Panama City Rescue Mission is seeking funding for men’s shelter

Panama City

BAY COUNTY Fla. (WMBB) – Panama City Rescue Mission leaders are hoping the community will help them reopen the men’s shelter.

The facility was heavily damaged, first by Hurricane Michael, then by an arsonist. They have completed a lot of the repairs, but need help, officials said Monday.

The PCRM men’s shelter has not been fully functioning since Hurricane Michael. It has been completely shut down for more than a year. In that time, the staff has spent $500,000 on repairs.

“There is all new electrical, HVAC, a sprinkler system, and an alarm and you can’t even see it,” CEO and President of the Rescue Mission Stephen Fett. “So we’ve spent $400,000 in the last nine months.”

Although they are still under construction, the goal is to have it open in time for the Spring.

“We’re down to the cosmetics, which people can see,” Fett said. “We’re painting, doing doors, floors.”

But that costs money, $150,000. Fett is asking for the community’s support to help finish this project.

“The 10,000 square-foot facility is designed to house about 50 men at a time,” Fett said. “On cold and rainy nights it could be increased by putting cots out and things like that.”

Fett also wants to host community dinners to feed the homeless. 

“Because if it weren’t for them, I don’t know where I would be,” PCRM shelter manager Brandi Hamann said.

When Hamann first arrived, she was a recovering addict who had just been released from prison.

“Knowing I can talk to them and calm them down, or make them feel that everything is going to be ok even if it’s just for that moment, it makes you feel really good,” Hamann said.

The mission has a great success rate getting women and children back on their feet. Mission leaders said about 96 percent of the homeless women and children who get services manage to get a job and housing. They said this shelter is crucial for doing the same for men.

If you want to learn more about the rescue mission, to either participate or donate, visit their website.

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