Our History

The Rescue Mission Alliance began with the vision of Charles and Mary Pope. After helping to start the Santa Barbara Rescue Mission, they felt the need for a similar ministry in the Oxnard area. In 1972, with the cooperation of several local businessmen and pastors, they formed a board of directors, obtained loans, and incorporated the Oxnard Rescue Mission on July 6.

In September 1989, the mission’s name was changed to Ventura County Rescue Mission to better align with the scope of its countywide services. The Ventura County Rescue Mission is the longest-standing shelter for the homeless in Ventura County. Today, the mission has more than 175 beds.

After 20 years of service to the community, on an early Sunday morning in July 1992, a fire broke out in the main dormitory. Through God’s grace, no lives were lost and no one was injured, though the fire destroyed the men’s dormitory. With the support of the community and faithful donors, the mission was able to construct a new, larger building, which was in full use by July 1998.

Growth in existing programs and development of more programs and services to the homeless in bordering Los Angeles County led to the formation of the Rescue Mission Alliance on August 4, 1997.


Recognizing the need for services for families and for women and children, the Rescue Mission Alliance started the Lighthouse for Women & Children in Oxnard and the San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission in 1997. To further meet the needs of the hungry, the Valley Food Bank was established in 2001 to serve the hungry in the San Fernando Valley. In August 2003, Central Coast Rescue Mission came under the wing of Rescue Mission Alliance, and in February 2008, the Victor Valley Rescue Mission joined the Rescue Mission Alliance family. In 2015, the San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission completed construction and moved into a new 90-bed facility in Northridge.

Today the Rescue Mission Alliance provides a safe haven for men, women, and children who are in desperate need of food, clothing, shelter, and support to resolve hunger and homelessness across Ventura, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and San Bernardino Counties. Through its wide range of services – a food bank, three emergency shelters, five residential recovery programs, transitional housing, and job training – we support clients in need and help them lead healthy, self-sufficient lives. Every night of the year, the Rescue Mission Alliance provides housing for up to 411 homeless individuals and families.