BILLINGS- Perry Roberts may have officially retired as executive director of the Montana Rescue Mission, but he says he doesn’t plan to be a stranger at the organization that has helped thousands get back on their feet in Billings.
At a retirement party Thursday evening, Roberts reflected on the 15 years he has spent at the mission on Minnesota Avenue, the past nine as the executive director.
“It’s bittersweet. I love the mission of what the Montana Rescue Mission does,” he said.
During the past decade, Roberts says the mission has gone from helping fewer than1,000 people a year to around 2,000 annually for the past several years.
“Now we do everything we can to help them move on as quickly as they can and get them back on their feet. It’s not so much about providing them with months of stay as it is about giving them what they need to get back on their feet, to get back into a place, and get back into a productive lifestyle,” he said.
Roberts says he has seen an uptick in the number of people needing help in some way.
“There are a lot of expectations for the limiting funding we have,” he said. “We do not get any state or federal funding and depend solely on private donors.”
Roberts plans to stay involved with Montana Rescue Mission but says he’s also looking forward to spending more time on the ski slopes and catching up on a long to-do list that his wife has for him.
The Montana Rescue Mission is set to announce its new executive director next Monday.