• Report: #604822

Complaint Review: Galesburg Rescue Mission

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  • Submitted: Wed, May 19, 2010
  • Updated: Thu, June 21, 2012

  • Reported By: RipoffsAreReported — Galesburg Illinois United States of America
Galesburg Rescue Mission
435 E. Third Street Galesburg, Illinois United States of America

Galesburg Rescue Mission Galesburg Homeless Shelter Forced religion in exchange for food and shelter, kicked out if you don't agree Galesburg, Illinois

*Consumer Comment: The truth of the matter

*Consumer Comment: Those who've seen the scene.

*UPDATE Employee: I don't think so...

*Consumer Comment: Rules? Yes! Extreme Rules and religious dogma? No!

*Consumer Comment: Just Not Right

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Darlene is a secretary at this rescue mission, and a huge bitch. If you don't agree with her and the owners stupid demands, then you are not allowed to argue about them. If you do, they kick you out onto the streets.

You are forced to follow their religion and be present for their daily services. If you are unable to be there, you get kicked out.

You are NOT allowed to own a cell phone, or you get kicked out. Even if the cell phone will help you get a job or a new place to live, or to keep in touch with loved ones. If you have one, you are gone.

If you argue with the owner, employees, or volunteers, you get kicked out.

They are allowed to do random drug tests, and if you refuse or fail you get kicked out.

If you want to just eat there for lunch they are allowed to drug test you. On top of that, you have to be there for prayer before you eat lunch.

The entire organization is run by ego driven individuals and go against everything that christians claim to be about. This organization needs to be shut down and their non-profit status taken away. They are a huge fraud taking advantage of the system and getting free money from government and donations. The owner is fat and well fed, and so are his employees. I wonder if the money they get is spent on the homeless, or if they are just stuffing their faces and living lavish.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 05/19/2010 08:57 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Galesburg-Rescue-Mission/Galesburg-Illinois-61402/Galesburg-Rescue-Mission-Galesburg-Homeless-Shelter-Forced-religion-in-exchange-for-food-a-604822. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
0Author 5Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Comment

The truth of the matter

AUTHOR: Unbiasedtruth - ()

 Everyone's comments so far are valid to a point. Although id like to make it known that just because you have an outside opinion on a statement made, do not discredit its validity.

The fact of the matter is this. There are many human right violations as well as many laws being broken in the name of Jesus Christ at this facility.

I had to stay there on a couple of occasions in the past only to be more put off with each instance.

Upon my initial intake there I was asked some very personal questions about my past and present that held absolutely no relevance to my needing a roof over my head. These included questions about my upbringing (mother father siblings) and my relationship with them. As a recovering addict speaking with a person whom I felt was on the level, I disclosed personal information about my upbringing. That I was raised by my mother who had a drinking problem. That the lifestyle I was raised in potentially led me to the drug abuse I was involved in etc. Then the man doing the intake said something that made me want to jump over the desk at him. He said my life is a wreck because of my w****** mother and that because I was raised a b******. And that a life with Jesus will set me free from my bonds with the devil. 

How dare anyone say that to anyone, especially someone who is in a vunerable  position.

As well I was not allowed to attend NA meetings that were less than a block away because they practice a God of your own understanding. That was the final nail in the coffin for me. My cleanliness and "my god of my understanding" mean more to me than anything. 

Everything else that's been said prior to this comment by people who have "been" there as a resident are completely true. To those who have either donated to them or just have sever religious mental disorder and cannot see anything for its truth and can only digest what's feed to them by thier religious captors. I can understand your frustration with thinking this place isn't on the level. It hurts to think that something so fundamentally wrong as this goes on behind closed doors.   

Religion is forced on people and free thinking is not allowed. The word Hell, and your going there is used freely to scare people into their radical belief system.

When it comes to the rules. Yes its true there has to be rules in order to maintain a certain level of management. Yet the rules here are extremely abrasive, one sided, and non conducive to a stable environment. Just because a person is homeless does not make them any less valuable, it does not make them an automatic threat, it does not make them need "your" god. It gives them no right to your food stamps, nor give them the right to pass judgment on you that your going to buy drugs with them, it gives them no right to your personal property, your a resident not an inmate. A persons phone and the timing of a potential job opportunity calling you can mean the difference in independence and loss in hope. 

I stayed there no more than 4 days and had to leave upon my own discretion because I couldn't handle the drama of the people who run it. I needed my NA meetings, my phone, my link card and self esteem to continue to grow on a spiritual basis. Staying there was retarding my inner growth and any opportunity at finding a job and independence. I opted to sleep under the NA canopy at night than to live another day there. Horrible.

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#2 Consumer Comment

Those who've seen the scene.

AUTHOR: g. minor - (United States of America)

As a homeless man and a member of the National Coalition for the Homeless Field Quality Assurance Dept., I can tell you first hand that the Galesburg, Il. shelter is not on the level. I personally walked out from staying at this "converted high school" (which did little good for the Danville shelter, as the local V. A. will agree), when they demanded I turn over my food stamp card (with PIN number) to them. They said it would go towards stocking the pantry. When I explained that I was one of the few rare breeds of disenfranchised that "eats every dollar of my food stamps" (due to a hypoglycemic condition requiring constant maintenance and many food allergies that limit what I can generally eat), they then said it was to prevent me from inappropriately using it for financial gain. First of all, all agencies that felt they were rather quite competant in issueing us disenfranchised folks food stamps will clearly state that it is very much against the law for one to give up there food stamp card and PIN to anyone, and that anyone trying to coerce such a matter is breaking the law. Second of all, a place like the Galesburg shelter should be getting a load of donations and financial support from government (not to mention recognition as a C-3 religious based tax-exempt charity organization), corporate (large or small), private busines, and residential sources, and should not exact any resources from the poor (save the occasional chore, perhaps) they promise to support. The appropriate conclusion to the famous saying (as Dr. Thomas Szasz would put it) is "Don't bite the hand that feeds you, unless it prevents you from feeding yourself." Furthermore, I have since heard from a number of sources that the Galesburg shelter has come under some terrible scrutiny for it's embezellment and misappropriation of funds (fat vacations in Quad cities), and that much of it's resources are being channeled to Tea Party financing (which makes me question the motive of the person-"Think again Tim"-and who they may be covering for or wether they're just a person that hates to think they've contributed so much to a fraudulant facility). I highly encourage folks to investigate the entire plains region and how other shelters operate. A religious service should do no severe damage (at least Fairhaven in Covington, KY. lets one eat before the service), but to coerce a program that restricts freedoms (the Terra Haute mission run by Owen Davenport is a fine example of the worst abuse in imprisoning folks) does not empower them. It all seems to go along with many conservative agendas that believe that all homeless folks are mentally ill substance abusers that need to be locked-up, shoved out of sight, and processed. After all America is a "sacred and unquestioned science", correct? If someone should fall, it's not the systems fault, right?! Katrina. Detroit. Cabrini Green. Eugenics.-all just happenstance and negligence of the individuals who suffered most-eh? Now, think that over, because there's more-much more. Granted the misappropriation may be heresay, but so did I think was the human trafficking/pedophilia going on between Peoria, Bloomington, and Champaign, until months down the line I came across a news article citeing that the chief of police for Champaign was caught in the very same operations.  No. There are many shelters run and operated on the most basic and fair level, but far too many of them preform highly illegal misappropriations of funding and human rights violations, and not enough of them get caught (unlike the Long Island shelter in Boston). One will never know-even the slightest-until they decide to go "undercover" for an entire month (on limited resources) and see firsthand how things are run. Hint: the worst homeless situations in a shelter and/or given town are generally rotten if all the sensible homeless have done the "Guthrie" and moved on to better pastures, leaving only the most impaired (who should not ever be used as a guage in judging the general homeless population). After all, there are always better situations out there (shelter and/or town) that prove a better success rate at re-empowering peoples lives. You can not see that only from the  affectatious foyeur of a facility that one is dropping donations off at. Don't buy the grins and promises and vain praises. Let the works prove the fruits of an organization claiming to be charitable. 
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#3 UPDATE Employee

I don't think so...

AUTHOR: TimBrown - (United States of America)

So, the person who wrote this complaint came for help on *his* terms, wanting free food and shelter at the same time? As one who has donated to the Galesburg Rescue Mission, I don't think I appreciate that. You put your feet under someone else's table, you need to grow up and obey their rules, or just not stay there. The building is open and you can leave. No one is holding a gun to your head. Leave!

The initial rebuttal actually contains factual errors. Now, I'm not going to dignify some of his characterizations of the staff, I will write it off as a lack of appreciation for what the facility did to try to help this person. However, it is an outright untruth to say that the residents are not allowed to have cell phones. They are. But they are restricted in their use. They must check them in and out. WHY? *Because past experience has shown that many will use the phones for illegal activities while in residence at the Mission. Can you say "contact my drug dealer"? Or should it be "ok" to commit illegal activities while enjoying the benefits of free room and board? But the rules are there to stop such behavior by some and experience shows that the rules my apply to all.

Forced to "follow their religion"? Again, I *don't think so*. Yes, residents are required to attend chapel. But they are not "forced" to become Christians. This accusation is just silly. Again, if you don't like attending chapel, leave, buck up and pull yourself up by your own bootstraps!

But see, the mission staff cares enough to share with you how you may have forgiveness of sin and eternal life! You will spend eternity either in Heaven or H**l. Don't curse the fireman for trying to help you out of a burning building!

Drug tests? You really have a problem with this? Why? Again, the mission, any mission, deals with people who have been using or are simply addicted to drugs. Again, illegal activity. If you stay under my roof, you can expect to be accountable. That's being a grown up.

The rest of this is silly stuff. Talking about the weight of the staff, etc., and apparently implying they are living high off the hog from the donations. Two words -- "Yeah. Right". I know these people and nothing could be further from the truth.

But from the falsehoods in this "complaint", it would appear that the truth doesn't matter.


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#4 Consumer Comment

Rules? Yes! Extreme Rules and religious dogma? No!

AUTHOR: Giselle - (U.S.A.)

As with any shelter, you HAVE to have rules. Otherwise, things will get crazy and chaotic. You have to create a safe environment for everyone. But, I agree, this business of forcing religion down peoples' throats is wrong wrong wrong. Kicking people out on the streets for not accepting your religion or with-holding food is wrong and hardly christian. Refusing to allow an individual their cellphone is insane!

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#5 Consumer Comment

Just Not Right

AUTHOR: Cory - (U.S.A.)

They shouldn't have all those rules and regulations at a homeless shelter. You ought to be able to come and go as you please, just show up at meal times and when you're ready to crash. What business is it of their's if you can afford a cell phone? They're there just to hand out the free stuff. You ought to be able to say and do anything you want. It's your business if you have the money to buy drugs and use them. It's just not right. As a footnote, they just built a multi-millon dollar "homeless" shelter here in town with a cafateria, dorms, classrooms and medics on site. Problem is, few of the "homeless" want to follow the rules, like the OP, so it goes pretty much unused. What a hugh waste of money. The other problem is that all the dozens of different organizations that USED to help the homeless, got CUT OFF from any city funding because all their "homeless" budget went into that one big project. Now they're trying to go it alone.
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