Rescue Mission has many success stories

Rescue Mission has many success stories

Wednesday, November 24, 2010 SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

The Rescue Mission of Trenton, the recipient of this year's Times Holiday Appeal, is dedicated to remaking and reshaping lives. The mission can cite dozens of individuals who have sunk to the depths of despair from their addictions but are now productive members of society.

Alvin Ruiz is a graduate of a local Catholic grammar school. He attended prep school until he was in 8th grade and graduated from a prestigious local Catholic high school.

Life was good for Ruiz until he got caught in a web of drug and alcohol abuse, and things went downhill very quickly. In a few short months he was homeless, sleeping in an abandoned car with mosquitoes coming in through its broken windows.

"It took a lot for me to come to Rescue Mission of Trenton; if I didn't come I probably would be dead today," said Ruiz. "I never saw myself as an addict. Until you recognize that you have a problem, it's impossible to address it."

Ruiz first entered the mission through its emergency shelter. He was referred through the mission's Homeless Addiction Treatment program to Vince's Place, its residential treatment program. During his stay at the mission, Ruiz acknowledged his disease and gradually began his recovery.

Today he has a good job, a house in the suburbs, two cars, a dog and six birds. He has half a dozen suits in his closet and goes out to dinner quite often with his lady. He has made tremendous progress in remaking and reshaping his life.

Since its founding in 1915, the mission has been the agency in the city of Trenton that serves men and women in need who have no place else to turn for shelter, clothing and food.

Funds from this year's Holiday Appeal will be used to support the Rescue Mission's broad range of programs for the homeless, the hungry, the transient and the addicted.

Hutchinson Industries has pledged to match the first $25,000 raised from contributors, challenging the community to be generous this holiday season.

To make a donation in support of helping to rebuild the lives of Rescue Mission clients like Alvin Ruiz, please make your check payable to The Times Holiday Appeal and mail it to Times Charities Inc., P.O. Box 416045, Boston, MA 02241-6045.

All gifts will be acknowledged in The Times. Anonymity will be granted if requested.

For more information about the Rescue Mission of Trenton, call (609) 695-1436 ext. 102 or go to


Click for Donation Form

98 Carroll Street, P.O. Box 790 * Trenton, NJ 08605-0790