Joe Schroeder exchanges career in law enforcement for the business of life transformation.
Joe Schroeder loved his 34 years in law enforcement but sees God’s hand at work like never before in his new job.
“I always had satisfaction in my work,” he explains. “I loved helping people. But now it is a satisfaction like no other.”
As the Director of Operations for Union Rescue Mission in Wichita, Schroeder oversees shelter operations, facility upkeep, transportation, medical care, and food services.
He sees some similarities between working on the streets and in the Mission. “I was always involved with the homeless population,” he explains. “But when I was in law enforcement, I dealt with the symptoms. Now I’m part of a team of people finding long-term solutions.”
Schroeder says in his current role, he helps meet immediate physical needs like
shelter and meals as a first step to long-term transformation. Once basic needs
have been met, the men are more receptive to the ministry team, who addresses mental health issues and spiritual needs.
The Mission focuses on rescue, recovery, restoration and re-engagement,
Schroeder says, but the most important part is restoration through Christ. That’s where the real change happens.
“The spiritual is what is really going to put them in the right direction,” he says. “Restoring lives with Christ will alleviate a lot of the problems they have with addiction. You have to help them see the value in a relationship with Jesus Christ.”
Working at the Mission “has increased my faith tremendously,” Schroeder says. “Getting to spend my entire day with people of faith and bringing others to it, watching men who at one point had no hope turn into shining people who are able to go out and take on the world is incredible.”
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