Durham Rescue Mission using $800K gift for 'Center for Hope'

Posted January 18, 2011 10:02 a.m. EST
Updated January 18, 2011 1:58 p.m. EST

— The Durham Rescue Mission announced Tuesday that it received an $800,000 gift – the largest in its 36-year history – and will be using the money to help build a “Center for Hope.”

The FHL Bank of Atlanta awarded the money to the Durham Rescue Mission, helping the organization reach 67 percent of its goal for a major campus expansion.

The 21,000-square-foot addition will include a multi-purpose building with a commercial kitchen, large dining facility, classroom space, counseling offices, 80 bed emergency shelter as well as a food pantry with walk-in freezer and cooler space. It will also include an upgrade to the church building that will make it handicap accessible.

"Last year, we saw a 19 percent increase in the demand for services in our community," Ernie Mills, executive director of the mission, said in a statement.

The Mission served 232,653 meals last year, 1,077 men, women and children checked into the mission and each resident was provided food, clothing, shelter, educational classes, helped with job searches and counseling.

"The Mission has been in the quiet phase of a $4.5 million campaign for our new Center of Hope," Mills said. "We anticipate breaking ground this fall with a completion date in the fall of 2012."