FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --The gradual drive to the future of high-speed rail construction is about to deliver a blow to a Fresno charity. Fresno's huddled masses typically walk into a downtown building in need and they walk out fulfilled.
"This is our main facility which houses our offices, our academy program, has a dormitory for 100," Fresno Rescue Mission CEO Don Eskes said. "It's where we feed out of."
Up to 1,000 people get their meals at the rescue mission every day but their dining room is about to move. High-speed rail is going in along the train tracks behind the mission and the main building, standing on G Street since 1949, will disappear.
Construction is still several months away from coming to the rescue mission, but it is coming, slowly. Eskes said the High-Speed Rail Authority wants them out of the building by the middle of next year. They considered taking the mission somewhere else but decided downtown is the right place to be.
"This is where the needs are," Eskes said. "This is where many of the homeless reside and many of the people we service reside and it was in the best interests of our community for us to stay here."
So for at least a couple years, they'll knock down a few fences and move services into temporary facilities across the street. The city gave them the land that was once a homeless tent city. And its permanent home will probably end up right in the middle of what's now G Street after some reconfigurations for high-speed rail.
Eskes said the government will make sure the move doesn't cost a dime for the rescue mission and even though it means tackling a few new hurdles, mission workers and visitors have a good attitude about it.
"We believe we're up to the challenge," Eskes said. "We believe God is going to continue to lead us and so we're good with that."