Rescue Mission to begin public campaign for new building; construction costs rising

The Rescue Mission is getting ready to start a public capital campaign to build a much needed new facility downtown.

Posted: Sep. 7, 2018 9:26 PM
Updated: Sep. 10, 2018 8:42 AM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - The Rescue Mission is getting ready to start a public capital campaign to build a much needed new facility downtown.

"Our current facility doesn't have the ability to serve people with dignity," said Donavan Coley, Rescue Mission CEO.

Plans include a four story building on the corner of Lafayette and Washington downtown, which will be four times larger than the current facility built in the 1960s "with 325 beds. We are currently using cots and every available space in our facility right now." Coley said.

There's also a need to expand the women's shelter, Charis House.

"We are still turning away up to 50 women and children a month that qualify for our program," said Coley.

It will cost about $23 million to make this all happen, which is a little more than what was anticipated.

"That is to make sure we can serve folks with dignity," Coley.

Contractors say it will cost more to turn this empty lot into a homeless shelter partly because of a labor shortage.

"Just from the manpower we've seen a downward trend in the 10 to 15 years anyway," said Jake Fetters, Mosaic Building Solutions president.

Fetters said they aren't seeing the profits, materials such as steal and concrete are also on the rise.

In fact, some agencies are making some adjustments to make projects happen.

"We're paying for what we had benefit of four or five years ago," said Fetters.

The Rescue Mission has already raised about 80 percent of the funds needed through corporate donations.

They will be asking the public for the remainder beginning in January.

Construction will also begin in 2019.

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