HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - The Downtown Rescue Mission provides shelter and food for the homeless, but their work extends to a lot of working people -- hanging on by a thread. This weekend, WHNT News 19 takes an in-depth look at their work in our special report -- A Rescue Mission -- airing at 6:30pm on Saturday, January 30.
People come to the mission on Evangel Drive by bus or sometimes by well-worn boot. When a person is adrift, the Downtown Rescue Mission offers safe harbor. Raimon Perry helps keep it that way. He helps with the guard gate.
"I just can’t wait for somebody to pull up. Makes my day. Like this -- oh, ok that’s our bread man there," Perry said.
He sees almost everyone who comes to the mission.
"You meet all type of smiling faces pulling up. You might see a couple sad faces pulling up," he admits.
Many are members of the working poor. The American Community Survey's latest numbers show Huntsville alone has 31,259 people that fall below the poverty line.
The mission served over 240,000 meals last year, and not just to the homeless. The mission assists anyone who needs a hand up.
"We try to give them a safe feeling when they come here to let them know they’re welcome. I’m sort of like the welcome guy," said Perry.
Watch our special 30-minute program, 'A Rescue Mission' on Saturday, January 30 from 6:30 to 7 p.m.