Local News

Raleigh Rescue Mission celebrates 50 years

Posted October 30, 2011

— The Raleigh Rescue Mission celebrated a momentous anniversary this weekend – a half-century of helping people get back on their feet.

About 100 men, women and children were staying at the shelter on East Hargett Street Sunday and more than 700,000 people have stayed there since it opened in 1961. To honor 50 years of service to the community, the mission opened its doors to the public Sunday for a first-hand look at how they help people change their lives.

"This is a place for change," said Mike Dore, director of operations and programs.

Dore has seen that change in his own life. About 15 years ago, he was living on the streets, battling addictions to drugs and alcohol. Then, he said, the Rescue Mission saved him.

"Death was just around the corner," he said. "If it wasn't for the Rescue Mission, I know I wouldn't be here today."

Raleigh Rescue Mission Raleigh shelter celebrates half-century of changing lives

That's exactly what the mission sets out to accomplish, said executive director Lynn Daniell. 

"For me, if a person comes in and stays here one night and we keep them safe, keep them out of severe weather, (then) maybe something takes place here," Daniell said. "It just really tugs at your heart."

In his work at the shelter, Dole shares his story with people facing tough times in their own lives. 

"Every day, when I come to the Raleigh Rescue Mission, I can't wait to get here and I have a hard time leaving at the end of the day," he said.

Shelter resident Elton Campbell said the bond between residents and staff is like a brotherhood.

"It's like a family," Campbell said. "My family and I had never been together close, so being here is like being close to a brother."


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  • htomc42 Nov 1, 2011

    When someone feeds pigeons, shouldn't they be held somewhat accountable when the area becomes covered with pigeon droppings?

    They are creating an attractive nuisance, knowing full well that the sort of people who are drawn to such food handouts don't tend to care about litter (which might partially explain why they might be in their particular life circumstances in the first place...)

  • TomLynda Nov 1, 2011


    I cannot understand these comments at all. What I'm seeing here is a OWS mentality. Just as the OWS crowd are trashing the places they protest in, now the people who trash Moore Square are not at fault, but rather the people that gave them the food. Where is the logic in that??? There is none at all.

    And you are dead wrong about the people who run charities like RRM. They don't make big salaries, they could make far more in other areas, if they chose.

    But it seems that by and by there is a complete lack of compassion for the down and out, the poor. All of a sudden it's the fault of the 'evil corporations'. Yet the protestors are spreading their hate and message via tools of 'evil empires'. Things like iPhones, Droids, Blackberries, etc.

    I am thankful for ministries like RRM, and others, that actually do something about the down and out and poor, instead of just talking and yapping about the problem. People will never be impressed until the shoe is on the other foot.

  • Big Daddy Cain Oct 31, 2011

    TomLynda, you're suggesting it is the fault of the vagrants who get the food for trashing the square? If they weren't given the means to trash Moore Square then Moore Square would not be trashed.

    I have to agree with COB, people who run charities like this are not all they are up to be. Big salaries and a destroyed park in Raleigh. I am not impressed.

  • TomLynda Oct 31, 2011

    You have no idea what the director makes. I know him personally, and have worked with RRM many times. And I stand by my comment. It is not the fault of RRM for the trash that other people make. That is asinine to even suggest.

  • Chairman of the Bored Oct 31, 2011

    Do you expect RRM to go behind every person and pick up the trash?

    Maybe their directors can take their 6 figure salaries and hire someone to clean up after the vagrants that they give the food and paper products that ultimately end up on the ground. I stand by what I say, their good deeds have caused Moore Square to be a blight in this town.

  • Big Daddy Cain Oct 31, 2011

    I agree. If RRM wasn't passing out meals in Moore Square it wouldn't look the way it does. IMHO, RRM should be charged for keeping it clean.

  • TomLynda Oct 31, 2011

    Now how in the world do you blame RRM for what the people they give the food to for the mess? The disgrace is not with RRM, but the people who do the littering. Period. Do you expect RRM to go behind every person and pick up the trash? You need to get a grip, and maybe sometime help RRM by voluteering. Nothing is stopping you from going behind the people and picking up their trash.

  • Chairman of the Bored Oct 31, 2011

    Now if only the RRM would help out the rest of the citizens in Raleigh by keeping Moore Square Clean after they pass out food there daily I would give them a shout out. Moore Square is littered with food wrappers and chicken bones after RRM does their pass out. It's a disgrace what they have done to Moore Square.