In 1955 Rev. R.G. Jones and some Christian businessmen founded the Shreveport Rescue Mission for the purpose of providing overnight shelter and a gospel service for men passing through Shreveport. The first Mission was located at 2016 Texas Ave. for five years. It quickly became a sign of hope and help, not only for transient men, but for local homeless, hungry and hurting citizens as well. As the homeless population grew, the Mission relocated in 1961 to a larger facility at 2033 Texas Avenue, providing additional beds and services to homeless men.
For several years, a superintendent and a secretary conducted the day-to-day operations of the Mission. Many of these leaders and their families lived on the premises and personally provided services to the residents. The name was changed in 1992 to Shreveport-Bossier Rescue Mission to reflect an increased scope of services.
Due to increased unemployment in North Louisiana, the need for homeless services only increased. The number of homeless in this area grew substantially over the past decade.
To meet the needs in our community, the Texas Ave. facility was remodeled, a thrift store was established to help finance the Mission’s work, staffing grew, and a new 154-bed facility was built at 901 McNeil St. in Shreveport to address the growing need to assist women and families with children. A medical and dental clinic was built at the new facility to provide free care to guests.
In 2015, Pastor Larry Otwell joined the Shreveport-Bossier Rescue Mission as General Manager. Prior to the coming to work for the Rescue Mission, he was the owner of Cornerstone Disposal and serves as the Street Pastor at Riverpark Church. In 2016, Pastor Otwell was appointed as Executive Director following the retirement of Rev. R. Henry Martin.
Under Pastor Larry’s leadership, the Mission established a full-scale Life Recovery Program that not only meets a person’s basic needs but also provides them with the tools needed for a complete life transformation. The Life Recovery Program provides guests with the ability to overcome the struggles and trauma that led to their homelessness and gives them the skills they need to permanently end the cycle of homelessness and poverty. Guests at the Mission receive food, clothing, shelter, small/large group classes, essential life-skills education, one-on-one weekly case management, counseling, vocational training, on-site medical and dental care, and more.