The Downtown Rescue Mission is not really downtown. It’s actually at the old Westminster Christian Academy campus off of Evangel, near University Drive and Sparkman. But wherever the place is located, its a big deal. The campus is large, 80,000+ square feet housing an average of 200 people each night. They have both transient and in-house treatment programs for men and women. They also accept children up to 13, and they currently have about 40 kids.
I toured the facility with VillageOutreach.org‘s Melissa Hiley who has been hyper critical of the DRM. In the 90’s she vividly recalls a person dying because the Mission closed and would not let people in after a certain time. Now, the center has a 40 degree policy, it says that rules are suspended if the temps fall below 40 degrees. That’s a logical compassionate policy and Melissa was impressed.
Overall, I think The Village can have a partnership with DRM, one that will benefit the street people of Huntsville greatly. How cool is that?