Homelessness is a tragic condition, one that strips its victims' dignity and reduces
their lives to a constant struggle for survival. A by-product of homelessness has long been hopelessness, as society's victims
were given little chance of escaping their station in life.
In Albany, however, the homeless are being given an opportunity to restore the dignity that life had taken from them. The
vision of a unique, caring man, and the donations of concerned citizens and volunteers have launched a program whose goal
is to eradicate this hopelessness and give the area's homeless a new chance in life.
"Street people" are a common part of cities like Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles and Washington D.C. but more and
more men, women and children in smaller cities like Albany have turned to the streets, victims of poverty, alcoholism, Drug
abuse and broken families. Officials estimate there are at least 300 homeless people living in metro Albany.
Larry Hample, who came to Albany in 1960 when he was stationed at Turner Air Base, felt an overwhelming sense of sympathy
and compassion for the homeless, helpless people he saw on the city streets. But, unlike most people, Brother Larry decided
to do something about it. "The Lord led him to do something for these homeless souls, and he responded to His call.
The result of that call is the Albany Rescue Mission, which houses homeless men,
women and children while feeding thousands of meals to the homeless each month.
"Society looks down on the homeless," Brother Larry says, "but God doesn't. God loves them. And when nobody
else can reach a desperate person, God can. That's what the Albany Rescue Mission is all about. We put it in the Lord's hands,
and He delivers blessings."
Since leaving his music business in 1990 to answer the Lord's call. Brother Larry and
volunteers at the Mission have housed approximately 45 homeless men and 20 women and children a month and fed more than 9,000
meals each month. Receiving no government or United Way funds, the Mission depends solely on the generosity of individuals
"We never know where our funding will come from," Brother
Larry says, "We do what we're led to do, and the Lord's provides."
Brother Larry initially took men off the
street and into his central Albany home. But he eventually bought an apartment complex, which was renovated by his homeless
"Guests." Those buildings at 604 North Monroe now houses 45 men and is the heart of the Albany Rescue Mission. The
Mission then converted a small building on the corner into a chapel and a peanut warehouse into a thrift store, which is,
ran solely by the Mission residents. Also in recent years a retired doctors office was acquired in Albany, which has been
converted into a women and children's division of the Albany Rescue Mission.
While living at the Mission, the residents take part in a 90-day "New Beginnings" program. After making a commitment
to change their lives, residents in the program diligently study the Bible and attend three daily chapel services. They work
during free time, either at jobs they've obtained in the community or on Mission projects.
As with any venture of this kind, Mission volunteers have witnessed overwhelming successes while assisting others who continue
their struggle. Although many have made it, many men and women have not been so successful at there struggle, but as long
as there are caring people here at the Albany Rescue Mission the doors will always be open to help those in need.
We have one of the greatest feeding programs in the south. We feed the public 3 meals a day, 365 days a year. We are always
in need of non perishable food items. How can you help? You or your business or church can help us with non perishable food
drives. Another area is our Thrift Store down at 614 W. Roosevelt where you can buy just about anything at very low prices.
You can also help with donations of useable items you would like to donate. You can call the Thrift Store to arrange a pickup
of your items.
Serving over 100,000 meals annually and providing
clothing and food bags for the homeless and needy families in Albany are monumental tasks, requiring endless hours of work
from Brother Larry and other volunteers. But Brother Larry wants to do more, and with the help of a caring public he will
be able to better meet the needs of the area's homeless.
We need your help
in several areas. Prayer: Everyone should pray to God that the needs of the hurting people in our community are meet. Materials:
Donations are needed to support our Mission Thrift Store and to provide materials to give to the men and women for the personal
usage (i.e. Soap, deodorants, tooth paste, and tooth brushes etc.). Personal Involvement: We need volunteers at the Mission
as well as the Thrift Store. Financial Support: Any donations are appreciated. But we especially need commitments for regular
monthly support. Please send your donations to:
Albany Rescue Mission
604 North Monroe Street
Albany, Georgia 31701
Ministry: (229) 435-7615
Thrift Store: (229) 431-1125
Please Visit The Mission Web Site at albanyrescuemission.org