Homeless shelter races the clock to raise tens of thousands

Published: Sep. 13, 2023 at 12:43 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - The Garden City Rescue Mission could be getting $50,000.

The mission helps house people and provides resources to get them back on their feet. It rescues about 400 men from the streets every year and right now houses about 60.

A committee of the Augusta Commission approved the funding Tuesday, but the full commission will need to approve it next week.

Still, the mission is still under a tight deadline to raise funding.

It needs to raise roughly $80,000 by Friday, or it could shut down.

The financial deadline has been looming for a while. Although the mission has made great strides in raising the needed $495,000, it still has a little ways to go.

“The original owner went to heaven some years ago and now the family has decided to liquidate the property,” Executive Director Patrick Feistel told News 12 a few weeks ago. “So our long-term lease has been shortened.”

It’s a daunting task, but Feistel’s faith is stronger than ever.

“We’re gonna stay right here,” said Feistel. “God’s always seen value in it and the value of what he’s done here and the souls and the lives of people that have come through. This is where God wants us to continue.”

It’s been a long couple of weeks for the rescue mission.

“A lot of these people that are here with us right now, they won’t survive on the streets,” said Feistel.

District 1 Commissioner Jordan Johnson said: “We’ll work with the Garden City Rescue Mission to make sure that folks have emergency shelter and options, and then access to wraparound services so that they can be able to get a better quality of life.”

A better quality of life or perhaps a second chance at life is the goal.

“Anything that you can do to chip in to help an organization that has so many people over the last few decades, I urge you to do so because it’s necessary,” said Johnson.

Feistel said: “We’ve been here 22 years and if you had to put all these people on the streets that we house, it’s just going to compile to the problems.”

With a strong faith, Feistel says this too shall pass.

“We’ve got a lot of vision, a lot of dreams,” said Feistel. “There’s a big need in the city and we’ve always wanted to build this ministry and expand it and to own the property is going to be the key to that.”

For more information, visit the Garden City Rescue Mission’s website.