About the Places in Jorgensen's Thriller, Finding Max - The Bowery Mission


The Bowery Mission which figures prominently in the novel Finding Max, by Darren M. Jorgensen.
The nameplate for the Mission is affixed to the front of the brick building in Jorgensen's Finding Max.

The Bowery Mission really does have red doors, two great, big red painted doors that open up into a wonderful operation that serves about 8,000 meals during Thanksgiving week alone. Wow. Eight thousand meals in one week. Goes to show how many hungry people there are in that city—and in so many cities across North America. And when you think of all the poor people who were too embarrassed to go to the shelter for a meal, well, wow! That’s a lot of hungry people in only one city.

The programs that The Mission has developed over the years are the backbone of the good works they do. Addressing problems such as hunger, lack of safe shelter or medical care, The Mission’s team of volunteer doctors, kitchen staff and workers to monitor the wee hours of the darkness all pull together to ensure each program’s success.

The Bowery Mission Life Transformation Program is a faith-based program, designed to bring 80 men together to live in a community of recovery. In Finding Max, Max decides to take a class at The Mission called Life Skills, taught by Zachary, a former client of The Mission. I chose the Bowery Mission Life Transformation Program as a pseudo-template for my own Life Skills class that Max chooses to take. Both programs are concerned with teaching basic life skills to their participants through conversation, skills-based learning and role-playing. Both programs are considered by their professional peers to be excellent training grounds for their participants. I wanted Max to have the chance to learn as much as possible about how to live a good, productive and healthy life. The basis for this new life would be the skills learned through the Life Skills class.

The primary difference between the real Bowery Mission program and the one that Max attends is that the real program is a faith-based residential program designed to help the men recover from addiction, whereas Max’s is a secular one designed to help him learn how to live in the world around him.