Restoration Community Outreach (RCO) was founded in 1991 by Betty J. Martin with the purpose of assisting homeless men. She acquired an old abandoned fire station and with minor renovations opened its doors to serve the homeless. Over 20 years later, RCO, continues to be the only men’s homeless shelter in and around Saginaw County. RCO exists to provide a comprehensive approach to breaking the cycle of homelessness in partnership with other local homeless assistance agencies. However, RCO is a very unique agency. We boast an extensive program that is designed to touch every area in life that a homeless person might experience. We begin by meeting the most basic needs and continue through a process of identifying and correcting behaviors that led to homelessness and devise a plan to avoid future occurrences of homeless episodes.
Last year RCO provided nearly 35,000 meals, and this year we have already provided over 4500 meals. As our mission stated we believe that everyone is entitled to and deserving of a hot meal. RCO serves between 525-550 hot meals on a weekly basis.
The unique population that we serve consists of men that are homeless because of drug addictions, disabling physical/mental health illnesses, financial challenges due to the economy, eviction, as well as those that are recently released from incarceration and homeless veterans. This is a population that is identified as “hard to serve” and therefore very few agencies exist that purposefully and diligently reach out to these men – sometimes in spite of themselves. Over 80% of the men that we serve are chronically homeless meaning they have regular episodes of homelessness sin a year span (3 or more occurrences within a one year period). Our mission is to meet the total need of these men as opposed to simply providing temporary shelter. We accomplish this goal through a variety of avenues including daily case management, healthy life skill classes, addiction counseling, job placement assistance, and other resources that are designed to move the client back into permanent housing.