The Rescue Mission is marking National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week with several educational programs – and an announcement that the last phase of fundraising for its new facility has launched.
The public phase of the campaign seeks $4 million toward the total cost of $23.1 million for the agency's new headquarters at 404 E. Washington Blvd.
The campaign follows a major donors drive that helped finance, if not totally fund, the facility, the Rev. Donovan Coley said Monday after a news conference.
The new facility, currently being built, will consist of 80,000 square feet, more than triple the space at 301 W. Superior St., and room for 325 beds, compared with 114, Coley said.
To mark the national awareness drive, the mission is asking residents to donate what they would normally spend on lunch today to www.therescuemission.net/lunch.
On Wednesday, a panel discussion on the connection between mental illness and homelessness will take place at 11 a.m. at The Lutheran Foundation, 3024 Fairfield Ave.
Thursday will feature a 6 p.m. prayer walk around the shelter's new building. Participants are asked to register at www.therescuemission.net/souls.
Coley said those with prior involvement with the mission and other members of the public will see social media and mailed requests for donations in upcoming weeks.
Staff members also plan to visit churches and civic groups, he said.
It's estimated that there are 2,500 to 3,000 people in the Fort Wayne area struggling with homelessness, Coley said. He added the mission sees 25 to 30 new people in need every month.
The mission is preparing for its annual Thanksgiving meal Nov. 28, when 2,400 to 2,700 meals will be served, including take-out meals, officials said.