Residents sound off on Rescue Mission’s expansion plan

File Photo - Rescue Mission.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE)- The Rescue Mission is taking another step forward in its quest to build a bigger facility. The organization’s leaders went before the city’s plan commission to plead their case, Monday evening.

Although many people were pleased with the work the organization does, there was some concern, particularly about about the new location.

Leaders with the rescue mission want to keep the facility downtown. The new location would be at Washington and Lafayette. Pastor Donovan Coley, President and CEO of the Rescue Mission, said the downtown location is best because it allows the homeless population access to important services there.

Pastor Donovan Coley and other members of his staff, went before the Plan Commission to discuss the importance of a new facility. It would be three times the size of the current building on Superior, which means the rescue mission would go from having about 114 beds to 350, allowing them to serve even more people.

Still, some argued the location could have a negative impact on businesses in the area which would hinder downtown development. Others questioned if it was a good idea to put the shelter right across the street from a liquor store.

Pastor Coley maintains that the liquor store across the street should not have a negative impact on residents at the Rescue Mission.

Monday’s meeting was only a public hearing. No decision was made on if the plans will move forward.

Just last year the Rescue Mission served at least 1,300 homeless people across the city.

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