The Atlantic City Rescue Mission (ACRM) was founded in 1964 by John Fink and provided hot food and shelter to a few homeless men from a small storefront in Atlantic City. Since that time, the Mission has added or expanded programs over the years in response to the growing and changing needs of the people we serve.
- 1970: Mission moves to a larger facility on Bacharach Boulevard and provided shelter and a 90-day work therapy program for 27 men.
- 1975: Single women’s shelter opens as a separate facility that paralleled the men’s program.
- 1978: Casino gambling comes to Atlantic City. The clientele increases beyond the main facility’s capacity, and their problems became more complex.
- 1987: Family Life Center shelter opens at a nearby church in response to an increasing number of homeless mothers with children.
- 1990: Bacharach Boulevard facility expanded to accommodate a total of 312 people, and the women’s programs are relocated to this site.
- 1990: Overcomers Program started - a residential program addressing drug, alcohol, and gambling issues.
- 1996: Preschool opened in the Family Life Center for the homeless children residing with their mothers.
- 1998: Barnabas House acquired - a transitional housing facility in Wildwood, New Jersey, for male graduates of addiction recovery programs.
- 2000: Women’s Overcomers Program started
- 2003: 90-day Work Readiness Program expanded to a 120-day program to include job preparedness classes.
- 2003: Three collaborative programs started: Mission Healthcare, the Crisis Diversion Unit for homeless mentally ill, and the Partial Care Day Program for homeless mentally ill.
Today ACRM helps over 3,300 homeless and working poor people per year and is the largest provider of comprehensive services to about 20% of the entire state of New Jersey’s homeless population. ACRM is also unique in that it serves unsubsidized clients.
ACRM’s budget has increased 33% over the last five years as we added programs and staff members to meet the increase in the number of people requesting help. In 2008, ACRM provided services to 2,312 men, 728 women, and 79 families with 146 children. ACRM served 260,376 meals in the dining hall and 100,404 meals in food baskets. In addition, 98,894 beds were filled, an average of 270 per night.