Visalia Rescue Mission continues homeless services with help from donors

VISALIA, Calif. (KFSN) -- So far, the Visalia Rescue Mission has been able to maintain their services to the local homeless population.

But like many other non-profits, the mission has felt the financial sting caused by COVID-19.

Their annual golf tournament fundraiser, set to take place recently, was postponed until September.

And their two thrift stores are currently closed.

Executive Director Al Oliver says they furloughed some employees, but are now bringing those workers back.

They plan to keep them on by applying for a paycheck protection program loan through the small business administration.

"It's a delicate dance right now," Oliver said. "But it seems to be working out. And so we're hopeful, and it's really kind of inspiring to see how people have stepped up."

Over the last few weeks, Oliver says community support has been incredibly generous.

For example, Visalia rotaries and the Visalia Rotary Community Foundation have a goal of raising $50,000 for the rescue mission.

Oliver says they'll continue to need donations in the weeks to come.

"Probably the biggest thing right now for us is just sanitation supplies, food, and cash," he said.

These are trying times for the rescue mission, but Oliver says it's unlikely they'll have to close their doors.

He's also optimistic that we'll all come out stronger on the other side of the crisis.

"But I think there's going to be some character refining benefits," Oliver said. "We're all being refined right now about what is most important."

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