In the early 1970s a small group of Salt Lake-based Christian businessmen regularly drove from Salt Lake to Ogden to serve at the only Christ-centered homeless service provider in the State of Utah – The Ogden Rescue Mission. On one trip, a father and son team, Don and Dan Kramer, invited Kay Nakashima, a friend and fellow Christian businessmen to come along. On the return trip, Kay asked why they drove past homeless people in the Salt Lake area to head north. Kay’s question led to this small group of men along with their families to establish the Rescue Mission of Salt Lake.
In 1972 – after much prayer and second mortgages on four of our founders’ homes, the Rescue Mission of Salt Lake began serving our homeless friends and neighbors in the downtown Salt Lake area.
Since then, the Rescue Mission has developed services to meet the immediate needs of our homeless friends (food, shelter, clothing, and more) as well as comprehensive, life-changing programs to provide a pathway off the streets through addiction recovery, Christian education, employment, housing, and restoration of relationships. This includes the addition of our Women’s Center in 1984 where women and children have a safe place to find shelter, clothing, counselling, and addiction recovery services.
Better Together – In 2019 God brought this story full-circle. After years of friendship and collaboration, the Rescue Mission of Salt Lake and Ogden Rescue Mission joined together as one organization that could care for Utah’s most vulnerable populations along the Wasatch Front.
Today the Rescue Mission of Salt Lake provides over 700 daily meals to the homeless and low-income communities in Ogden and Salt Lake. Each night we provide safe, comfortable shelter for 300 men, women, and children who have nowhere else to go.
Our goal remains the same as it was back in 1972: To love God with all of our soul, to love our neighbors, and to help our homeless friends find faith and serve God with all of their being. To end homelessness and restore lives.