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The Westminster Rescue Mission was founded in 1968 by Jim Resh, of Hagerstown, who had a heart for missions work;  Mr. Resh founded six other missions through his ministry.  We opened our doors in 1969 on Green Street, with a thrift store on the ground floor;  the men in the program occupied the rest of the house.  We outgrew that space quickly and moved to Railroad Avenue, where the ministry of the Rescue Mission flourished.  At that time, some of the Mission’s clients were even employed as street sweepers by the City of Westminster.

The leadership of the Mission had a vision though, to move the ministry to a more rural setting, away from the easy access to alcohol and other temptations that came with being in town.   Just about that time, the City of Westminster said they needed the space on Railroad Avenue to expand downtown parking options, and they offered to help us move.  In 1981, we purchased 39 acres of farmland on Lucabaugh Mill Road from the Hull Family, and the new Mission facility was opened in 1986 where it served 32 men.  The program was helping many men to turn their lives around through the power of the gospel and the structure, nurturing, and help of the staff, and we had long waiting lists for the program.  It quickly became time to think about expansion again.  Even as we were in the midst of a capital campaign and had developed drawings of how we would expand the facilities, God’s hand moved once again in a mighty way to expand our vision.

Our neighbors at Random House inquired about purchasing the Mission’s land to expand their warehouse operations.  When negotiations concluded, Random House purchased over 9 acres that they needed and the beautiful 30,000 square foot facility we now enjoy was built to accomplish even more ministry to the addicted and hurting.  In the same deal with Random House, we were able to move from a store in downtown Westminster that was found to be structurally unsound to a building on Main Street to house the Spare Room, later known as The Mission Store.   In July 2017, the downtown building was sold.  The Mission Store operation was consolidated with the store at our Lucabaugh Mill Road campus. A store grand opening celebration for The Mission Store occurred in August 2017.

During the spring of 2018, the Mission began the process to become accredited and licensed. In April 2019, a CARF Three-Year accreditation was awarded to WRM for the following programs: Community Housing- Alcohol and Other Drugs/Addictions (Adults) and Outpatient Treatment: Alcohol and Other Drugs/Addictions (Adults.)

In addition, the structured 9 month residential program is licensed by the Maryland Behavioral Health Administration as an American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) 3.1 level of care.  Called Clinically Managed Low-Intensity Residential Services, this level of care provides a 24 hour living support and structure with available trained personnel, and offers at least 5 hours of clinical services a week.

In January 2019, the Board of Directors engaged in a day of strategic thinking evaluating the need to rebrand the organization.  So many people were confused by our name.  Many thought we rescue dogs and horses.  The Biblical concept of “recue” has been almost lost in the contemporary vernacular. Our call is to rescue the perishing, specifically, those perishing from drug and alcohol addiction.

So after much discussion, the Westminster Rescue Mission created a DBA (doing business as) name- Addiction HEALING Center.  We want to ensure that anyone who needs help in the battle against addiction is aware of the services we offer.  A new logo was created and the website has been updated to reflect these changes.

Work is currently being completed to bring the original, residential building at Lucabaugh Mill Road campus back into usage to provide 22 beds for women who are battling substance abuse.  This building is slated to open by the end of the 1st quarter 2020.  So if someone you love needs help in this battle, encourage them to call the Westminster Rescue Mission, where rescue is our middle name and healing is possible.

God continues to bless the Westminster Rescue Mission.  We look forward to the opportunity to do even more to serve the least, the last and the lost.

Contact Us today to learn more about how you can get involved with the Mission!

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