EL PASO — Major exterior improvements to the Rescue Mission are part of the $2 million in structural improvements intended to serve El Paso's homeless.
Monday, Pastor Julius Martin gave a walking tour to show off the multiple upgrades. The men's dormitory will soon sleep 100 people comfortably, where 75 men once felt cramped.
During the lunch hour, Martin greeted residents by name as the shelter went about its daily business. Shelter workers feed, clean, and care for El Pasoans who are (at least) temporarily down on their luck. And on the shelter's new second floor, workers are installing permanent housing.
Martin said, "There are a number of homeless people who have some kind of income, but can't afford to get an apartment in town. We're going to rent these rooms out to them at something they can afford. There's going to be 34 rooms up here."
"You've got some plumbing here, some nice clean space. How does it compare to what the men experienced before? Like night and day," said Martin.
For those who have personally donated money to the rescue mission, the fruits of their generosity is evident. And, it is not only seen in the roof overhead or a hot meal, but through job skill training, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, and new medical services.
Martin said, "They'll be able to do about 85 percent of the medical work, so people won't have to go to the emergency room"
Martin also thanked El Pasoans and the One he said makes it all possible.
"There's no question that without the help of the Lord we could not continue to operate. The fact that we're able to raise the money we need to is a sometimes a miracle in itself. Without the Lord's help we could not endure."