Panama City

Panama City, FL – Board Members working to reopen Panama City Rescue Mission men’s shelter

Panama City, FL –

PANAMA CITY Fla. (WMBB) – For years, many local families have carried on a Thanksgiving tradition of helping feed the homeless in Panama City Rescue Mission.

It will not happen this year. Not because of the covid, but because the mission is closed.

The Panama City Men’s Rescue Mission has not been fully functional for three years.

Rescue Mission President and CEO Stephen Fett said it was badly damaged by Hurricane Michael and then a year ago someone set it on fire.

“The repairs to the men’s mission required after the fire code was enforced strongly suggested that we add a new fire alarm and sprinkler system,” Fett said.

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Together, they caused more than $ 500,000 in damages.

Since the rescue mission was forced to close, there is no longer a homeless men’s shelter in Bay County.

Board members say repairs are almost complete and they can’t wait to reopen, but to do so, they need help.

“We need the people in our community if they want this place to open sooner,” said Fett. “We need them to really show up so that we can not only get him across the finish line, but also be able to furnish and staff him.”

Fett said they have big plans for the facility, including the return of community evening meals.

“It’s been the most disappointing of all the things we’ve lost there, it’s the ability to have that particular service to the community,” said Fett.

The shelter for women and children is still open and thriving.

There are currently around 30 people living there with a bed, clothes and hot meals.

Fett says that over the past year, they have had a more than 90 percent success rate in making people’s transitions to sobriety, stable employment, and secure housing.

“So emergency services only,” Fett said. “We expect them to go to work. We have several employers who will put them to work the next day.

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The director of the shelter, Brandi Hamann, said they still receive calls from men seeking shelter.

She said reopening the male side is crucial.

“Once they get the men’s squad in place, it will hopefully take a lot of men off the streets,” Hamman said. “So they will do as much good with their lives as these ladies did with theirs.” “

Fett said he plans to provide meals for women and men in need over Christmas. He said he would release the details at a later date.

The main thing they need is money to furnish the facility and hire staff.

Fett said people can contact him directly at sfett@pcrmisson.org or call (850) 769-0783 or donate online at rescue mission website.

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