Merced and Merced County teaming up with Merced Rescue Mission to tackle the homelessness issue

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The Merced Rescue Mission has been at its location on Canal Street for years providing shelter and help to the many who walk through the doors. (KFSN)

The Merced Rescue Mission has been at its location on Canal Street for years providing shelter and help to the many who walk through the doors.

One of those is Shane Brown.

"When we come in here we have a good foundation and solid foundation and we're getting taught that," said Shane Brown, part of recovery program.

However, the literal foundation of the Merced Rescue Mission has run its course. The Merced Fire Department said they recently inspected the building and inside they found several safety issues. Including blocked exits, smoke alarms missing or not working, and people housed on the third floor.

The department said many of those issues were fixed but the list of problems goes on.

"The electrical is outdated, there's no central heating, plumbing is bad, the floors are bad, the stairs don't meet code-- there's so much wrong with the building," said Bruce Metcalf, Merced Rescue Mission CEO.

Metcalf said they're now moving out and they are trying to find another location for their 24 men in the recovery program to stay while the people who use the homeless service will be able to stay at a warming center.

The program will then move into rented group homes as they work with the city and Merced County for a new permanent location.

"We're going to help them obtain all of the necessary permits to continue to provide services," said Stephanie Dietz, City of Merced Assistant City Manager.

The mission said their services may be disrupted for a few days during the transition, but they're not stopping any of them. However, Brown said he is excited to see some changes for the place that helped him change his own life.

"It's time to say good bye to the old and say hello to the new."

The city and county are working to find grants as they say the proposed facility would cost around $20-million.

Related Topics:
societymercedmerced countyhomelessMerced
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