ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A well-known homeless outreach organization started the new year with a new name.
Many might still think of Steelbridge as the Albuquerque Rescue Mission. With the new name, they have also expanded capacity for both men’s and women’s housing. KRQE News 13 got a tour inside Steelbridge’s newly renovated facilities one day before the women move in.
Victoria’s journey of faith started with a fateful meeting with a complete stranger.
“I told him, ‘I need to get out of Chicago,’” said Victoria, who went through the Albuquerque Rescue Mission’s Woman’s Program.
That was in 2015 when she was living in the streets of Chicago and addicted to drugs. A couple weeks later, that same man approached her on the street again.
“Pulled over and gave me a Greyhound ticket,” said Victoria.
That was the ticket that brought her to the women’s program run by the organization formerly known as the Albuquerque Rescue Mission.
“I was really depressed, I was really lonely, I had no purpose,” said Victoria.
She lived in women’s housing for one year.
“I was skeptical, I didn’t believe in God, I didn’t believe in myself,” said Victoria.
Victoria said learning structure and about God’s grace is what changed her life.
“I have my own apartment, I have a job, I’m back at school,” said Victoria.
The Rescue Mission has been in Albuquerque since the 1950s. Now they are called Steelbridge located near Coal and Iron.
The word “steel” may be an obvious choice.
“Something permanent that has strength,” said Pastor John Hill, head of the faith-based ministry, Steelbridge.
When asked about the meaning of “bridge.”
“Bridge is a path from one direction to another one,” said Hill.
And this “restoration ministry” is what Pastor Hill said is their new focus. He does not want the organization to be known as just a soup kitchen. They have doubled their housing capacity for their men’s and women’s programs.
“From 35 to 72 for the men, and from 10 to 26 for the women,” said Hill.
KRQE News 13 asked the pastor about the secret to the program’s success.
“We are a church, we make no apologies for that,” said Hill.
And Victoria is glad she found a program so convicted in its beliefs because she is a living testimony.
“My life is full,” said Victoria.
The men moved into their renovated building last Monday. The women will be moving in their new housing in the building next door Monday.
Steelbridge is still providing food and clothing in their Resource Center on Second Street. It also will continue to do massive feedings collaborating with The Rock at NoonDay.