BUTTE— The Butte Rescue Mission is in no danger of closing, but the impact of the dispute regarding the demolition of the former thrift store building on Park Street is raising concerns.
Bill McGladdery, president of the Butte Rescue Mission Board of Directors, says if the buildings could be restored that would be great, but the mission isn’t in the real estate business.
"Just as passionate as the preservationists are about those two buildings, we’re as passionate about caring for the homeless," said McGladdery.
McGladdery says donors that help fund the efforts of the rescue mission have their eyes on this issue, concerned about the impact on the mission’s operations.
The cost to fix the entire structure would be more than $500,000. McGladdery says the mission does not have the money to make repairs or demolish the buildings.
"You know we just could not afford to take that $2-$300,000 that we need for our ongoing work here at the mission," said McGladdery.
The Butte rescue mission is working on expanding the spaces available for people in need of shelter. Their biggest project entails converting an empty warehouse to house a bigger cooking facility, emergency warming shelter, and free medical care. The project would cost between $700,000 to $800,000 dollars to complete.
Kevin Haluska, a guest at the Rescue Mission, says the mission kept him and other homeless people alive and would like the community to support the mission in return.
"We need as much help as we can get from the community. The churches are taxed and there’s not a lot of people giving anymore," said Haluska.
"Anybody who can send five dollars, ten dollars, boy—every dollar just helps us with paying our bills and feeding those in need," said McGladdery.
The Rescue Mission has no firm next step and is continuing to talk to the county about a solution. MTN News will be following up with the Council of Commissioners for comment.