A Current Snapshot of the Idaho Falls Rescue Mission


The mission provides beds, showers, clothes, meals, Bibles, and the gospel of Jesus. By partnering with the Idaho Falls area, our goal is to reach the poor with the love and power of the gospel so they may become God-dependent, contributing members of society.

When women and men have no place to sleep, please encourage them to visit and inquire if there is a bed available at either of the two emergency shelters of the Idaho Falls Rescue Mission.  Women may contact the lead case manager at the Ruth House on 3120 Yellowstone Highway, while men may check in with the supervisor at the downtown City of Refuge at 840 Park Avenue. 

Like the Ruth House, the City of Refuge provides services to the homeless men who are 18 years old and older.  It was the genesis of the Idaho Falls Rescue Mission.  The City of Refuge was established in September of 1999 as a men’s emergency shelter offering beds, meals, and clothing.  Over the years, the City of Refuge has evolved into a vital, community resource serving the evening meal at 6:00 pm every night to the hungry of all ages in the city.  Depending upon the evening, there might be sixty or more men, women, and children who come to eat.  Mostly, volunteers come to cook these delicious meals.  And each night at the City of Refuge, meals are packed up and dispensed to all who are staying at the Behavioral Health Crises Center and the Ruth House.

In addition, during certain hours of the week at the City of Refuge, there is opportunity to take showers, clean laundry, select bread and desserts from the racks in the Sonshine Room, sign up for food boxes, and obtain hygiene products.  Clothing vouchers are handed out to go shop for necessary items in the next-door IFRM Thrift Store. The Mission is so thankful for those who send financial gifts, bring food, cook meals, donate their clothing and household stuff to the thrift stores.  Besides the thrift store on Park Avenue, the mission has a larger thrift store located on 1570 North Holmes Avenue. Again, we give a big thank you to all those who volunteer in the thrift stores by sorting and showcasing stuff every week.  If you desire to volunteer in any way, please contact our volunteer coordinator.

The mission provides beds, showers, clothes, and meals to those in need.  But we desire to go far beyond that as we seek to minister to those who are in a downward, struggling spiral.  In the center of all the mission’s activities of love, we desire to communicate and live out the gospel of Jesus Christ.  The mission is a city lighthouse for participating in gospel conversations and sharing Bibles, devotional materials, and invitations to Bible studies and local church events.  As the Idaho Falls Rescue Mission staff, we are utterly convinced that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.  We know that Jesus is the answer for rescuing all from sin, and we are co-laborers with Him who can lovingly rescue anyone in our city.

To live at the City of Refuge or the Ruth House, the first seven days are free.  But for the next thirty days, the men and women are responsible to pay $30.00 every week for their resident fees.  In utilizing the emergency shelters, men and women can stay for a total of thirty-seven days.  Our men’s shelter supervisor is a wealth of knowledge for helping chart the course in dealing with probation and parole, needing work, and eventually locating low-income housing. He balances love and care and a no-nonsense approach to the men.


As it is our joy as the Idaho Falls Rescue to immediately reach out to people in need on the streets and to daily touch them with God’s mercy, we want to come alongside and disciple some of them who long to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ.  A few of the men would like to have more time to experience loving accountability and structure, to save money, and to experience Christian discipleship; so, at the beginning of June 2017, we launched the IFRM Works Program.  Though we are still in the learning stages of infancy, we are excited to see how this will develop in time.  The Works Program for each man is loosely six months in duration.

Currently, men in this program receive spiritual, work, and financial accountability.  They are required to attend the following: (1) weekend local church services approved by the staff, (2) morning Bible studies, 8:00 – 9:00 am, Monday through Friday, and (3) weekly meetings with the IFRM Works Program director and an assistant work scheduler.  For work during the week, they are required to work ten to fifteen hours in the mission and twenty hours part time outside of the mission.  Ideally, we would like each man to have $2,000 in his savings account by the time he graduates from the program.  And for encouragement, each man is assigned a Christian discipling mentor.

Some say a good habit can be formed in six weeks.  We hope that in six months, men are knowing who they are in relationship to God and developing the grace disciplines of personal prayer and Bible reading, attending church services, worshipping through giving, and fellowshipping in small groups.  The resultant outgrowth of all this is sobriety, stability, joy, and peace—walking in truth, light, and love.


Our restoration hopes for those who enter the doors of the Idaho Falls Rescue Mission are multi-faceted and holistic.  We want men and women to know that by faith in the Son of God, they are forgiven, healed, accepted, and fully loved.

This love of God is fleshed out in the local church family, where they are welcomed, integrated, and serving one another.  Ultimately, the church is the crises center where rescue, recovery, and restoration in Jesus flows in an ongoing messy but redemptive, joyous activity.  The crucial aspect in restoration is that the church community takes over what the mission community initiated.  And as a man has the support group of a church family, he can weather the storms of life.  A restored man is a Jesus man.

Second, a restored man is a family man.  There is reconciliation made among family members.  As much as possible, he is living in peace with those he has wronged and those who have wronged him.  He is free from anger, resentment, and bitterness.

And finally, a restored man is a working man.  He has a job with a livable wage, complete with medical benefits, for self-sufficiency.  He is utilizing his gifts and talents for the glory of God and the good of the community.  He is a God-dependent, contributing member of society.  And in the long term, he is cleared of all his financial and legal debts.  To be able to work gives dignity and value for us as sons and daughters made in the image of God.  The apostle Paul writes, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10).

In the work of long-term restoration, may it be that the Idaho Falls Rescue Mission be a place of availability for spiritual counsel, prayer, and encouragement long after a man or woman leaves the emergency shelters.







About Todd Wood

I am a servant of Jesus in Idaho Falls, Idaho. Join me in seeking Jesus in this city.
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1 Response to A Current Snapshot of the Idaho Falls Rescue Mission

  1. Pingback: Mercy in the Margins Newsletter (October 2017) | Roots by the River – Idaho Falls, Idaho

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