The Long Beach Rescue Mission is seeking a new president/ CEO to take the reins since Rev. Jim Lewis, the homeless-services organization’s CEO for the past six years, has resigned, according to the nonprofit’s website. Chaplain Robert Probst is serving as interim CEO.
Lewis was not immediately available for comment before press time, however, his professional Linkedin profile states that, after re-establishing two struggling rescue missions in the past several years, he is now “looking forward to taking a short sabbatical,” but he plans to “remain active in Long Beach and in nonprofits.”
On his Twitter feed, Lewis implied that he plans to continue serving the local community in some fashion. “It’s not goodbye, but what happens next?” he posted.
In a message about his service to the Long Beach Rescue Mission, which he has worked for since August 2006, Lewis states that he is honored to have “built a great team, initiated successful programs that help the homeless and change lives,” adding that he “transformed the DNA” of the mission to be more connected with and involved in the community. He adds, “I hope my legacy for the mission will be seen as one of increasing sustainability through more engaged donors, growth in the number, scope and quality of its programs.”
After serving the Coachella Valley Rescue Mission in Indio, where he “rebuilt the reputation and programs” of the mission following an embezzlement by its former executive director, his goal in coming to Long Beach, he states, was to be “an effective voice for the homeless” in Long Beach and create a better service model that “seeks, not to enable, but to empower– while respecting the quality of life of the community.” Lewis notes that he helped the mission expand its “new life program,” a one-year intensive Christian residential-discipleship course that has grown to 50 men and women. In 2012, there were an unprecedented 30 graduates of the program, he states.
Lewis added that, despite the continued recession, the mission has increased its donor-base by 50 percent, doubled contribution income, grown staff to 26 people and engages over 1,700 volunteers annually.
Lewis also lobbied Long Beach city and community leaders to develop a location for a winter shelter that would appease everyone involved and affected. The mission is now leasing a 12,000-square-foot industrial warehouse at 702 W. Anaheim St., which was the previous location of Jesse James’s West Coast Choppers shop and now offers some 140 beds for the winter shelter this holiday season. Lewis said that he also added facilities to include an administration building and women’s “bridge home.”
In recent years, the Long Beach Rescue Mission has been recognized with several workplace awards, including the Alfred P. Sloan Award for Excellence in Workplace Effectiveness and Flexibility in 2008 and 2010, and Best Christian Workplaces Institute award in 2009.