Rescue mission

Vacant role to disperse funds preventing Albany rescue mission renovations

ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) — Dougherty County needs a grant administrator before it can use U.S. bailout funds. This issue is preventing an Albany homeless shelter from getting a much-needed renovation.

Although the rescue mission has only been operating for about 30 years, the roof of the men’s building has been the same for almost 100 years.

Mike Gravette is the resident public relations officer for Rescue Mission. They help feed, clothe and house Albany’s homeless.

Gravette said that due to the pandemic, they have seen more people needing their help – a task that has become harder to fund during the pandemic. Before, it would have cost $202 to cover a resident. Now it costs $283.

Closing their thrift store for three months hurt.

Mike Gravette is the resident public relations officer for Rescue Mission. (WALB)

“The thrift store is responsible for over 60% of our operating revenue. So, you know, we had to meet company-wide operating orders,” Gravette said.

Because it is a non-profit organization that has been negatively affected by the pandemic, they are eligible for US bailout funding asking for just over $50,000 for a new roof.

A project Dougherty County Commissioners are behind.

“Spending money on the homeless to help them, I don’t think we’ve ever thought of that before,” Commissioner Clinton Johnson said.

“That doesn’t mean we just give free money. We buy them a roof so they can take care of the homeless in the community,” said President Christopher Cohilas.

“Some of the best money we can spend on the homeless,” Commissioner Anthony Jones said.

The roof of the Albany Rescue Mission is damaged and the association is looking to repair it.
The roof of the Albany Rescue Mission is damaged and the association is looking to repair it. (WALB)

They were trying to complete the project before the spring rain, but County Administrator Michael McCoy told them about a potential roadblock.

“Implementation will happen after a grants administrator is hired. We don’t have anyone on our team so it may be several months before we can actually implement this project,” McCoy said.

Months that the rescue mission did not have. Gravette says it’s discouraging.

“We’re going to regroup and go from there,” Gravette said.

Click here for the rescue mission to help with the roof or other general services.

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