Regarding recent stories about the future of the Atlantic City Rescue Mission:

Homeless people are just the tip of the iceberg of the current economic recession. Most of those who end up at the Rescue Mission have nowhere else to turn to due to their physical, financial and mental hopelessness.

When I joined the Rescue Mission staff as a chaplain in 1984, I left a well-paying position as director of a business school teaching skills to the unemployed and underemployed who hoped to find work during the infancy of the casino industry. The Rescue Mission population of homeless men already included those who came to town to find their treasure. Gambling addicts who lost everything except the clothes on their backs needed food and shelter, along with counseling, to turn their lives in the right direction. Many were helped and redeemed.

Since 1988 when a larger facility was approved and erected, thousands of men, women and children have been rescued from having to live in a hopeless state of addiction and poverty. There is an even greater need today for the nonprofit Christian ministry of the Rescue Mission in Atlantic City.

I worked with Bill Southrey and attest to the fact that his commitment to showing God's unconditional love has provided the leadership needed to continue offering new life and hope to the downtrodden who seek help for their survival. My wife and I, along with many friends who care about this ministry, hope the community, churches, businesses and board of directors seek God's wisdom in determining the Rescue Mission's future.

REV. STAN WILEY

Absecon