Dave Webb talks about his experience with Victory Mission's WorkReady BootCamp program. Sitting next to Webb are Noah Husky and Stephanie Smith.
Dave Webb talks about his experience with Victory Mission's WorkReady BootCamp program. Sitting next to Webb are Noah Husky and Stephanie Smith. (Photo: Lindsey Whitford)

David Webb came to Springfield with a housing voucher, his backpack and a change of clothes. But, as is the case for many people who qualify for housing voucher programs, he couldn’t find a landlord willing to accept it. 

Webb found his way to Victory Mission + Ministry’s emergency shelter for homeless men. 

“I was looking for two hots and a cot. They took me in, fed me, gave me a bed,” Webb said. “Then they had the workforce bootcamp. I call it life career bootcamp. They teach you life skills. They teach you how to budget money. They teach you how to act right, talk right, how to talk to people.”

Webb shared his story at Victory Mission’s annual Prayer & Coffee event Thursday morning at the Savoy Ballroom. About 115 people attended the fundraiser breakfast, including Greene County Presiding Commissioner Bob Dixon, County Clerk Shane Schoeller and several law enforcement officers. 

About 115 people attended Victory Mission's Prayer & Coffee event Thursday at the Savoy Ballroom.
About 115 people attended Victory Mission’s Prayer & Coffee event Thursday at the Savoy Ballroom. (Photo by Jackie Rehwald)

The workforce bootcamp Webb mentioned is Victory Mission’s WorkReady BootCamp, an intensive program available for the men in the shelter. It is designed to help men get ready to enter the workforce. Over a week, men learn strategies to help find and maintain employment. They learn soft skills such as anger management and self-care. They prepare resumes, role-play interviews and practice budgeting.

After recently completing the bootcamp, Webb said he got a “killer job.”

“Next week, I will be setting up my bank account. We are going to work on a budget,” Webb said. “I gotta give a shout out … to everybody at Victory Mission and the bootcamp. Thank you for saving my life.

“I used to be a people person, but being on the streets for so long has taken me away from that,” he said. “You guys have taught me how to love again.”

During the event, Victory Mission Executive Director Jason Hynson shared the nonprofit’s latest financial information. In 2022, Victory Mission’s total income was about $3.5 million, with more than $500,000 coming from its social enterprise programs like the Equip Coffee company.

Victory Mission’s total expenses in 2022 were just under $3.2 million, according to information presented by Hynson.  

Hyson pointed out that profits from Equip Coffee  — Victory Mission’s social enterprise coffee company that also gives the people in programs job training and experience — more than cover Victory Mission’s administrative expenses. That means donations can go to support programs such as the Restoration Program, the emergency shelter, street outreach and the mobile food pantry. 

Recent grad says he found God’s purpose

Noah Husky, a graduate of the Restoration Program, also shared his experiences at Thursday’s event. The Restoration Program is described as a 12- to 18-month discipleship program aimed at developing five key areas of a person’s life: spiritual, personal, relational, financial and vocational. 

Noah Husky
Noah Husky is a graduate of Victory Mission’s Restoration Program. (Photo: Lindsey Whitford)

Husky said he came to Victory Mission and the Restoration Program not really looking to make significant changes. 

“I just wanted them to help me get out of prison and for me to continue to do my own thing,” he said. “But the Lord had different plans.

“The only reason I went there is because I burnt every bridge in my life,” Husky continued. “They were the only place that would take me in for free. They were going to feed me. They were going to clothe me. They were going to help me get my drivers license, my birth certificate and help me get a job. I was like — great. That is literally all I need and want from you. And as soon as I get that, I’m done.”

Hynson, who was moderating the panel discussion, chuckled and thanked Husky for being honest. 

“Then one day, just the grace of God completely changed me and transformed me,” Husky said at a later point in the discussion “I learned how to deal with life …

“It’s been an amazing journey,” he added. “I found purpose and hope. I know what it is the Lord created me for.”

Victory Mission has new program for women

Victory Mission, which is mostly known for its transitional and emergency shelter for men, recently created a Restoration Program for women.

Stephanie Smith is currently in Victory Mission's Restoration Program for women.
Stephanie Smith is currently in Victory Mission’s Restoration Program for women. (Photo: Lindsey Whitford)

Stephanie Smith, a current participant in the womens’ program, was among the panelists Thursday.  Smith said she is in the second phase of the program, which means she’s completed the 30-day probationary period and is continuing to live in the women’s group home and is able to get a job.

Asked why she came to Victory Mission seven months ago, Smith said she “just needed a new way.”

“I was very broken,” she said. “I needed a new way of life because my way was not working anymore.”

Smith said she is working on saving money to get her own apartment and appreciates the people at Victory Mission who have come alongside her in this journey. 

“There’s a lot of love at Victory Mission, all the volunteers and staff,” Smith said. “It’s just something I don’t think I’ve ever had. It’s been good.”

Jackie Rehwald

Jackie Rehwald is a reporter at the Springfield Daily Citizen. She covers housing, homelessness, domestic violence and early childhood, among other public affairs issues. Her office line is 417-837-3659. More by Jackie Rehwald