Local

Visalia Rescue Mission opening new community center

Friday, September 14, 2012

Homeless men and women in the South Valley will have a new place to turn to for help.

The Visalia Rescue Mission is opening up a new community center and chapel on Santa Fe and First.

Volunteers with the Visalia Rescue Mission were putting finishing touches before the grand opening of the new 15,000 square foot community center.

"Now we're just getting everything hung up, all the paintings, all the pictures," Robert Kenison of Visalia said.

Kenison has helped oversee the construction of the $1.2 million facility. But if you were to have met him a year ago, you would have found him down on his luck.

"I came here because I was strung out on alcohol and dope, and I had no future in life , I was down on the bottom of my life, and I needed some place to go and help me," he said.

Kenison recently graduated from the Rescue Mission's recovery program and it helped him turn his life around. The mission has provided shelter, food, and valuable resources to hundreds if not thousands of people in need. And with the new facility, the faith-based group hopes to address the greater need.

"Our numbers are obviously bigger, we're seeing a lot more people come to us, it seems like the needs are greater than they ever were," Danny Little of the Visalia Rescue Mission said.

The community center is 11 years in the making and it comes complete with a new chapel. The added space will help the mission expand it's services to more people.

"We want to offer change, we want to see people change for the better, we want to see people get their legs back under them," Little said.

But facility is not yet complete. Work on the second floor of the building was halted because of lack of funding. Organizers say it could take half a million dollars more to finish the project.

But the mission didn't want the community to have to wait for help.

"Visalia Rescue Mission did save my life, without a doubt," Kenison said.

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Tags:
visalia, tulare county, local, carlos saucedo
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