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Work may begin in 2015 on Pasco men’s shelter

Construction could begin next year on a new men’s shelter and service center for the Tri-City Union Gospel Mission.

The new shelter, near the intersection of Third Avenue and Columbia Street in downtown Pasco, is needed because the mission has many people sleeping on mats on the floor of its 100-year-old facility, which holds 80 to 100 people, Executive Director Andrew Porter said.

The new shelter would open in about two years and would have capacity for up to 154 and provide eight new jobs.

Longer term, the new 36,000-square-foot center could add 20 jobs, doubling the number of employees it now has, he said. The mission is just under $1 million away from its fundraising goal.

The mission bought land for the seven-acre project from BNSF Railway Co. in 2011 for $200,000.

The facility will have a food service area and a chapel, Porter said. It also will have services to help clients find and keep jobs, such as an educational center, computer training and case management area.

The mission bought the existing men’s shelter in 1958 for $25,000, according to Herald archives. The site at 112 N. Second Ave. is about a block north of the planned shelter. The current shelter will be torn down to make way for a new Lewis Street overpass.

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