Fresno Rescue Mission celebrating 70th anniversary

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Over the years faith-based shelter, the Fresno Rescue Mission has striven to help the less fortunate in the Central Valley. For the last 70 years, they've sheltered, fed and healed countless people who've walked through their doors.

"That is really what we want for peoples lives," said Matthew Dildine, Fresno Rescue Mission CEO. "We want to take people from the hopelessness of the streets to sustainability, that is our goal."

Last year alone they served a quarter of a million meals and helped many through their services and programs. Their operations were originally much smaller when they opened in 1949. Eventually, they grew into three campuses to meet demand. One on G Street, their Rescue the Children and their thrift store and training site. Dildine said they owe a lot to the community.

"We regularly say that the Fresno Rescue Mission was built by little old ladies sitting down at their kitchen tables and writing a $10 check and putting it in the mail," he said.

Over the years the Mission has seen many changes and has been met with challenges. One of the greatest is high-speed rail. Construction forced them to relocate their G Street location across the street.

"We are currently under an overpass, we literally have had things fall off the overpass and into our green pasture and that is not a space we want to maintain long term," he said.

Currently, they have a temporary facility with portable units that house all their services. They are not sure how long this will be the norm since it is unclear when and how the high-speed rail will continue to affect G street.

"It is difficult to plan exactly what our facility is going to look like on G Street when we don't even know where the street in front of our facility is going to be," said Dildine.

As for what is next, Dildine said they will be building a fourth campus. The details are still under wraps, but they hope to help even more people for the next 70 years.
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