FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — The Fort Wayne Rescue Mission is closing their largest fundraising project today and they’re able to do more to help the community.
Representatives from 1st Source Bank presented a $100,000 check to the Rescue Mission to mark the end of a successful campaign. Back in October, the Rescue Mission’s board of trustees voted to formally close the campaign, coming in at $20.1 million dollars. But what does that money get the organization?
The money allowed them to move to their new four-story building on East Washington, with much of the third floor currently shelled for future growth. All of that new space means they’re able to provide services to more people, including health services.
“We also have a place where we’re the only shelter in our community that receives from the three hospital systems those in the homeless community who are positive with COVID,” said CEO Donovan Coley. “We have a quarantine shelter and we have a health facility where we can take care of their physical well-being as well.”
It means a high capacity for care as we enter the winter months as well. The old Superior Street location allowed them to shelter around 125 people on cold nights by placing people in cots in hallways. Now, they are able to easily accommodate more than 200 people. They can also serve as a warming shelter 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is much-needed space, as their services are more in-demand than ever.
“This past Thanksgiving, we served significantly more than we did a year ago,” Coley said. “Last year, we serve 2,500 meals; this year, we served 4,525 meals. So the needs of the poor, even the working poor folks, are coming to the Rescue Mission and they are flooding our facilities because the economy, the pandemic and everything has just caused a lot of heartbreak, especially to those who are most vulnerable.”
According to Coley, the most important ability their new upgraded facility offers the community is something a little less tangible.
“At the end of the day, it’s two things: dignity and grace, and that’s what we have to offer,” said Coley. “That’s what $20.1 million has given us – the ability to do to provide more dignity and to provide grace in an environment where individuals they come to us at the Rescue Mission, and they can move out of a nightmare experience and begin to dream again. That’s what we have here at the Rescue Mission.
Although the City on the Hill building campaign has closed, donations are still needed to continue day-to-day and future services.
UPDATE: Due to a typographical error, an earlier version incorrectly stated the $20.1 million dollars raised.