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: The Mission moves to a larger facility on Bacharach Boulevard, providing shelter and a 90-day work therapy program for 27 men.
- 1975: Single women’s shelter opens as a separate facility that parallels the men’s program.
- 1978: Casino gambling comes to Atlantic City. The clientele increases beyond the main facility’s capacity, and their problems become 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 expands to accommodate a total of 312 people; the women’s programs are relocated to this site.
- 1990: Overcomers Program starts - a residential program addressing drug, alcohol, and gambling issues.
- 1996: Preschool opens in the Family Life Center for the homeless children residing with their mothers.
- 1998: Barnabas House is acquired - a transitional housing facility in Wildwood, New Jersey, for male graduates of addiction recovery programs.
- 2000: Women’s Overcomers Program is started.
- 2003: 90-day Work Readiness Program is expanded to a 120-day program to include job preparedness classes.
- 2003: Three collaborative programs are 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 have 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.