By Todd Cohen
RALEIGH, N.C. – The Raleigh Rescue Mission expects to fall $256,500 short of its projected budget of $3.6 million for the fiscal year that ends August 31, a shortfall it says puts at risk its services for poor and homeless people.
The agency, which was founded in 1961 and serves over 300 individuals a year and employs 39 people working full-time and 12 working part-time, already is closing a program that has provided medical-respite care to about 75 people a year for the past six years.
Ending that program, which serves each client for two to three weeks after they are discharged from a hospital and before they go back on the street, will eliminate three jobs at the agency, says Lynn Daniell, executive director.
And in September, the agency will eliminate a position that focuses on securing major gifts from donors, Daniell says.
“We’re trying to avoid cutting the core,” he says.
Core programs at the Raleigh Rescue Mission include rehabilitation and recovery services that provide 75 beds for men, women and children who typically stay six months, along with support services, plus emergency services that provide another 28 beds in a shelter for women who are mainly single and typically stay one night.
Daniell says the budget shortfall is the result of the economic downturn that has led to smaller grants from foundations and less support from individuals.
As part of its rehabilitation and recovery services, the agency provides food, shelter and clothing, and an adult learning center that offers computer classes and money-management classes.
It also serves as a site for Wake Technical Community College, offering high-school-level classes for its clients and for community residents.
And it provides a children’s development center for children of women in its rehabilitation and recovery program, and for children in the community.
That pre-school day-care center serves 14 children.
“We don’t want to cut back on education,” Daniell says.
To raise more money, the Raleigh Rescue Mission has mailed a special appeal to nearly 100 individuals who have been long-term supporters and “who would want to know we have this shortfall,” Daniell says.
And the Fred Smith Company in Clayton has agreed to sponsor a golf tournament on May 2 at Riverwood Golf Course in Clayton, and has indicated it wants to sponsor the event on an annual basis, Daniell says.
“One of the reasons we’re reaching out in the community is because we have such need,” he says “and we know that the services that we provide are making a difference and have an impact on our community.”