Local News

Durham Rescue Mission offers warmth inside and out

Posted December 9, 2017 7:06 p.m. EST

— On a wet and cold weekend, the warmth of the Durham Rescue Mission can be a matter of life and death for those who most need some help.

With temperatures dropping below freezing, the shelter kicked off Operation RESCUE: Warm Shelter, offering round-the-clock hot soup and so much more.

"We give them a place to stay, inspiration, meals, clothing and support and hope," said Norman Bussey, supervisor at the shelter.

Saturday started with an early morning breakfast, then those staying there were taken to the Mission's thrift store for warm clothing.

Lunch followed, another warm meal as snow fell outside.

"They're very appreciative to be here, appreciative to be out of the bad weather," Bussey said. "The overall thing is for them to get their lives together, and this is a stepping stone."

Richard Dial, now a volunteer assistant at the Rescue Mission, came to the shelter two and a half years ago as a client.

"I was battling with pain pills, addiction, all through my 20s," he said.

The Durham Rescue Mission offered him a chance to get clean, and he hasn't looked back.

"They didn't have a bed right away so I slept in here for a week until they got my bed," Dial said. "It's been a blessing ever since."

Volunteers like Dial and staff like Bussey hope some of those who seek crisis services will choose to stay and join the Rescue Mission's Victory program, which helps those struggling with addiction and people wanting to get back into the work force.

Dial said that program is the reason he's still here today.

"The Durham Rescue Mission saved my life," he said.

Operation RESCUE: Warm Shelter will stay in effect, offering space for anyone who needs a warm place, three hot meals each day and sleeping quarters each night, along with that hot soup, until warmer weather returns.