'70s: Early Growth and Expansion

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1971 The Mission bought the 21,000 square foot Germania Club at 121 South Madison for $30,000. The building, built in 1892 with a ballroom, bar, and Rockford’s first automated bowling alley, is converted into a place of refuge, redemption, and recovery. The new Mission motto was: “Help all the people we can, in all the ways we can, as long as ever we can.”

1974 The Mission partnered with Christian Love Acres, a 60-acre farm near South Beloit, to provide work rehabilitation for the men through doing chores, caring for animals, buying and selling hay and painting tractors.

1975 Women and children were included in outreach services, a literacy program begins, and free clothing is distributed to the needy through Family Day program.

1979 The abandoned Poole Hotel at 730 West State and the house behind it on Elm Street were purchased from Salvation Army for $10,000 to house a women and families care center. “Ye Rescue Shoppe” opened in a rented building at 309 Seventh Street to sell donated goods to support the Mission.
Mission founder, Ray Stewart died in an auto accident. In tribute, G.O. Pitney wrote, “If it had not been for Ray Stewart, there would not be a Rockford Rescue Mission.”