News & Media

Winchester Rescue Mission working to open emergency shelter

Star staff report Apr 13, 2020
WINCHESTER — Winchester Rescue Mission is preparing to open an emergency shelter for individuals experiencing homelessness or who have become displaced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic
According to mission press release, the goal is to provide shelter, food and personal protection supplies to individuals during the government directive to shelter in place to prevent the spread of the virus. Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has ordered people to stay at home until June 10.
The mission is hopeful that the shelter will be open and ready to use by April 20, the release said.

Winchester COVID-19 emergency shelter closing

By BRIAN BREHM The Winchester Star Jun 9, 2020
WINCHESTER — Tonight will be the final night of operations for an emergency shelter established to accommodate homeless people during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This has been quite a journey, man. Quite a journey,” said Winchester Rescue Mission Executive Director Brandan Thomas, who worked with Shenandoah University and numerous community and government agencies to open the shelter on April 16 in the former National Guard Armory at 608 Millwood Ave.
Thomas said a total of 84 people utilized the shelter over the past two months. They were assisted by eight paid staff members and up to 30 volunteers per week.
“The staff and the volunteers who worked here made this thing run so smoothly,” he said.

No run of the mill effort: Ultra-marathoner spends 24 hours on treadmill to raise money for women’s shelter

By EVAN GOODENOW The Winchester Star Jan 13, 2020
WINCHESTER — Ultra-marathoner Brad Hinton didn’t cover any ground when he ran for 24 straight hours, but he got somewhere.
Hinton’s run on a motorless treadmill at Shenandoah CrossFit from 9 a.m. Friday to 9 a.m. Saturday raised at least $8,000 for homeless women and their children. The money will go for upgrades at the Winchester Rescue Mission women’s shelter at 4 E. Southwerk St., which can accommodate four adults, according to the Rev. Brandan Thomas, mission executive director.

Malloy Toyota donates box truck to Winchester Rescue Mission


By JOSH JANNEY The Winchester Star Feb 10, 2020
WINCHESTER — A box truck was donated to Winchester Rescue Mission on Saturday by Malloy Toyota of Winchester.
Vicki Culbreth, the rescue mission’s development coordinator, said the truck will help the organization pick up food that it uses in its food distribution program.

Home at last: Rescue Mission welcomes a 4-legged friend


By BRIAN BREHM The Winchester Star Feb 4, 2020
WINCHESTER — Owners of pets adopted from shelters like to ask, “Who rescued who?”
Thanks to Girl and her new owners, that question has never been harder to answer.
At noon on Monday, a 2-year-old, 30-pound, mixed-breed dog named Girl was rescued from the SPCA of Winchester, Frederick and Clarke Counties by staff at the Winchester Rescue Mission. Less than two hours later, the formerly homeless dog was making herself right at home in the mission’s shelter for homeless men.

Chain of Checks sets fundraising record

Star staff report Jan 28, 2020
WINCHESTER — WINC Radio’s 2019 Chain of Checks campaign proved to be its most successful to date.
The Winchester radio station announced last week that $157,223.64 was raised for the holiday campaign titled “Headed Home: A Journey Out of Homelessness.”
Donations will be shared by the Evans Home for Children at 330 E. Leicester St., which provides shelter to young people in need, and the Winchester Rescue Mission at 435 N. Cameron St., which provides emergency shelter and services to homeless men, women and children.
“The Chain of Checks funding will provide tools to our clients that will provide a path to independence and productivity,” Evans Home Executive Director Marc Jaccard said in a media release from WINC Radio. “At the Evans Home, our children build on dreams for the future, and create brilliant childhood memories that they can replicate for their own families in the future.”
Brandan Thomas, executive director of the Winchester Rescue Mission, said in the release: “These Chain of Checks dollars will give us the opportunity to address some of the biggest obstacles faced by people who are devastated by homelessness. We’ll be able to hire a professional mental health worker who can dedicate their time to specifically address the issues of mental illness.”

Rescue Ride: Thomas’ ‘crazy idea’ becomes a national inspiration

By BRIAN BREHM The Winchester Star Oct 19, 2019
WINCHESTER — What began as a simple idea to ride across the country and raise awareness about homelessness turned into a national media sensation that raised more money for the Winchester Rescue Mission than anything before.

Winchester Rescue Mission ‘grateful’ for office rehab

WINCHESTER — About 300 square feet of office space at the Winchester Rescue Mission at 435 N. Cameron St. is getting spruced up, with help from Lowe’s employees at the store’s location in the Rutherford Crossing shopping center.
On Friday, a small group of Lowe’s employees got to work adding cabinets and countertops, painting walls, and installing new doors. Their efforts are part of the Lowe’s Heroes program.

Mission director’s Rescue Ride to raise awareness about the homeless

By Brian Brehm | The Winchester Star | August 8, 2019

WINCHESTER — Brandan Thomas is taking a cross-country journey to help the homeless residents of the Winchester Rescue Mission. “I love the guys that live here,” said Thomas, executive director of the shelter at 435 N. Cameron St., “and I want people to get to know them and their stories.” To share his message with as many people as possible, Thomas came up with a 12-day Rescue Ride, “a crazy idea I had for a while that started to take shape in March.” Thomas will leave Winchester on Sept. 27 and ride a motorcycle all the way to Los Angeles, stopping along the way to visit homeless shelters and post video updates about his journey. “The goal is to raise awareness and get people to understand more about what the guys and gals living at the Rescue Mission deal with when it comes to homelessness,” he said. The Rescue Ride will be the second public awareness event staged by Thomas. The first, Conversations from a Bench, was held in October and featured Thomas and a variety of guests discussing homelessness and its underlying causes, including addiction and mental health issues, during a 24-hour event that was streamed live on social media from a bench in front of the mission.


Crossroads: Winchester Rescue Mission with Branden Thomas

By iHeart Radio | August 5, 2019 • 30 min

Branden Thomas talks with us about the growing homeless population in the valley, and how his agency is rising to meet the challenge. We also talk about his ride across America to raise money and awareness

Click Here to Listen


Winchester man’s mission lives on in partnership to help the homeless

By Ellie Williams | Local DVM | June 13, 2019

2019 Chain of Checks campaign will confront homelessness

By Star staff report | The Winchester Star | June 7, 2019
WINCHESTER — The Henry and William Evans Home for Children and the Winchester Rescue Mission have been selected as beneficiaries of WINC Radio’s 2019 Chain of Checks campaign.
The theme of this year’s fundraiser is “Headed Home: A Journey Out of Homelessness.”
Eighty percent of the individuals living at the Winchester Rescue Mission‘s shelter at 435 N. Cameron St. have a mental health diagnosis, according to a Chain of Checks media release. By addressing those issues, the nonprofit helps its residents regain independence.



Colorful mural brightens Winchester Rescue Mission and the community

By Josh Janney | The Winchester Star | June 3, 2019
WINCHESTER- The Winchester Rescue Mission at 435 N. Cameron St. got an exterior makeover Saturday as more than 80 volunteers helped paint a mural on the shelter’s walls.
The mural, designed by local artist Sarah Gallahan, depicts several acts of kindness- such as taking care of the sick and providing food and shelter- all services the Winchester Rescue Mission provides. Gallahan started working on the design of the mural in early May, investing more than 40 work hours. On Saturday, volunteers added color to her designs.

WINC-FM announces 2019 Chain of Checks recipients

By Ellie Williams | Local DVM | June 5, 2019

Shenandoah students start free foot care clinic to help manage diabetes

By Bria Lloyd | Local DVM | May 7, 2019

Local groups collaborate for women’s shelter

By Ellie Williams | Local DVM | October 2018

Rescue Mission expands with new women’s shelter

By Evan Goodenow | The Winchester Star | February 11, 2018
WINCHESTER- Mission accomplished.
For decades since the 32-bed, men’s only Winchester Rescue Mission opened in 1973, organizers have sought to build a women’s shelter. Their effort came to fruition in a home at 4 E. Southwerk St. on Saturday.
The house will initially house three women, by the Rev. Brandan Thomas, mission executive director, said he hopes to eventually increase the number to nine if space can be found in the three-story, 1,946-square-foot home.