The Rescue Mission of Roanoke celebrates 75 years of helping others

Published: Jul. 2, 2023 at 7:07 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - The Rescue Mission of Roanoke is celebrating 75 years of service, in its new welcome center.

The CEO of The Rescue Mission, Lee Clark, says the shelter continues to serve the homeless, hungry, and those in need of medical care.

“75 years is pretty special,” says Clark. “This rescue mission started in Downtown Roanoke city market and over the years has continued to grow, adapt, and change to meet the needs of those experiencing homelessness, addiction, and poverty.”

With the new space, those experiencing homelessness can get more resources.

“Whatever is needed, we’re going to have those folks be able to meet in that space and find some relaxation and comfort so that they’re not out there on the street,” says Director of Communications Kevin Berry.

Berry says it’s an accomplishment to serve the community for so many decades. The shelter now has around 500 beds to shelter those in need.

To make the space more comforting, there is new artwork displayed in three areas throughout the building, painted by Russell Chu. He says the center contacted him to paint one of the murals on breaking bread.

“I just went a little further, I put a cup of wine there so it could represent the Eucharist,” explained Chu.

Chu started the painting after Christmas, and it was completed in February. He began to see where the brush took him as he created the other two murals.

“Guess I’m now practically part of the Roanoke art scene,’' says Chu.

“All month long in July we’re doing special things to celebrate, to recognize the work that’s happened all these years to make this pretty amazing ministry possible,” added Clark.

The Rescue Mission partnered with Skolrood Law Firm and Gentle Shepherd Hospice to match donations of up to $175,000 in July.

For more information on how to get involved, click here.