Meet Oscar Torres, Men’s Center Program Director here at San Diego Rescue Mission.
Oscar first walked through our doors 13 years ago, not looking for employment, but rather as a homeless man with a 10 year drug addiction in need of desperate help.
Committed to rebuilding his life, Oscar successfully completed the 12-month residential rehabilitation program. But after graduation, his work didn’t stop there.
“As an Alumni, I would stop by the Rescue Mission every morning and pray with the guys in intake before heading out to start my day, “ he explained. “After about nine months, I was approached by the Associate Director who asked if I was interested in working as a First Step Residential Advisor.”
As the new First Step Residential Advisor in the Men Center, Oscar’s duties included making sure clients followed guidelines, getting them to chapel and meal times, and being available to bring anyone into the program who showed up for help. There was always more work to be done at San Diego Rescue Mission, and Oscar continued to make himself available for the task. He quickly moved from First Step Manager to Transition Manger to Lead Residential Manager to Program Coordinator. (Just to name a few of the positions he took on!) He even went on to become certified as an Addictions Treatment Counselor.
Today, Oscar proudly oversees the entire Men’s Center Program. This critical program incorporates a holistic approach to recovery, addressing the needs of the mind, body, and soul which help clients confront and overcome the problems that led to homelessness in the first place. His job includes ensuring our staff and clients continue to uphold our statement of faith, standard operating procedures, state licensing requirements and most of all, ensure our clients receive the proper treatment they need.
“I stand alongside these men and walk them through the process of becoming a productive citizen in our community and become free from any alcohol and drug addiction,” says Oscar.
“What I like best about working at San Diego Rescue Mission is being able to be front and center when these men come in from the streets with no hope, no self-esteem, and watch the Holy Spirit work through them. We have many talented men who come through this program and to see them walk across the stage on graduation day and move on to becoming all they can be is an incredible feeling. To know that I had a part in that… WOW who wouldn’t want to work here!,” he says.
Recently, Oscar had a client come back to see him 2 years after graduating. He explained that because of the help he received, he was able to re-connect with his family. His mother got her son back. His siblings got their brother back. And his wife, who filed for divorce, took him back. They are now remarried and he is a father to his kids again. “He is back to where is supposed to be. And it was all because we kept planting God’s word in him, and never gave up on him.”
“San Diego Rescue Mission feels like a family to me. I want to thank the Mission for saving my life.”