Community News

Community News

We're so blessed you are helping us fight homelessness in Peoria!

Thank you for all your generous gifts to Peoria Rescue Ministries. As we enter the summer season, here are 3 things to remember over the next 3 months:
Help starts here.
Healing is possible.
Hope begins with you.

Help starts here. Many people in Service Area struggle with hunger. Unemployment. Homelessness. While they might come seeking only meals and shelter, they find so much more…
Healing is possible. Like you, we believe it’s never too late to start over. Your gift of $XX provides the essentials our guests need. More than that, you offer long-term guidance and faith-based programs that repair hearts and restore lives.
Hope begins with you. Your support lets everyone who comes through our doors know you’re cheering them on. You show them that the Mission cares, God loves them and there is hope for a better future.

Because you’re providing help… healing… and hope, Mission Name can be the safe haven our neighbors need this summer. Thank you!
With a grateful heart,

Jon Rocke,
Executive Director

Dear Abby

Dear Abby

Barnabas Center Intern Abby Swartzendruber reflects on her experience providing mental health care to the community.

Barnabas Center Intern Abby Swartzendruber as picture in the Peoria Rescue Ministries chapel recently

Each of our counselors at Barnabas Center have been blessed in their journey to have more experienced, effective, and Godly counselors pour into them and their development process as helpers. At some point in their careers, it becomes their privilege to “pay if forward” by helping to raise up the next generation of Christian counselors and social workers by inviting “Christian-counselors-in-training” to join them for internships or practicum experiences as part of their educational experience.

From January through July of this year, we are blessed to have Abby Swartzendruber joined the Barnabas Center team from Dordt University in Sioux City, Iowa. She is working toward her master’s degree in social work and becoming a licensed social worker. Earlier this year she married Seth Swartzentruber from Morton. Seth is currently serving as a resident intern at Newcastle Bible Church in Mackinaw.

Please pray for Seth and Abby as they move to Louisville in August where he will be taking his next step in ministry by getting his Masters of Divinity at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

We asked Abby to share a little bit about her internship experience below.

Barnabas Center Intern Abby Swartzendruber as picture in the Peoria Rescue Ministries chapel recently

What did you expect as an intern?
To be honest, I didn’t have too many expectations as an intern. My background with counseling and social work was primarily secular. As you can image, the world’s motivations behind serving others are vastly different than how Christ’s calls us as Christians to serve others. So, I was excited to grow in how to use faith as a foundation and driving factor in counseling. And I truly can’t put into words how much the Barnabas Center has taught me.

What things threw you for a loop?
Because I didn’t really set any expectations with my internship, I didn’t really get thrown off by much, so I hope you don’t mind me changing the question a little bit to “what things was I presently surprised with?”

I was blown away at the amount of support, encouragement, and love I got from the staff at the Barnabas Center. The staff not only poured into me as an intern but personally as well. When I began seeing clients for the first time, they showered me with prayer, advice, and helpful resources. If I ever felt stuck with a client, each of them left the door wide open for me to come process things through. Each one of the counselors have such a passion for doing God’s kingdom work for His glory. Their example in that was invaluable.

I’m so thankful the Barnabas Center took me on as an intern. I praise God for the role the Barnabas Center has had in not only shaping me professionally but personally. 

Such a blessing!

You are incredible! Thank you for your gifts to Peoria Rescue Ministries during the month of August.

It’s humbling to see how you’ve given to help struggling men, women and children this summer. Because of your compassion, hurting people in our community can enjoy nourishing meals and safe shelter in a loving environment. Thanks to you, they have hope for the future – many for the first time.

You provide a lifeline of support and hope to our homeless neighbors to help them break the chains of addiction, poverty and despair. Thank you for believing that no soul is too lost to save, no addict is broken beyond repair and no life is unable to be restored.

Your heartfelt gift is already at work, sharing God’s love and providing life-changing services to our neighbors in the Peoria community this summer. Our ministry and impact would not be possible without you – thank you again for your generosity!

All His blessings,

Jon Rocke
Executive Director

P.S. Are you following PRM on Facebook or Instagram yet? It’s a great way to find information about current events and volunteer opportunities, and read stories about how your gifts are changing lives. You can also share posts about why you’ve chosen to partner with us to encourage others to support our work, too!

Eviction Moratorium Ends

Peoria Rescue Mission Prepared to Assist Neighbors in Need

“Now that the eviction ban has ended, Peoria Rescue Ministries will be here to catch those who fall through the cracks.”—Jon Rocke

The eviction moratorium order to temporarily halt residential evictions during the COVID-19 pandemic expired July 31, leaving the community at risk of a homelessness crisis and more individuals struggling without a safety net. As the challenge unfolds, Peoria Rescue Ministries is prepared to provide essential services and resources to evictees.

The “Temporary Halt in Residential Evictions to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19” Order issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in March 2020 banned landlords from evicting tenants who had lost income due to the pandemic. But those individuals still owe rent, back rent, applicable fees, penalties and interest now that the Order has expired.

“Now hundreds of individuals and families in our community may face a crisis apart from COVID – homelessness due to eviction,” said Executive Director Jon Rocke. “These are people who have been struggling with job loss or a reduction in income during the pandemic and will now be without a place to stay or unable to meet their basic needs, some for the first time ever. Fortunately, caring for the homeless is not new to Peoria Rescue Ministries. We are prepared to bridge the gap for these vulnerable individuals, serving as a refuge and resource center during this critical time.”

PRM provides safe lodging for residents of their long-term program and emergency shelter and three meals daily for hungry men, women and children. In addition, the ministry offers Christian counseling and addiction recovery; life-skills courses like budgeting and parenting; adult education and GED preparation; housing and employment assistance; and guidance in transitioning back into the community. The ministry’s outreach services also includes networking that enables us to connect our neighbors to local food pantries, medical care, and financial assistance with rent and utilities.

“Now that the eviction ban has ended, Peoria Rescue Ministries will be here to catch those who fall through the cracks,” said Rocke. “Whether it’s a few nights in our emergency shelter or connecting them to food from local pantries to help make ends meet, we will support them in any way we can to help them get back on their feet.”

PRM invites individuals who would like to support those facing eviction to make a contribution at our donation page. Click these links for more information about men's and women's programs and services, visit .

Peoria Rescue Ministries is a Christ-centered 501(c)(3) private organization providing transformational services to the Peoria community since 1955. PRM receives no government funding and offers its services to anyone in need regardless of race, religion, lifestyle or creed.

Community News

April, 2020

The Long Road Ahead

“Many donors are struggling financially and that means uncertainty for Peoria Rescue Ministries, too,” said Dan Wolf, Development Director. “The CARES Act offers 2020 tax incentives that support donors in their efforts to give generously and meet their own family’s or business’s needs.”

Peoria Rescue Ministries sees continuing challenges ahead as their donors and volunteers grapple with unemployment, stay-at-home orders and other issues related to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

“Under stay-at-home orders and social distancing, our volunteer force is no longer able to supplement our staff and services as they did prior to the pandemic,” said Lori Skinner, engagement coordinator for PRM. “This means our staff is working extra shifts or subbing in other areas of service to fill in gaps.”

Peoria Rescue Ministries sees continuing challenges ahead.

PRM’s services could also be challenged due to unemployed donors who must choose between supporting the nonprofit they love and their own loved ones.

The CARES Act, signed into law March 27, includes tax incentives for both donors who itemize and those who take the standard deduction. “The Act also provides tax incentives for businesses who give,” said Wolf. Specific information about the CARES Act and charitable deductions can be found on several national and local websites, including the National Law Review, National Christian Foundation, and Tax Foundation.

“We encourage everyone to talk to their financial or tax advisors before giving,” said Wolf. “And to hold the nonprofits they support to the highest standard of stewardship. Donors are giving sacrificially, so it’s important to know the charities they give to are transparent and efficient.”

To give online, visit this link. Or mail your gift to Peoria Rescue Ministries, 601 SW Adams, Peoria, IL 61602. 

Giving Tips for a Pandemic

  • Gifts up to $300 are 100% deductible, even for those using the standard deduction. This means donors can deduct up to $300 per year whether they itemize deductions or not. Contributions by cash, credit card or check are eligible; gifts of stock are not.
  • The maximum charitable deduction is raised to 100%. Previously individuals could deduct up to 60% of their adjusted gross income (AGI) for charitable deductions of cash (not gifts of stock). The stimulus package allows individuals to deduct up to 100% of their AGI in 2020. This is helpful for donors making major cash gifts, reducing their overall federal tax burden. In addition, donations in excess of AGI may be carried over to future tax filings for up to 5 additional years.
  • Corporations have greater incentive to make charitable gifts. Previously, charitable giving for a corporation was limited to 10% of taxable income. The limit has been increased to 25% of taxable income, providing larger charitable gifts a greater tax and philanthropic incentive for business donors.

Community News

June 30, 2020

What does it mean to live as God’s Kingdom people during these times of re-opening our social interactions and activities?

"do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things." (Phl 4:6-8 ESV)

As we ease back into re-opening our social interactions and activities, we can use proactive, thankful prayer to relieve our anxiety and proceed with faith in God’s promises.  We can also choose to manage our thoughts by choosing to focusing on those things that are positive instead of negative.

Dealing with authorities over us:
Unless our authorities ask us to choose between obeying a clear command of God or obeying man(Acts 5:27-29), we are called to the following concerning those God has placed in authority:

"Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people." [Tit 3:1-2 ESV]

As we ease back into re-opening our social interactions and activities, these are some  great words to live by!

If we do feel that a government authority is being unjust, there is no excuse to gossip, criticize, condemn, or complain.  However, we have several examples where people of God made respectful appeals through the proper channels:
Esther (Esther 7:1-6, 8:3-6)
Daniel (Daniel 1:8-16)
Paul (Acts 25:8-11)

Concerning disagreement on issues of conscience or debatable matters among believers:

As we ease back into re-opening our social interactions and activities, Romans 14 is a great “love chapter” on how to approach this area by:

  • In your own conscience, come to a sense of faith between you and God on how to proceed (Romans 14:22-23)
  • Show mutual respect for differences in conscience and not passing judgment on others(Romans 14:4)
  • Don’t be a stumbling block to your brother or sister in how you handle your conviction (Romans 14:13)
  • Pursue what makes for peace and mutual building up (Romans 14:19)


Curt Meiss, LCPC

Counseling Director, Barnabas Center
Peoria Rescue Ministries

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