Christian Care is one of Rock Island's best-kept secrets. We were founded in 1916 to serve the least, the last, and the lost. We have continued to serve our community for 96 years and currently operate two facilities—a domestic violence shelter for abused women and children and a rescue mission for homeless men. We also operate a community meal site that served well over 50,000 meals last year and a 24/7 Crisis Line that primarily fields calls from those who are homeless, those in danger of being beaten or killed, and those contemplating suicide. We provide safe shelter, food, clothing, and personal care items to each of our residents—and so much more.
Who Do We Serve?
We primarily provide care to residents of the Quad Cities, but we also have taken in individuals from other states and even other countries. We serve:
- Homeless individuals
- Victims of Domestic Violence
- Victims of Sexual Assault
- Children and Adolescents
- Individuals struggling with mental illness
- Men and Women transitioning out of prison
Our primary goal is to facilitate the positive transformation of the individuals we serve. Centering on accountability and responsibility, we encourage men, women, and children to radically change their thinking and lifestyle—in essence, to become productive citizens in the community.
By providing safe shelter, support and resources, Christian Care empowers both the homeless and survivors of domestic violence to make positive changes in every aspect of their lives.
Christian Care transforms lives.
Core Values Statement
Christian Care is grounded in these core values: spirituality, relationship, caring, passion, empowerment and integrity. We embody these values in our personal and professional lives; they define who we are and how we act:
Spirituality: Our faith in God compels us to serve the least, the last and the lost.
Relationships: We recognize and appreciate the connections between people within the organization and the community.
Caring: We are concerned about our residents and do all in our power to provide them with the services that they need.
Passion: We are deeply devoted to our calling to serve the homeless, the abused and those in need.
Empowerment: We promote the self actualization of our residents as they learn to reach their full potential.
Integrity: Our ethics and behavior are one.
Christian Care has been serving the Quad Cities for almost one hundred years. Our founder, Guy Rodgers, established the Rock Island Rescue Mission on October 18, 1916; for nine years, he operated the mission in several locations. In 1925, he settled the mission at 2010 3rd Avenue in Rock Island, where Rodgers continued his life's vocation until his death on July 7, 1958. He dedicated himself to providing a place of respite for men who were seeking employment in the Quad Cities.
Originally, the Rescue Mission was simply one room where men could get help with food, clothing, shelter and spiritual nourishment. As an influx of families moved into the region after WWI, the Mission began providing services to families in need. Over the years, the Rescue Mission's services grew to include long term shelter for men, a resale store, a Sunday school, Sunday Worship services open to the public and a rehabilitation program. Throughout the years, the mission provided help for area families. Then, in 1981, they opened a shelter for domestic violence victims to provide shelter, safety, and compassion for women and children fleeing from lives of abuse. That year the organization changed its name to Christian Family Care Center to incorporate both programs.
In 2004, the Rock Island Rescue Mission relocated to a brand new building at 2209 3rd Avenue in Rock Island. The funding for this new facility was made possible through the generous gifts and bequests of caring donors. In 2006, we shortened our name to Christian Care. Still, in the tradition of our founder, Guy Rodgers, we provide shelter, food, clothing, counseling, referrals, and spiritual guidance to anyone in need.
- Transformation: At Christian Care, we do not merely shelter individuals. Our primary goal is to transform lives and to ensure that our residents make deep and long-lasting changes in their lives that prevent them from being homeless or abused again in the future.
- Taking the Time Needed: Unlike most other shelters, Christian Care does not limit the amount of time that residents can stay at our facilities, provided that they can demonstrate their progress in working to improve their lives. Residents are monitored in all areas of growth, such as counseling, household responsibilities, pursuing jobs and furthering their education. We allow them to take the time they need to make sure that they truly are ready to live independently.
- Our Holistic Approach to Care: We focus on the whole person by addressing not only the immediate physical needs of our residents, but also the spiritual, mental and emotional needs that often lie at the heart of the abused or homeless condition. We operate from a holistic, empowerment philosophy that encourages individuals to create dramatic changes in their lives by nourishing their mind, body, heart and soul. Existing programs enable our residents to move from their current, marginalized situation to become productive members of society.
Christian Care's Board of Directors and Staff Director
President: Sharon De Frieze, Founder, QCALM
Sharon is presently serving as the President of Christian Care. She is Treasurer of Bi-State Literacy Council and servers on the board of New Life Outpatient Center. Prior to retirement Sharon was the CEO of the Quad City Area Labor Management Council, and instrumental in the organizations establishment. She still works part-time as their Special Events Director. She is a member of Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church, Rock Island, IL.
Secretary: John Thompson, President, DeLeon Thompson Inc.
John joined Christian Care's Board of Directors in January 2014. Originally from Galesburg, John moved to Florida with his family at the age of two, returning to Moline in his teens. John attended St Ambrose University and earned a Certificate in Business Management from The Institute for Management Development. John currently resides in Davenport with his wife Caroline Ruhl, and two boys John and Chris. John is the President of DeLeon Thompson, a local Industrial Distributor, located in Moline. The company sells and services tools and products used in the metal working industries. He attends Christ Church Anglican in Moline, where he is currently a Eucharist Minister and former Senior Warden. John is a past president and board member of Rotary Club of Moline, member of The Literacy Connection, and a tutor at Washington Elementary School. John holds a 50 ton Coast Guard Masters Captain's License, and loves to boat and sail. John looks forward to adding his third sprint triathlon to his list of accomplishment in June.
Joan Vogelgesang graduated from Marycrest College majoring in business. She retired from Deere & Company after completing nearly 34 years of service, 26 years of which were working for the CFO. Joan has been volunteering at Christian Care for the last five years at both the Women's Domestic Violence Shelter and the Men's Rescue Mission. She is a member of Zion Lutheran Church in Taylor Ridge, Illinois.
Gary Vogelgesang served in the army in the late 1960's then later owned his own auto parts store in the 1980's. Upon the sale of this business, he entered into auto sales. He retired from Lundahl Volvo where he handled the sales, finance and leasing. Gary has been volunteering at Christian Care for the last five years at both the Women's Domestic Violence Shelter and the Men's Rescue Mission. Gary is a member of Zion Lutheran Church in Taylor Ridge, Illinois.
Bradley Wuertz, CASL, ChFC, CLU, MSFS
Financial Consultant, Thrivent Financial
The oldest of five children, Brad grew up in the Chicago, St. Louis and in Iowa. His father was a Lutheran pastor, and Brad graduated from the University of Iowa with a bachelor of Business Administration degree in 1982, and a master’s in financial planning from the American College in 2013. He has been with Thrivent Financial since 1983. Brad and his wife Julie have two children, Michael, 24, and Bailey, 17. His hobbies include golf, fishing and tending to the nearly 50 rose bushes which were inherited when Brad and Julie purchased their home in 2010.
Chief Executive Officer: Elaine Winter Ed.D.
Dr. Elaine Winter is beginning her eighth year as Executive Director of Christian Care. She has a long history of working on behalf of women. Prior to coming to Christian Care she was the Director of Augustana College's Center for Vocational Reflection and Director of Communication and Research for an international professional association. Dr. Elaine has both an MBA and a Master's degree in Counseling in addition to her doctorate in Leadership and Adult Education. She has traveled widely and is especially interested in diverse cultures.