Editor’s note: The Tri-City Herald once again is highlighting area nonprofits and their greatest needs this holiday season. Does your nonprofit have a specific wish? Let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with attention to Holiday Wish List. Please include the name and mission of the nonprofit, contact information and a few specific needs.
The Tri-City Union Gospel Mission doesn’t have enough beds for all the men who show up for shelter as the weather turns cold.
So, some have to sleep on the floor.
That’s not a new thing. “We’ve been sleeping people on the floor since probably 2007,” said Andrew Porter, executive director.
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It’s what happens when your facility is the only one of its kind in an area with growing demand.
85 to 90 Number of men seeking nightly shelter at mission
22 Number of women seeking nightly shelter
But, the mission has plans to build a new men’s facility in downtown Pasco.
Financial donations to the project top the nonprofit’s holiday wish list.
The mission also needs donations of items from milk, turkey and ground beef to men’s cold weather gear, children’s shoes and women’s underwear.
The mission doesn’t receive any government funding and instead relies on donations to keep its doors open.
“The community here provides everything, and they’ve been really good to the mission. We’ve been able to do a lot for the folks who come in the doors,” Porter said. “There are a lot of people who’ve turned their lives around while they’re here.”
The mission, which dates to the 1950s, provides shelter for men, women and children, along with daily hot meals for anyone in need, clothing and hygiene items and services from addiction recovery help to transitional housing.
Its men’s facility in downtown Pasco is seeing about 85 to 90 a night as the temperature drops. The women’s shelter next door is seeing about 22 a night, Porter said.
The new men’s facility will be about four times the size of the 9,000-square-foot facility.
Financial donations top mission’s wish list
It’s to include 150-plus beds, a chapel, classrooms, computer labs and more room for case management and counseling services. The dining room will seat about 150.
The mission has about $300,000 of the $8.12 million price tag left to raise. Porter hopes construction will start next summer.
The new facility will go on land the mission owns near the existing shelter. A community outreach center and maintenance shop also eventually are planned.
When the men’s facility opens, the women’s shelter will have more room to spread out. And the plan is to build a new women’s facility in Kennewick in the future, Porter said.
He noted that most people know someone who’s experienced homelessness — a family member, friend, acquaintance, even themselves.
“We’re grateful to have the opportunity to work with the folks who come in our doors,” he said. “They’re people going through a (difficult) experience in their lives. We’re grateful to be able to help them.”
To donate to the mission’s building campaign, go to www.tcugm.org/get-involved/building-campaign. Donations also can be mailed to P.O. Box 1443 in Pasco.
The mission also has a list of needs available at www.tcugm.org/needs. Donations can be dropped off at the the mission at 112 N. Second Ave.