Old Town Mission, a Christian faith-in-action outreach charity that has served the Verde Valley for more than 30 years, recently reopened after a four-month remodel that included new bathrooms, flooring and paint.
Located in a historic building built in the early 1900s, the Old Town Mission works with community members and partners to provide a food pantry, homemade meals, a homeless resource center complete with showers, breakfast, hygiene items, clothing, blankets/sleeping bags and other necessary things to withstand the year-round outdoor elements, a vision clinic and free legal counsel.
In addition, they do several annual outreach events like OPERATION: Back to School, The GREAT Turkey Give Away, Community Christmas Celebration, Kid’s Clothing Connection, Gift of Warmth Tent Event and several special holiday brunches for their neighbors in need throughout the Verde Valley.
The Old Town Mission is passionately focused on reaching homeless families with children. At any given time, there are more than 100 children experiencing homelessness in the region, according to their school liaison partners. The goal of Old Town Mission is to offer these families a comfortable and safe place to shower and clean up, get fresh clothing, eat a homemade meal and relax.
The facility has plenty of space to do homework or crafts, play a board game or watch a movie together. Providing and sharing these crucial resources with these families is so vitally important in keeping hope alive and offering new beginnings during challenging times.
Old Town Mission shares all their resources and works alongside their Mission Thrift Store so people who are in dire circumstances can shop for clothing, furniture or housewares using HOPE Vouchers to get the items they need. They also have a mini salon on-site that a licensed stylist provides haircuts free of charge to clients.
“Having a second chance makes you want to work harder.” -Tia Mowry
One particular program the Old Town Mission provides is the Second Chance Employment Program. In fact, nearly 80 percent of the nonprofit’s team is part of this program, which employs hard-working and responsible people that have barriers to employment. The organization’s goal is to “Re-Train, Re-Claim, and Re-New” lives through a stable job and steady income.
In fact, when the Old Town Mission embarked on its renovation project, the nonprofit hired someone that was an exceptional example of determination and success after a troubled past.
Olive Branch Contracting skillfully managed the remodel project at Old Town Mission, and the story of its owner, Sean, is one involving healing and recovery. Sean’s story is a familiar one where drugs, alcohol, and addiction became part of his everyday life. He had been in and out of rehabs since he was a teenager. After moving to the Verde Valley in 2018, Sean spent time in Steps to Recovery and Freedom House, local rehabilitation programs. Now clean and sober, Sean began working in construction in 2019, starting a handyman business. He got his Contractors License and then opened Olive Branch Contracting, which has three full-time employees and hires additional workers as needed from local recovery homes.
Other Old Town Mission's programs include The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP). This Federal program helps supplement low-income households by providing an additional food resource. The food boxes contain non-perishable items such as canned fruits/vegetables/meats, rice, pastas, beans, cereal, and juice.
The Old Town Mission leaders and supporters feel that it is truly a blessing and a privilege to serve their neighbors in need.