rescue Mission Ministries and Regina Franklin the Executive Director of Women Empowerment.

Operation Street Reach helps many battle bitter cold

Operation Street Reach helps many battle bitter coldOperation Street Reach helps many battle bitter cold [Photo courtesty CJ Online]

The bitter cold temperature can turn deadly within minutes.

It’s why volunteers and staff from the Topeka Rescue mission walked outside for hours Monday. 

A team of four faced the cold for the second time in 24 hours New Year’s Day. 

Hundreds fed at the Topeka Rescue Mission for Christmas

TRM Christmas DinnerTRM Christmas Dinner [Photo courtesy KSNT]

Inside the Topeka Rescue Mission, was a time for dozens of people to grab a meal, take a gift home and be thankful during the holiday season.

“This is awesome,” Tiwana Hester said. “There’s nice, good food here. And I’m blessed.”

Blessed knowing that Hester and her four kids can join other Topekans in the dining room as one big family. The Christmas dinner wasn’t just for people living at the Rescue Mission, it was open to the entire community for free.

Secret Santa delivers cheer, positive message to TRM

Santa Delivers Cheer to TRMSanta Delivers Cheer to TRM [Photo courtesy CJ Online]

A Secret Santa spread a message of hope and joy Thursday afternoon at the Topeka Rescue Mission.

James Meador said Santa delivered a touching speech.

“It was amazing,” he said.

Santa, who arrived in a Topeka Police Department motorcade, was accompanied by three elves: Attorney General Derek Schmidt, Kansas Bureau of Investigation Director Kirk Thompson and Shawnee County Sheriff Herman Jones.

Super heroes crash TRM holiday party

Super Heroes crash TRM PartySuper Heroes crash TRM Party [Photo courtesty KSNT]

The Topeka Rescue Mission hosted a “Holiday Heroes” celebration Saturday afternoon.

The event featured super heroes like Batman, Robin, The Flash and Captain America. The fierce group worked to wrangle smiles out of kids in need.

“Don’t get me wrong, you should do this stuff all year long but when you’re giving during the holiday season remember those that are last fortunate,” said Justice League founder Batman.

TRM Ministries seeks additional funds

Barry Feaker SpeakingBarry Feaker Speaking [Photo courtesy CJ Online]

When Barry Feaker began working as executive director of the Topeka Rescue Mission on April 21, 1986, the homeless shelter was in a crumbling two-story red brick building a stone’s throw from the north bank of the Kansas River, where about a dozen men would find a meal, a bed and a chapel, but not a lot else.

Barry Feaker honored with “Portrait of Character” award

Tracey Stratton from Advisors ExcelTracey Stratton from Advisors Excel [Photo courtesty CJ Online]

Barry Feaker, executive director of the Topeka Rescue Mission, was honored with the first “Portrait of Character” award on Thursday in downtown Topeka.

“This is a lifetime of demonstrating good character,” said Noni Cremer, executive director of the Topeka City of Character, in describing the award that will be renamed in Feaker’s honor in 2018. “With all of his work over the last 16 to 18 years, he’s pushed out positive character building in our community. He’s always been there whenever we’ve needed something.”

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