Rescue Mission planning $17.5M campaign to help build new shelter

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) The Rescue Mission can now go forward with plans to purchase a property at the intersection of Washington Blvd and Lafayette St. where it will build its new home.

Right now the 23,000 square foot Rescue Mission on Superior is busting at the seams.

“We’re currently using a broom closet for our clinic, we have limited office space, in fact we are sharing offices now, and at night our chapel is used as an emergency dorm,” Rescue Mission CEO Rev. Donovan Coley said.

However, that will soon be a thing of the past. Coley said now that they’ve been given the green light from the city they’re finalizing the purchase of the property. The building sitting there now will be torn down and a new one will go up that will house three times as many people as its current location.

“We’re going to build this beautiful 85,000 square foot facility,” Coley said. “Three or four stories depending on how the funding comes in to support the project.”

That’s why the Rescue Mission is kicking off it’s “City on a Hill Campaign” to raise $17.5 million. Coley said they’ll spend the next year working to raise 80 percent of the money.

“Then immediately after we have raised the 80 percent we’ll then move into what is called the public phase where we are going to invite the rest of our community to give significantly and sacrificially,” Coley said.

Construction is set to start in May 2018, and by January 2019 the new Rescue Mission will be able to serve those in need right in the heart of the city.

“The Rescue Mission isn’t just downtown wanting to take up more space. The homeless are downtown and so the Rescue Mission will be downtown to serve the poor and the homeless,’ Coley said.

The current building that houses the Rescue Mission will be torn down, and likely sold to the city for riverfront development.