Rust Street Ministries runs several programs in order to achieve our goal of helping those in need in the San Angelo and Concho Valley area. Year after year, starting with our humble beginnings in 1995, we have either added to or expanded upon the services that we offer. Today, we continue to improve our efforts to bring neighbors together through the programs that we provide.
The Clothe thy Neighbor program allows us to take in new and gently used clothing and household essentials to give out to the needy and their families. We currently offer a wide selection of men’s, women’s, children’s, and infant clothing and shoes. Additionally, we also offer household essentials such as blankets, beds, pillows, furniture, baby items, kitchen items, and more. Our warehouse is organized in a similar fashion to a department store so visitors can come in and “shop” with privacy and dignity. The Clothe thy Neighbor program was the natural next step of the original Closet on wheels.
In 2005-2009, 16% of Tom Green county residents were in poverty. Twenty-three percent of related children under 18 were below the poverty level, compared with 11 percent of people 65 years old and over. Twelve percent of all families and 36 percent of families with a female householder and no husband present had incomes below the poverty level.
The Closet on Wheels or COW is our oldest program. The first iteration of Rust Street Ministries consisted of nothing more than an old school buss that was converted into the closet on wheels. We took the COW around to local schools and churches to help clothe the needy.
Today, the COW is a 30ft trailer that serves as a mobile Rust Street that continues to serve area schools and churches. The COW trailer is also used for immediate response with food and clothing to areas effected by natural disasters. Additionally, the COW can also serve as a mobile motel for use by firefighters or emergency response teams.
Food for the Soul was the second major program to be added to Rust Street Ministries. Through partnerships with local grocery stores, as well as generous donations from citizens in our community, we are able to provide food to hungry families on a daily basis. Through the dedication of our volunteers and expansion of our ministry we have been able to expand our efforts to include a dedicated food pantry. The food pantry allows us to provide not only canned goods and dry staples, but also fruits, vegetables, meats, and other perishables.
Each day we strive to not let families go hungry in the Concho Valley. In a study conducted in 2009, it was found that nearly 18% of all households had times when there was not enough money to buy food - that’s 6,000 households in San Angelo. It also found that over 24% of families with children had times when there was not enough money to buy food - that’s 5,400 households in San Angelo, Texas. We hope that with the continued support of our neighbors and partners we can help to reduce these numbers in the years to come.
The Garden on Eden was a community garden that was established in order to help support our efforts with Food for the Soul to provide our neighbors with fresh and nutritious fruits and vegetables. The land on Loop 306 was sold by the organization that had allowed us to use it, but there are dreams to find another place where the Garden might be restablished.
We work with various community service agencies and organizations in order to connect those in need with programs that will help to improve their quality of life. Some of these programs include:
When natural disasters strike the concho valley it can often hit the needy the hardest. In an effort to help people get back on their feet as quickly as possible, we depoloy the COW trailer to disaster areas in need. The mobile COW trailer allows us to provide on-site food and clothing in addition to counseling and spiritual guidance.
Monday - Thursday 9:00a.m. to 1:00p.m., Friday 9:00a.m. to noon if you need assistance with food, clothing or household items. If you need clothes, you must make an appointment by calling our office: 325.486.1004, 9:00am to 1:00p.m. weekdays.
Tuesday and Thursday 9:00am to Noon. Please do not leave donations at our facilities outside of these times.
We are accepting donations of clothing, shoes and household items. We accept furniture that is in good condition, no pet hair, and that can be dropped off at our facilities. If you have appliances to drop off, we ask that it be in working order. We ask that you not bring garage sale knick-knacks, electronics, TVs, or any item you would not want to receive yourself.
Unloading assistance is available. We cannot do pickups of donations.