Unexpected repairs have left the Smithfield Rescue Mission asking its supporters for extra help as the holiday season approaches.
Emergency roof, plumbing and other repairs this fall, combined with an increase in community need, have left the rescue mission, at 523 Glenn St., Smithfield, with a budget shortfall. The mission, established in 1977, provides shelter, necessary resources and life-skills classes to the homeless and victims of domestic abuse.
Howard Dozier, a Smithfield Rescue Mission board member, sent an email recently asking for financial help. The repairs have cost about $8,000 the rescue didn’t budget for this year.
“We work diligently at stretching every dollar and making it count, but this year has been difficult,” Dozier wrote in an email to supporters. “Emergency repairs on our roof, plumbing, and walk-in refrigerator have taken a toll on our budget.”
Dozier said in an interview that the rescue mission had to cut back staff hours but that a number of volunteer groups stepped in to help. About 30 area churches support the mission, which doesn’t accept federal funds.
He added that the mission has seen an increase of women and children in recent months.
“We are seeing more people coming, unfortunately, that have been abused and victims of homelessness,” Dozier said. “There’s been an uptick in women that have been abused and children adversely affected as well.”
The rescue mission has been forced to refer people elsewhere lately. It can serve 35-40 people at any given time. The shelter has about seven beds for women with children and 25 for men.
Dozier said the rescue has referred between 40 and 50 people to other agencies in any given month. He attributes this to increased awareness about the shelter and its success stories, as well as more people moving to Johnston County.
Smithfield being the county seat, he said people will flock to areas where they can receive services.
Dozier said the primary focus of the rescue mission is to change lives through biblical teaching.
“We’re not just looking to give a handout but help them transition into a changed life,” he said. “That makes our community a better place to live. There is a lot of need out there.”
The budget is tight and the need will only increase with the holidays and winter weather. Dozier is asking the public and the mission’s supporting churches to consider any amount of donation.
Want to help?
Contact the Smithfield Rescue Mission:
By phone: 919-934-9257
Or go to its website: http://smithfieldrescue.org/contact-us/