Raleigh Rescue Mission celebrates 50 years
Posted October 30, 2011
Raleigh, N.C. — 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."
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."