HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - The Downtown Rescue Mission provides shelter to the homeless in times of need. But few understand the breadth of the organization's service to the community.
Editor's note: Part 1 is in the video player at the top of the story. Part 2-4 is at the bottom of this story.
The mission had over 1,500 different people spend the night with them last year. They provided just over 70,000 nights of rest. It averages out to around 190 people every night.
They also served over 240,000 meals last year, and not just to the homeless. Many people who seek their services are members of the working poor. The American Community Survey's latest numbers show Huntsville alone has 31,259 people that fall below the poverty line.
Perhaps most important to the Downtown Rescue Mission, though, is their Christian addiction treatment program.
They offer a free, one-year, in-patient program for anyone who seeks help.
The mission tracks its success rate, and since 2010, they say 60 to 65 percent of people who complete the program stay drug and alcohol free. That's at the highest end of expectations set by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
We spoke with people at the Mission who spent years addicted to crystal meth. We spoke with people who had masters degrees. We spoke with people who lost everything. We spoke with people who turned their lives around. We spoke with people who deserve to have their stories told.