Rockford Rescue Mission Opens Performing Arts Center

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The Rockford Rescue Mission has turned around many lives.  Several programs exist to help accomplish that.  Now, you can add one more to the list.

A ribbon cutting was held Friday for the William Howard and Lucille Dittmar Performing Arts Center.

“They are interested in learning about music and dance,” said Development Associate Charmel Jacobs.  “We have not had the opportunity before to develop that in them.”

The center offers a wide range of instruments and equipment to record music.  The rescue mission says it’s important to not only give a hand out, but a hand up.

“They just are really struggling.  This is a way we can encourage them.  It’s just one more step to showing dignity for folks.”

Nicholas Johnson has been in the recovery program for about seven months.  He says the center will now be an outlet to help residents through their hardships.

“It offers a second chance,” said Johnson.  “It’s a glimpse of hope for anybody that’s struggling with homelessness or any other daily struggles.”

For the last 10 months, Ethan Langley has also been a part of the men’s life recovery proram.  He says music is a crucial part of his recovery.

“It’s a sense of freedom,” said Langley.  “It gives me a chance to be myself.  When others are here and we’re able to play together, it creates a sense of unity.”

Both Langley and Johnson say they plan on spending a lot of time in the center and look forward to welcoming other residents.”

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