About the Mission

Mission Statement

The Reno-Sparks Gospel Mission is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit, non-denominational Christian organization dedicated to helping the homeless, hungry, addicted, and abused in the Northern Nevada area.


“We’re here to meet people at their point of pain,” says Executive Director Luis Santoni. “Once we’ve got them stabilized, we’ll work on spiritual issues, employment, social services, and counseling. We look at each person as a whole.”

The Mission relies entirely on the generous gifts of individuals, families, churches, foundations, and businesses that share this vision and care about the downtrodden.

Since 1963, the Mission has:

  • Served nearly 15 million meals
  • Given away more than 2 million pieces of clothing
  • Provided more than 2.7 million nights of warm beds
  • Helped more than 100,00 alcoholics and drug addicts

The Reno-Sparks Gospel Mission . . .

  • is one of Northern Nevada’s largest faith-based providers of services to the needy and homeless, serving nearly 500,000 meals annually
  • offers one of Nevada’s largest addiction recovery programs, with 75 beds for men and women. The 13-month program addresses the client’s spiritual, physical, and emotional needs.
  • owns and operates a warehouse, transitional/rental housing, Journey Church, and four thrift stores.
  • ministers to the community through numerous outreaches and services, including a weekly food pantry, holiday meals, coat and blanket drives,  monthly Pop-Up Pantries, and annual “Random Acts of Kindness” events in low-income neighborhoods.

“It was like the Acts of the Apostles all over again, miracle after miracle.” Rev. Howard Cooper, Miracles in Sin City The old Bronx Hotel certainly has some colorful history. It’s seen its share of drunks, prostitutes, and brawlers saddle up to the wormwood bar. An ex-alcoholic once offered $20 as a down payment on the $150,000 purchase price – and got it. And its name came from a congested metropolis 3,000 miles away from the barren Nevada desert. That old hotel has since been razed (2009). But for more than three decades it ended up being the light of Reno. For what once was a place for practicing alcoholics became a haven for recovering ones. In the late 1960s, the wooden bar came down and the wooden cross went up. The Reno-Sparks Gospel Mission had arrived. From humble beginnings, the Mission has become Northern Nevada’s largest Christian provider of services to the homeless, needy, and addicted — affecting more than 200,000 different lives and families since 1963.
Men and women used to walk into the building at Third and West streets and stagger out drunk. Now, they walk out of the Mission with their heads held high. In fact, more than 70,000 men and women who entered its doors left as changed creations. They had become Christians. “It’s what we do,” said Luis Santoni, Executive Director of the Reno-Sparks Gospel Mission. “We take hurting people and make them whole again through Christ. We’ve been doing that for 50 years now and we’ll continue on that path. We don’t cram anything down anyone’s throat. We accept people where they are and I think they respect us for that. But we are a Christian organization and we’ll never compromise our beliefs. People come to us for answers and we give them The Answer: Jesus. He’s the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He’s where true success lies.”

Former Executive Director Rick Redding — with the backing of the Board of Directors — paid off mortgages to eliminate staggering interest rates. Upgraded a tattered vehicle fleet. Expanded a struggling industrial operations division. Created an intensive recovery program. The work continues to pay off. 

Redding said, “We target the whole person. They’re usually hurting pretty bad when they come through our doors, so our first encounter is usually one filled with pain and crisis. We want them to see that the year with us is spent productively in giving them a new start. Our hope is that this is the last program for everyone who comes here.” 

The Mission continues to be innovative in its studies and approach to recovery, offering some of the finest services and programs in the nation. Up to 75 men and women now call the Mission “home” on any given night. About 75 people are enrolled in the Christian Addiction Recovery and Education program, an intensive recovery program that stresses Christ while leading men and women through a year of rigorous Bible-based studies, in-house mentoring, counseling referrals, educational courses, and a work therapy program that stresses ethics, responsibility, and on-the-job training.

Yet somehow, somewhere down the line, the Mission was labeled a “soup kitchen,” as if all it did was ladle soup to lines of indigents. The Mission continues to struggle to publicly combat that limiting image. But those who work with the homeless or oversee public agencies know what the Mission means to the community. “We’re no flophouse,” Santoni said. “This is hard work. I tell the clients that they spent a lot of time and energy ruining their lives, and it’s going to take that same commitment to turn things around. We have a big heart but we’re tough. No one is coddled. We don’t buy into the perpetual ‘victim’ mentality. We’re blunt. If you want change, you’ve got to work for it. If you want our help, we’re here for you. I’ll bend over backward to help someone who truly wants help. But if you’re here for ‘three hots and a cot’ and to play games, this isn’t the place for you.” It’s that commitment that makes the Reno-Sparks Gospel Mission credible to other agencies and — more importantly — to the thousands of people who contribute to it annually, Santoni said. “People have misconceptions about us all the time, but they change their impression when they work with us and see us in action,” Santoni said. “They see a professional, Christian agency in action. I believe that credibility has built up a loyal base of donors. They know they can trust us with their money. They know they’re making a difference in thousands of lives. We couldn’t do it without them.”.
Following the unexpected passing of former Executive Director Rick Redding in March of 2019, Luis Santoni was chosen to carry on Rick’s legacy and was named Executive Director of The Reno-Sparks Gospel Mission. Santoni has been with the Reno-Sparks Gospel Mission since 2006. In his position as the Director of Development, Luis developed partnerships with 150 businesses, organizations, churches, and schools. During the time Luis led the Development Department he acquired over $25,000,000 worth of partner donations. These partnerships remain strong and committed to this day. Luis’ experience provides an excellent foundation for leading the Mission’s many life-changing programs.

Santoni, the Board of Directors, and staff are dedicated to delivering the highest level of quality care possible, utilizing a robust Christian-based philosophy. Santoni ensures anyone coming to the Reno-Sparks Gospel Mission seeking help receives our organization’s best efforts. Santoni states, “The impact we have in seeing lives changed is what motivates me. We get to see a person come through our doors on what might be the worst day of their life, and then, many times, see them experience the best day of their life during their stay with us.” 

Some of the recent projects that have been spearheaded by Santoni to ensure the future success of the Mission include:

  • The complete renovation of the Prayer House, the women’s program location.
  • The transformation of the Prayer House Shelter for Women and Children into a new Family Center for women and children participating in the Mission’s long-term residential substance abuse recovery program.
  • The remodel and renovation of the Victory Center facility. This is the location of one of two program sites for long-term residential substance abuse recovery programs for men.
  • The creation, development, and ongoing success of a monthly Pop-Up Pantry. For more information on this food distribution event, please click here.
  • Increased the number of organizations the Reno-Sparks Gospel Mission assists with food distribution outreach. This outreach provides bulk food items to be used in other food pantries located throughout Northern Nevada.


Staff & Board

Our Dedicated Staff

Click on a highlighted name to learn more about that staff member or click on their email to send a message.

 

Executive Director
Luis Santoni, MBA
(775) 323-0386, Ext. 11
luis@rsgm.org

Women’s Services Coordinator/Office Manager
Tammy Treadwell
(775) 323-0386, Ext. 12
tammyt@rsgm.org

Men’s Service Coordinator/Chaplain/Mission Manager
Timothy Mikes
(775) 329-0698
tim@rsgm.org

Director of Development
Marie Krueger
(775) 323-0386, Ext. 14
marie@rsgm.org

Fundraising/Special Events Coordinator
Charlotte Redding
(775)323-0386, Ext. 13
charlotte@rsgm.org

Operations Manager
Sean Peaslee
(775)323-0386, Ext. 18
sean@rsgm.org

Thrift Depot Stores Manager
Tammie Holmes
(775)786-9324
thriftdepot@rsgm.org

Food Services Manager
Paul Parent
(775) 329-0485
paul@rsgm.org

Administrative Assistant
Mariah Peaslee
(775) 323-0386, Ext. 16
mariah@rsgm.org

Media Coordinator/Social Media Manager

Caylie Dellerman

caylie@rsgm.org

 


Meet Our Board

President Carl Hebert. Carl is a Reno-area attorney who has served on the Board of Directors since January 1993. He has been Board President since 1995. In law practice for over 30 years, Carl has a degree in Criminal Justice from California State University, Sacramento. He is a veteran of the U.S. Army and has lived in Reno for more than 30 years. He is an active member of a local church.

Vice President Bill West. Bill is the Senior Pastor at the Bridge Church in Reno, NV, where he has served since November 2008. He grew up in eastern North Carolina and graduated from Columbia Bible College and studied at Phoenix Seminary. Bill has served in ministry for well over 30 years in North Carolina, Georgia, Arizona, and Tennessee before coming to Reno. He is passionate about helping those far from God come to know Him and begin to walk closely with Him. He has been married to Kim for over 37 years and has four grown children.

Treasurer Coy Russell, Jr. Coy has been a registered construction inspector for more than 48 years, specializing in project management and inspection programs overseeing residential, educational, industrial, and medical facilities. He has been involved with such projects as the major medical center Kaiser Walnut Creek and Children’s Hospital in Oakland, CA. His many other projects include the Stanford University Cancer Treatment Center in Palo Alto, CA. Coy, who holds degrees from the University of California – Berkeley and also The University of San Francisco currently works in Construction Administration for NTD Architects in Auburn, CA. He has been married to Karen for over 50 years. They have two daughters and two grandchildren.

Board Member Nathan DuPree. Nathan is the Lead Pastor of North Valley Living Stones Church in Reno, NV where he has served since 2016. Nathan grew up in Vance, South Carolina, and graduated from Earl Wooster High School in 1989. A gifted running back, Nathan played college football at both Bakersfield and San Jose State University where he set or tied several school records. Nathan also worked for 14 years in the Washoe County Juvenile Justice system before going into full-time ministry in 2011. Nathan has completed missionary trips to Japan and other cities around the United States. Nathan has been married to Denise for over 25 years. They have four grown children and two grandchildren.


In loving memory of Executive Director Pastor Rick Redding
(February 28, 1963 – March 24, 2019)

Pastor Rick Redding, MA, MFT, LCADC
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist / Licensed Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselor


Financial Accountability

Reno-Sparks Gospel Mission is a 501(c)(3) charity. All gifts are tax-deductible as allowed by law and you will receive a receipt for your tax purposes. All material donations may be re-sold with the proceeds going to help the homeless and the needy. Our records are audited or reviewed yearly by an outside, independent accounting firm that holds us to the highest of standards. Their report is available for private screening.

Donors or potential donors with further questions, or who want personal assistance, should call Executive Director Luis Santoni at (775) 323-0386, Ext. 11. For more information on donations and how you can help, please email info@rsgm.org or contact one of our staff. We can never thank you enough. God bless you for caring!