From the Editors 29 (2011)Engineer and Editor Juan Hart Moved El Paso Forward 29 (2011)Elizabeth Garrett: Songbird of the Southwest 29 (2011)A Passionate Life: Josephine Clardy Fox 29 (2011)Forgotten No More: Korean War POW Tells Story of Survival 29 (2011)Janice Woods Windle Treasures Family History 29 (2011)Andy and Syd Cohen: The Men Behind the Name 29 (2011)Leona Ford Washington Preserved Black History 29(2011)Ingeborg Heuser Brought Professional Ballet to City 29 (2011)Lee and Beulah Moor Left Legacy of Love 29 (2011)
From the Editors 28 (2010)Chasin’ Away the Blues: Texas Sunday Legislation 28 (2010)Simeon Hart Pioneered Local Industry 28 (2010)Felix Martinez: Southwestern Renaissance Man 28 (2010)Teresa Urrea: La Santa de Cabora Inspired Mexican Revolution 28 (2010)Utopia in Mesilla: The Shalam Colony 28 (2010)Stahmann Farms Produce Pecans on Two Hemispheres 28 (2010)Betty Mary Goetting Brought Birth Control to El Paso 28 (2010)Maud Sullivan Made El Paso Public Library a Cultural Center 28 (2010)Lucy Acosta’s Legacy Continues in LULAC 28 (2010)Belen Robles: Voice for the Latino Community 28 (2010)Toltec Club: Of Ghosts and Guests 28 (2010)
Strong Women Building a Strong City -- From the Editors 27(2008)Notable Women of El Paso 27(2009)The Chew Legacy: The Story of Herlinda Wong Chew 27(2009)Desert Nightingale: Louise Dietrich 27(2009)1909-2009: YWCA Celebrates 100 Years in El Paso 27(2009)Mabel Welch: El Paso’s First Female Architect 27(2009)Myrna Deckert Remains Modest About Achievements 27(2009)Suzie Azar Still Reaches for the Sky 27 (2009)The Moocher: Callie Fairley, First Woman Vice Detective in El Paso 27(2009)Alicia R. Chacón Came to Politics Naturally 27 (2009)Rosa Guerrero: Cultural Dynamo 27 (2009)
From the Past to the Present -- From the Editor 26 (2007/08)Yandell Boulevard Named for Prominent El Paso Physician 26 (2007/08)Japanese Immigrants Came Slowly to Borderland 26 (2007/08)World War II Affected Japanese Immigrants 26 (2007/08)Living, Breathing New Mexico Ghost Town: Hillsboro 26 (2007/08)Canutillo Developed from Land Grant 26 (2007/08)Rómulo Escobar Zerman: Juárez Agronomist and Teacher 26 (2007/08)El Paso Mayor: Tom Lea Jr. 26 (2007/08)Ted Karam: Lebanese Immigrant Lived American Dream 26 (2007/08)Publication Credits 26 (2007/08)
From the Director 25 (2006)First El Paso Protestant Church: St. Clement's 25 (2006)Bowie High School: Always a Bear 25 (2006)Golden Gloves Grew Out of El Paso's Love of Boxing 25 (2006)LULAC Fought Hard to Guarantee Rights 25 (2006)El Paso Women Gained Power in LULAC 25 (2006)McKelligon Canyon: From Cattle to Culture 25 (2006)Tortugas Celebrates Virgen de Guadalupe, San Juan 25 (2006)Bataan Death March and POW Camps 25 (2006)Bataan Survivors Recall Horrors 25 (2006)Anthony Family Had Five Sons in World War II 25 (2006)Sober on the Border 25 (2006)Clyde W. Tombaugh: Farm Boy Reached for the Stars 25 (2006)A Taste of Southwest Wine 25 (2006)
From the Director 24 (2005)From the Editors 24 (2005)Gypsie Davenport and May Palmer Ran Infamous Brothels 24 (2005)Pioneer Attorney William Burges Tackled Unpopular Issues 24 (2005)Richard Fenner Burges: Renaissance Man 24 (2005)Charles Kelly Wielded Power with Political 'Ring' 24 (2005)Tom Charles Wanted World to Know White Sands 24 (2005)Dripping Springs has Rich History 24 (2005)Thomas B. White Directed Innovative La Tuna for 19 Years 24 (2005)Cowboys on the Range --- Missile Range, That Is 24 (2005)Ranchers vs. the Feds: The McNew Saga 24 (2005)Mexican Repatriation in 1930s 24 (2005)White House Department Store 24 (2005)Thomason Hospital Celebrates 90 Years 24 (2005)R.E. Thomason Shaped City, State, Nation 24 (2005)
Postcards from the Past Editor's Column 23 (2004)From the Editors 23 (2004)Solomon C. Schutz Helped Bring Law and Order to El Paso 23 (2004)James Gillett Showed Courage in El Paso 23 (2004)Jim White Explored Carlsbad Caverns for Years 23 (2004)Ben Lilly: Mountain Man of the Southwest 23 (2004)Aldo Leopold Proposed Land Ethics 23 (2004)Escontrias Ranch: A Link to Hueco Tanks Park 23 (2004)Hueco Tanks is Site of Controversy 23 (2004)Marcelino Serna Became World War I Hero 23 (2004)Sam Dreben Soldiered All Over the World 23 (2004)Kern Place Neighborhood: The Man Behind the Name 23 (2004)Farah Manufacturing Now Just a Memory 23 (2004)Texas Knights of Columbus Began in El Paso 23 (2004)
Look for Us on the Web - Editor's Column 22 (2003)From the Editors 22 (2003)Victorio Fought to the Death for Homeland 22 (2003)O. T. Bassett and Charles R. Morehead 22 (2003)S. H. Newman: Pioneer Newspaperman Fought Vice 22 (2003)Elfego Baca Lived More Than Nine Lives 22 (2003)Woman's Club Has Long Served City 22 (2003)Cathedral's Beauty Pleases 22 (2003)Albert J. Fountain's Achievements Eclipsed by Mysterious Death 22 (2003)Albert B. Fall's Career Ended in Disgrace 22 (2003)Cloudcroft Baby Sanatorium Saved Many 22 (2003)Dale Resler Worked Hard for El Paso 22 (2003)Price's Dairy Still Family Owned 22 (2003)Woodlawn Bottling Brought Pepsi to Town 22 (2003)Union Depot Witnessed Growth of El Paso 22 (2003)
We're Now on the Web --From the Editor 21(2002)From the Editors 21(2002)Downtown Opium Dens Attracted Many 21(2002)Juneteenth Celebrates Freedom for Texas Slaves 21(2002)Black Cowboys Rode the Trails, Too 21(2002)Ku Klux Klan Had Short Life in El Paso 21(2002)Mining Became Big Business in Southwest 21(2002)Smeltertown Still Exists in Memories 21 (2002)El Paso Played Important Role in the Mexican Revolution 21 (2002)Pancho Villa Led Northern Forces in Revolution 21 (2002)Soldaderas Played Important Roles in Revolution 21 (2002)Pershing, Villa Forever Linked to Columbus 21 (2002)Cristeros Became Mexican Martyrs 1926-1929 -- 21 (2002)Houchen Settlement House Helped New Arrivals 21 (2002)Otis A. Aultman Captured Border History in Pictures 21 (2002)
Hot Springs Have Long HistoryThe Building of a City -- From the Editor 20 (2001)From the Staff (Volume 20)Pat Garrett Enjoyed Controversy 20 (2001)Marshal Dallas Stoudenmire Terrorized Town 20 (2001)History Reveals Rivalry of Madams Etta Clark and Alice Abbott 20 (2001)Kohlberg, Krupp, Zielonka Became Business and Civic Leaders 20 (2001)Olga Kohlberg Pioneered Many Local Organizations 20 (2001)Henry Trost's Architectural Legacy Lives On 20 (2001)Sunset Heights Preserves History 20 (2001)Adolph Schwartz Built Local Retail Dynasty 20 (2001)Zach T. White Brought Progress to El Paso 20 (2001)Masons Became Leaders in Texas, El Paso 20 (2001)Smallpox Epidemic Showed Need for Hospitals20 (2001)El Paso High School Remains Classic 20 (2001)Bhutanese Architecture Distinguishes UTEP Campus 20 (2001)Elephant Butte Dam Solved Early Water Problems 20 (2001)
Pioneer Ranch became Concordia Cemetery 19 (2000)El Paso Grows Up 19 (2000)From the Staff 19 (2000)Chinese Immigrants Helped Build Railroad in El Paso 19 (2000)Volunteer Fire Department Grew into Professional Company 19 (2000)1880s Brought First Theaters to Town 19 (2000)Sisters of Charity Began Hotel Dieu Hospital 19 (2000)Tuberculosis Turned El Paso Into a Health Center 19 (2000)First Public School Built in 1884 19 (2000)Enigmatic Olivas Aoy Began School for Mexican Children 19 (2000)El Paso Public Library Began Modestly 19 (2000)Jesuits Continue to Influence Area 19 (2000)Sisters of Loretto Have Long Tradition in Southwest 19 (2000)Mormons Found Sanctuary in Mexico in 1880s 19 (2000)Mennonite Colonies in Mexico Accept Change Slowly 19 (2000)Flu Epidemic of 1918 Hit El Paso Hard 19 (2000)Early City Planners Saw Future in Scenic Drive 19 (2000)Prohibition Stimulated Economies of El Paso, Juárez 19 (2000)
The Editor's Column : The Building of a City 18 (1999)From the Editors 18 (1999)Magoffinsville Had Lasting Influence on El Paso 18 (1999)Town of El Paso Grew from Pioneer Settlements 18 (1999)Downtown El Paso Is Monument to Anson Mills 18 (1999)1848 War With Mexico Created Southwest 18 (1999)Colonel Doniphan and Volunteers Won Battle of Brazito 18 (1999)Gadsden Purchase Clarified U.S. Boundaries 18 (1999)Early Fort Bliss Occupied Pioneer Sites 18 (1999)Henry O. Flipper Paved Way for Integration of Military 18 (1999)Buffalo Soldiers Defended Western Frontier 18 (1999)El Paso Was Midpoint of Overland Mail Service 18 (1999)Salt War of 1877 Divided Southwest Residents 18 (1999)Geronimo Led Final Fight 18 (1999)Apache Indians Defended Homelands in Southwest 18 (1999)Texas Rangers Helped Keep Order on Frontier 18 (1999)Sarah Bowman and Tillie Howard: Madams of the 1800s 18 (1999)El Paso Grew Up with Arrival of Railroad 18 (1999)
Aztecs Ruled Complex, Rich Society 17 (1998)From the Editor 17 (1998)Aztec Beliefs Helped Conquer Mexico 17 (1998)Cortés Created New Order in Mexico 17 (1998)La Malinche Remains Controversial 17 (1998)Cabeza de Vaca: Travels in Texas 17 (1998)Estebán Furthered Legend of Cíbola 17 (1998)Coronado Searched for Cities of Gold 17 (1998)Oñate Conquered Desert to Explore Southwest 17 (1998)Festival Celebrates Oñate's Historic Arrival 17 (1998)Fray Garcia Left Great Legacy 17 (1998)Franciscans Brought Catholicism to Area 17 (1998)America's First Highway: El Camino Real 17 (1998)Pueblo Revolt Brought Tiguas South 17 (1998)Tigua Indians Survive 300 Years of Ordeals 17 (1998)Area Missions are Part of Living History 17 (1998)San Elizario Presidio Protected Settlers 17 (1998)Ethnic Terms Can Cause Confusion 17 (1998)
Oasis Restaurants Symbolized ‘50s Teen Scene 13 (1995)‘50s Cars Changed American Lifestyle And Image 13 (1995)Chevy Bel Air Charmed 1950 Car Buyers 13 (1995)San Jacinto Plaza Remains Heart Of Downtown El Paso 13 (1995)Smokey Bear: A Legend Is Made 13 (1995)El Paso's Company E Survivors Remember Rapido River Assaults 13 (1995)Company E Survivor Recalls Days As Prisoner Of War 13 (1995)El Paso Red Cross Essential to War Effort 13 (1995)World War II Took its Toll On The Home Front 13 (1995)Civil Air Patrol Protected Border During World War II -- 13 (1995)Quickie Divorces Granted in Juárez 13 (1995)Atomic Bomb Developed In Southwest 13 (1995)Former Crew Members On B-17s Remember Tough Times 13 (1995)Vintage Warplanes Keep Past Alive 13 (1995)The Cavalry Bugler: Essential To Horse and Man 13 (1995)Sun Carnival 1936 Style 13 (1995)H. Arthur Brown: El Paso Symphony Guru Of The ‘30s -- 13 (1995)Swing Music Helped Dispel The Blues Of The ‘30s and ‘40s -- 13 (1995)The General Store: A Hidden Treasure Of The Past 13 (1995)
Change on the Border 15 (1997)From the Editor 15 (1997)Latinos Work To Change Stereotypes In Hollywood 15 (1997)Cesar Chávez: Simple Man, People’s Hero 15 (1997)Shelter For Farm Workers Becomes Reality 15 (1997)Women’s Shelter Helps To Heal The Pain 15 (1997)Home Schools Become Popular Alternative 15 (1997)Renovation May Revive Downtown El Paso 15 (1997)Title IX Changed Women's Sports 15 (1997)Special Olympics Shine In El Paso 15 (1997)La Fe Clinic Serves South El Paso 15 (1997)ASARCO Works To Clean Up Its Act 15 (1997)A Growing Phenomenon: Single Fathers 15 (1997)Stepfamilies Become More Numerous 15 (1997)Teens Rebel Against Authority 15 (1997)Comics Retain Popularity 15 (1997)Tom Moore And Archie Have Timeless Appeal 15 (1997)
Life on the Border: 1950s & 1960s --14 (1996)From The Editors 14 (1996)A Baseball Team By Any Other Name 14 (1996)Drive-In Theaters Appealed to all Ages 14 (1996)El Paso Trolley First to Connect Two Nations 14 (1996)Barbie Doll Revolutionized Toy Industry 14 (1996)Rabies Took Bite of Sun City 14 (1996)Rabies: A Deadly Virus 14 (1996)Border Patrol Used Variety of Methods to Control Immigration 14 (1996)L. A. Nixon Fought Texas Voting Law 14 (1996)Douglass School Served Black Community Well 14 (1996)Thelma White Case Forced College Integration 14 (1996)Steve Crosno: An El Paso Original 14 (1996)Rock 'N' Roll Defined Teen Culture 14 (1996)A Shopping Mall by the People for the People 14 (1996)Chamizal Dispute Settled Peacefully 14 (1996)Turney Mansion Becomes Work of Art 14 (1996)First Hispanic Mayor Elected in 1957 -- 14 (1996)Flower Children Chose Alternative Lifestyle 14 (1996)
Three Decades of History 12 (1994)From the Editors 12 (1994)The Plaza Theater…Here to Stay!? 12 (1994)El Paso Broadcasting: The Stories Behind the Call Letters 12 (1994)Alphabet Agencies: FDR's Brainstorm 12 (1994)Chihuahuita in the 1930s: Tough Times in the Barrio 12 (1994)Hobo Sign Language Targeted El Paso 12 (1994)Self- Sufficiency Key to Farmers' Survival During Depression 12 (1994)Hanna's Story A Holocaust Survivor Remembers 12 (1994)Former Members Recall Life in Hitler Youth 12 (1994)German Prisoners of War Interned at Fort Bliss During World War II -- 12 (1994)German POWs Remembered at Fort Bliss 12 (1994)One German POW's Story 12 (1994)Ration Books and Victory Gardens: Coping with Shortages 12 (1994)Women Changed Wartime Work Patterns 12 (1994)Bracero Program Hurt Domestic Farm Workers 12 (1994)San Pedro Pharmacy Retains Look of the Past 12 (1994)Teenage Fashions of the Nifty Fifties 12 (1994)Rebel Image of Motorcyclists Set in 1950s -- 12 (1994)
Border Customs and Crafts From the Editor 10 (1992)From the Editors 10 (1992)King on the Mountain 10 (1992)Piñatas! 10 (1992)How to Play the Piñata Game 10 (1992)Out of a Cotton Boll Bloom Beautiful Crafts 10 (1992)Cotton Boll Entertains Too 10 (1992)Hands That Create Art and Soul 10 (1992)La Charreada - Mexican Horsemanship 10 (1992)Boots - A Family Tradition 10 (1992)Some Boys Still Grow Up to be Cowboys 10 (1992)Boot Capital of the World 10 (1992)The Magic of Mariachis 10 (1992)Ballet Folklorico - High School Style 10 (1992)New Generation of Mariachis 10 (1992)The Lady is a Bullfighter 10 (1992)The Midwife: Choices for Border Women 10 (1992)Retablos: Echoes of Faith 10 (1992)Tigua Indians: Dancing for St. Anthony 10 (1992)The Aztec and the Miracle 10 (1992)A Hispanic Girl's Coming of Age 10 (1992)Art - Low and Slow 10 (1992)Wedding Traditions on the Border 10 (1992)
Border Food Folkways From the Editor 9 (1991)From the Staff 9 (1991)Tortillas: Border Staff of Life 9 (1991)The Booming Tortilla Industry in Mexico 9 (1991)Where's The Beef? In El Paso! 9 (1991)How Do I Love Thee, Piggy? Let Me Count the Ways! 9 (1991)Tamales By Any Other Name Remain The Same 9 (1991)Rio Grande Thanksgiving 9 (1991)The Tigua Indians: Food for Thought 9 (1991)Corn: The Golden Gift from Our Ancestors 9 (1991)Border Pottery - Function and Beauty 9 (1991)Holy Hot Mole! 9 (1991)Looking Back at the Chile Pepper 9 (1991)Men Behind the Chile Pepper 9 (1991)Hot Peppers : They're Not Just for Eating 9 (1991)Food, Spices Double as Folk Cures 9 (1991)Weeds or Edible Desert Plants? 9 (1991)Cactus: It's Good for You! 9 (1991)Day of the Dead Celebrates Spiritual Tradition 9 (1991)Nutricious, Delicious Beans 9 (1991)Menudo Makes The Big Time 9 (1991)Mediterranean Cuisine: Old Tradition, Fresh Idea 9 (1991)Lenten Foods: From Fasting to Fabulous 9 (1991)Tarahumaras Rely on Nature for Food 9 (1991)Tempting Sweet Breads : Pan de Dulce 9 (1991)
Border Customs and Crafts II From the Editor -- 11 (1993)From the Editors 11 (1993)The Best Little Asaderos in Texas 11 (1993)Glass Work Disappearing on Border 11 (1993)Cockfights Legal in Surrounding Areas 11 (1993)Local Craftsmen Keep Art of Saddlery Alive 11 (1993)James and Joseph Magoffin: El Paso Pioneers 11 (1993)Chile Ristras Brighten Border Homes 11 (1993)Magoffin Home Preserves El Paso's Past 11 (1993)Bavarian Custom Celebrated in El Paso: Oktoberfest 11 (1993)Munich on the Border 11 (1993)Santo Niño de Atocha Called Miracle Worker 11 (1993)Lenten Customs Vary 11 (1993)To Ask is to Receive 11 (1993)Border Maintains Tradition of Posadas 11 (1993)A Visit from Three Kings 11 (1993)Matachines: Soldiers of the Virgin 11 (1993)Dichos Are an Intricate Part of Mexican Culture 11 (1993)Cultural Superstitions Affect Behavior 11 (1993)Que Onda Homeboy! Why Do We Talk Like This? 11 (1993)Traditional Hispanic Children's Games Disappear 11 (1993)
El Paso Women to ResearchEl Paso Women to Research (by name)El Paso Men to ResearchEl Paso Men to Research (by name)
From the Editors 30 (2012)From the Editor, Credits and Contents 30 (2012)Jessie Hawkins and Jenna Welch: Love, Loss and Laughter 30 (2012)Woodrow Wilson Bean: One in a Million 30 (2012)David L. Carrasco Gave Back to Hometown 30 (2012)Cleofas Calleros Made Local History Important 30 (2012)Robert E. McKee: From Rags to Riches to Philanthropy 30 (2012)Kate Moore Brown: A Woman of Many Firsts 30 (2012)Fun in the 1890s: The McGinty Club 30 (2012)
Borderlands Web Issue From the Editor 31(2013/14)Acknowledgements 31(2013/14)Mother Praxedes Carty: Serving God by Serving Others 31(2013/14)Carrie Tingley Hospital and the Couple Behind It 31 (2013/14)Harvey Girls Changed the West 31(2013/14)Jake Erlich: A Big Man in Many Ways 31(2013/14)Vernus Carey: Mr. YMCA 31(2013/14)
Borderlands 32 Tolerance. From the Editors and Acknowledgements 32(2014/15)Henry Kellen Created El Paso Holocaust Museum 32(2014/15)Bicycle Padre Still Working 32(2014/15)El Paso Connections: Ambrose Bierce: writer 32(2014/15)Mysterious Deaths: Bobby Fuller, Rock Icon 32(2014/15)Mysterious Deaths: Tom Ogle, Inventor 32(2014/15)Jake Erlich: A Big Man in Many Ways 32(2014)Harvey Girls Changed the West 32(2014)
Borderlands 33 Service. From the Editors and Acknowledgements 33(2015)Nothing Is Impossible: Major General Heidi V. Brown 33 (2015)Local Latino Soldiers Receive Medal of Honor Decades after Heroism 33 (2015)Vernus Carey: Mr. YMCA 33 (2015)Will the Real Leon Blevins Please stand up? 33 (2015)Carrie Tingley Hospital and the Couple Behind It 33 (2015)Mother Praxedes Carty: Serving God by Serving Others 33 (2015)
Borderlands 34 Inspiration. From the Editors and Acknowledgements 34(2016/17)Building Bridges Instead of Walls: Temple Mount Sinai 34 (2016/17)Ruben Salazar: A Bridge Between Two Societies 34 (2016/17)Luis Jimenez: Art Creates Dialogue 34 (2016/17)Richard "Tuff" Hedeman: The Michael Jordan of Professional Bull Riding 34 (2016/17)Rescue Mission of El Paso Provides Food and Opportunity 34 (2016/17)
35 From the EditorsArea Missions Are Part of Living History (with 2017 update)Downtown El Paso is Monument to Anson Mills (with 2017 update)Chihuahuita in the 1930s: Tough Times in the Barrio (with 2017 update)The Magic of Mariachis (with 2017 update)New Generation of Mariachis (with 2017 update)Looking Back at the Chile PepperMen Behind the Chile Pepper (with 2017 update)Hot Peppers: They're Not Just for EatingEl Paso Trolley First to Connect Two Nations (with 2017 update)Centro De Salud Familiar La Fe Serves El Paso County (with 2017 update)Tuberculosis Turned El Paso into a Health Center (with 2017 update)El Paso's Company E Survivors Remember Rapido River Assault (with 2017 update)Company E Survivor Recalls Days as Prisoner of War (with 2017 update)James and Joseph Magoffin: El Paso Pioneers (with 2017 update)
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Rescue Mission of El Paso Provides Food and Opportunity

By Clarissa G. Rasberry and Denice Ruiz

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Photo of missionImage caption:  Rescue Mission of El Paso at 1949 W. Paisano Dr. (Photo by Clarissa Rasberry)

Looking at the faces of homeless people in El Paso and other cities, one may wonder how these individuals became homeless in the first place.

Loss of a job? Divorce? Substance abuse? Domestic violence? Illness? El Paso has many organizations to help those with the problem of homelessness and everything that comes with it. One such place is the Rescue Mission of El Paso, under the direction of Blake

W. Barrow and the many staff members who work diligently to assist people in need of a safe place to call home.

For 64 years the Rescue Mission of El Paso has helped everyone who has entered its doors. It provides warm meals, clothing, shelter, spiritual guidance and employment opportunities to people in the community who are often left with nowhere to turn. The mission also addresses the issues that can lead individuals to homelessness by providing faith-based programs to help with addiction. Other programs can help the homeless who come in these doors make better decisions in the future.

More than 50 years ago, President Lyndon Johnson declared the “War on Poverty.” The plan was implemented in 1964 to “cure poverty,” according to a 2014 Washington Post article by Dylan Matthews. While a lot has changed since then, poverty is far from gone. In 2008, Diana Washington Valdez reported in an El Paso Times article that El Paso ranked fourth among the nation’s poorest cities. In a study released by the U.S. Census Bureau in 2010, El Paso still ranked among the poorest cities in the country. And we have homeless people, most of whom are in their position due to joblessness or a bad personal situation.

In the early 1950’s, H.W. Wallis felt a calling to move from Carlsbad, N.M. to El Paso. In a 1952 El Paso Times article, Wallis said he was previously a furniture dealer and he did not want to come to El Paso. Nonetheless, he could not deny the calling to serve others, so he sold his store and moved here. In a small room on 602 N. Oregon St., Wallis started offering religious services. He cooked meals for anyone who attended, including transients who were hungry and tired, according to an April 1955 El Paso Herald-Post article by Kay Maxwell. With $300 that he collected in past due accounts, he was finally able to establish the Rescue Mission in an eight-room apartment in the same building, offering beds to the needy. With the help of Jean Jones, a missionary worker who cooked meals for the mission, and his wife Edna, H. D. Wallis was able to assist the individuals who needed help and love.

In a 1955 El Paso Herald-Post article, Edna Wallis stated they fed those who were hungry physically, but many were “calmed by prayer.” According to the Herald-Post, several El Paso churches donated money monthly to the mission, and many food stores and packing houses donated supplies to help the mission, in addition to private monetary gifts. According to a typed manuscript from the 1960s highlighting the commencement and early history of the Rescue Mission, it served 9,784 meals and furnished 4,988 beds in its first year.

After only three years in operation, the Rescue Mission was already in need of more space. According to the above mentioned manuscript, Wallis operated the facility until January 1955 and it was run by his wife until May 1955 when Gertrude Henry took over. In February 1956, Glen H. Cuddeford, a man who would lead the mission until his death in 1968, bought the mission property with a plan to make it a community endeavor. By 1957, the mission had grown significantly: more than 45,000 meals were being served per year, according to the manuscript. Additionally, the number of beds furnished had more than doubled to over 11,000.

In May 1958, the mission bought the Green Tree Hotel at 604 San Francisco Avenue. A year later, through volunteer labor and donated fixtures and supplies, the mission had a three-story building with 20 rooms available for staff and families, along with a basement providing beds for up to 100 men, bathroom facilities, a laundry and a lounge. The ground floor provided a lobby, dining room and chapel.

After its bylaws and charter were changed to call it a “Christian Mission” instead of a church, the El Paso Rescue Mission became an agency of the United Fund in November 1958. The United Fund allotment was used only for general expenses; donations from the community went toward debt retirement, building maintenance and new equipment. A board of directors, 25 in number, began overseeing the mission, recognized as a tax-deductible charity by the IRS. In 1959, just seven years after its most modest beginning, the mission provided 118,375 meals and 23,634 beds.

Community support had also increased. A 1964 El Paso Times article featured Charlie Tupper, service station operator on North Mesa Street and mission board member, reaching out to the community to donate to the Rescue Mission. In 1961, Tupper “posted a sign urging his customers to donate clothing, bedding, shoes and food for the men and families who come to the Rescue Mission” and repeated his drive annually. In 1964, Tupper arranged 16 pickup stations in El Paso to participate in the drive.

The mission’s board decided to expand the facility once again and purchased the Bristol Hotel at 600½ San Francisco Avenue. Although it had grown rapidly the previous 10 years, the mission never closed down its facility and at times had residents assist in its transitions, plastering, painting and more.

Throughout its lengthy and motivating history, the Rescue Mission has always had inspirational leaders including Walter Guthrie and his wife, who succeeded Cuddeford, and the Reverend Vernon M. Tribble and his wife, whom a Herald-Post article in 1975 declared the “mother, father and teacher” to people who passed through the mission. Some volunteer workers became leaders, like David Hoyle.

David Hoyle, also known as “Pappy,” began volunteering at the mission while still working as a motorcycle sergeant with the El Paso Police Department. He was the senior member of the motorcycle branch in his 60s, hence the name “Pappy.” Hoyle retired in 1981. He became executive director of the Rescue Mission in the late 1980s.

According to El Paso Times article, “‘Pappy’ hangs up his halo” by Ramon Renteria, “He set the standard in El Paso for helping street people and families that have skidded on to hard times.” Pappy was a very loving person, continuously “mending wretched lives and souls.” A modest and caring individual, Hoyle guided the Rescue Mission when it first opened on West Paisano in 1986, after buying the property from Centro Vida Church. He retired at the end of the year in 1994, continuing to serve as chaplain.

Long-time mission worker Terry Bell succeeded Hoyle and gave credit to him for helping to develop the El Paso Coalition for the Homeless. The mission continued its services and Bell began reaching out to the community for help through newsletters. Regardless of the holiday or its director, the mission continued to help the homeless, the poor and the hungry.

In his book Stories from the Shelter, Blake Barrow tells the story of how he was introduced as executive director to the mission’s guests on Thanksgiving 1997 at the beginning of one of the religious services that guests attend before eating. Chaplain Pappy Hoyle ended one service and guests entered the dining room. With his Bible in his right hand, Hoyle put his left hand around Barrow and thumped him on the stomach with the Bible and said, “Here, you take the next one.” Barrow did, and almost 20 years later, he still is working to make the mission better.

Barrow, originally from Houston, had been a personal injury trial lawyer with four college degrees, including a Master of Theological Studies from Emory and a Juris Doctor degree and two others from Baylor University. Barrow had felt a calling to share the gospel in the past, but it was not until he was practicing law that he felt the calling again. First, he met Myrna Deckert, then CEO of the YWCA, while representing a woman suing the nonprofit.  The YWCA agreed to sign off on an agreement in order to avoid court, but Deckert let Barrow know how much several programs for women and children would have to be cut in order to do that. Barrow came to realize that his client had taken advantage of the legal system. He was deeply ashamed and repaid the settlement amount and worked countless hours over the years pro bono for women the YWCA was helping.

Then Barrow realized that he fit the list of qualifications that the Rescue Mission had drawn up as James Carroll, his landlord and mission board member, enumerated them one day. He took a two-thirds cut in pay and finally began the work he knew he was meant for all along.

Barrow himself admits that he is a “shoot-from- the-hip” kind of guy and some of the most successful activities at the mission have occurred from necessity or an epiphany, such as its furniture factory. When the metal beds at the mission began to break, Barrow began wondering how wooden beds would hold up and used his basic shop skills to draw a prototype. He had workers produce a model bed and even had a heavy Chevrolet Suburban placed on top of it to prove its strength! Beds, chests of drawers, desks, even armoires, beautifully designed and made by mission residents, first replaced those already in the dormitories, and then the mission began selling to churches and other missions around the country.

Rescue Furniture, as it is now called, uses solid wood, producing very durable and economical furniture. The bunk beds are not the size of usual bunk beds for children; they allow the person using the lower bunk to sit up comfortably. The wood shop also makes smaller pieces such as crosses.

Photo of new missionImage caption:  New Rescue Mission of El Paso at 221 Lee St. to open fall 2016 (Photo by Isabel Hernandez)

It is this consideration for the quality of shelter, whether for one night or 30, for children or hospice residents of the mission, that perhaps sets Barrow apart from other directors. When he realized that the food could be better, he set about to make it so — with help from the community. One of the first things he did was begin charging for the meal! Sometimes when everything is free, it means less than when one pays for it, whether with money or labor. Freshly baked muffins made their first appearance. Barbecued turkeys from the mission’s own smoker began to grace the menu.

Meghan Pratt, director of marketing at the Rescue Mission, stated in an interview that residents can eat lunch or dinner for $1.50 a meal. If unable to pay, they can do chores in exchange for the meal. Guests can help prepare meals, sweep floors and complete other tasks. Children and the infirm eat free, as do those with no money, but they work after they eat. The mission’s website indicated that 162,707 meals were served in 2015.

Christi LeClaire, store director for Albertson’s, believes in the Rescue Mission of El Paso. LeClaire informed Clarissa Rasberry in a personal interview that 12 years ago she decided to make a difference. While working as store director at the Albertson’s on Redd Road, she realized much food was going to waste and contacted the mission which was happy to have fresh produce that perhaps was not “pretty” enough for other customers or other perishables with approaching expiration dates. Instead of so much food ending up in landfills, it is now feeding those in need of nourishment.

Because so many residents have problems with alcohol and other drugs, the Rescue Mission began their faith-based Relapse Prevention Program in 1990, a 13- week program addressing “bio-psycho-social-spiritual concepts in recovery,” as described on their website. The program includes anger management and self-esteem classes, group problem solving, self-help, Bible studies and classes to prevent relapse. Each resident’s problem is dealt with on a case-by-case basis and requires full cooperation and commitment.

Social Services Manager Darlene Domingue in an interview with Denice Ruiz stated that six out of every eight participants in the relapse program go on to graduate. Graduates of the program are given priority for employment and training opportunities, such as with the Rescue Furniture program.

Substance abuse and mental illness often occur together. According to Pratt, it is difficult to treat the homeless who are mentally ill, for sometimes they come and go rather quickly. Others self-medicate with alcohol and drugs. The Relapse Prevention Program treats the whole individual. The Rescue Mission works with nonprofit doctors who help treat residents with mental illness. Counselors can schedule appointments for residents, or they can confer with the mission’s full- time nurse. The mission also helps with transportation, medication and regular follow-ups. Barrow has created an environment at the mission where everyone who walks in has opportunities and the resources to get their life back on track.

A visit to the Rescue Mission at its current location on 1949 W. Paisano Dr. resulted in an immediate welcome. A small school bus had arrived to take the children in the mission to school. A Sun City Metro van shuttled residents to and from downtown. The very large kitchen was fully stocked and the food smelled delicious. The cozy dining room provided plenty of room for sharing meals and conversation. The chapel had a small altar and lovely stained glass and art. The Rescue Mission also has a children’s area filled with books and activities. The room used for the relapse program also serves as a gym.

Skye Schultz, Volunteer Coordinator of the Mission and UTEP alumna, provided a short tour of their facility which included one of the old grain silos used as a storage and office area. Schultz felt the call to work with the homeless while in college and served for two months in Mexico as a medical missionary. Her pastor helped her obtain a job at the mission in the kitchen. “One thing I like about the mission is that we don’t force anyone to do anything,” says Schultz.

Because of the expansion of the Border Highway and Spur 1966, the Rescue Mission has had to relocate to central El Paso. The news came just as Barrow and staff were completing a $2.6 million three-year renovation and expansion. The state agreed to pay $13.5 million for the mission’s property. The opening date for the new facility at 221 Lee St. has been pushed back to this fall. Construction will result in a 50 percent increase of current bed capacity, a food storage area, a computer room for children to do their homework, expanded laundry facilities and more.

Schultz emphasized that because of the transition, the mission is currently not accepting clothing donations since they will be moving out soon. However, the mission is always looking for volunteers and donations, especially because of the big change.

Along with location changes, Schultz states the residency policy will also be changing in the future. The mission will place more focus on women and children with needs whereas the emphasis has been on men since they comprise the majority of the residents. A recent El Paso Inc. article said that of the 190 beds that will be available, 66 will be for single men, 32 for women and 32 for families. An additional 24 will be provided for semi-permanent residents, 20 for drug relapse prevention residents and 16 for hospice or respite care. But Barrow has future plans to build a separate building on Cotton Street with the capacity for 100 beds for single parents with children and older children who have aged out of the foster care program.

Many know Barrow as a barbecue master, and the mission will open the Hallelujah BBQ Restaurant on the Cotton Street property once used to house El Paso’s trolleys. Barrow will use the restaurant as a mission training and employment center. He told Jeff Brumley in Baylor Proud, the University’s blog, that his in-laws asked what he wanted as a wedding gift and he requested an offset solid-steel smoker he had once seen in the 1970s.

The catering part of the restaurant is already functional and has a website. Although the restaurant will not be ready until next year, customers can place orders for “brisket cooked so long and hot it doesn’t need sauce” and much more. The barbecue website tells readers on its main page, “Hallelujah BBQ was created to provide jobs to people who find themselves at the Rescue Mission of El Paso.”

The Rescue Mission of El Paso is a vital part of the El Paso community and has helped many see the importance of empathy, family and love. In a newsletter, Barrow wrote how the Rescue Mission helped him understand the homeless:

I have achieved a greater understanding of what the El Paso Rescue Mission really stands for. It is the home for the homeless, the friend to the friendless. The Rescue Mission is the place where those who are truly alone can rest their heads and know, without a doubt, they are loved.

Research has revealed that the homeless in El Paso are not only the men we see at downtown intersections asking for change but single women and mothers with children of all ages. Some have family, others do not. The Rescue Mission is not for everyone experiencing problems of homelessness. It does not tolerate drugs or alcohol and it is definitely a place where God and Jesus are not just words. Blake Barrow and his staff believe in the power of prayer.

The Rescue Mission of El Paso will be the only shelter in the city with a barbecue restaurant staffed by mission residents. The homeless who are not only hungry for food but for honest work and another chance to get their lives together will have that with the new Rescue Mission and restaurant. And the El Paso community will have a chance to savor Texas barbecue by Blake Barrow.


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