Foellinger Foundation provides $1 million grant toward Fort Wayne Rescue Mission’s new building

Cheryl Taylor, president of the Foellinger Foundation, announces Thursday the foundation will give a three-year, $1 million grant to help Fort Wayne Rescue Mission Ministries raise the money to build a new facility downtown. (By Kevin Kilbane of
This is an architectural rendering of the new proposed Fort Wayne Rescue Mission building, which would be constructed at 400 E. Washington Blvd. in downtown Fort Wayne. (By Kevin Kilbane of

The Foellinger Foundation provided a great Christmas gift Thursday to Fort Wayne Rescue Mission Ministries — a $1 million, three-year capital support grant to help the rescue mission toward its $17.5 million fundraising goal to build a new facility downtown at 400 E. Washington Blvd.

Half of the funding – $500,000 – will be in the form of a matching grant, which will provide incentive for others in the community to donate toward construction of the Rescue Mission’s new facility, Foellinger Foundation President Cheryl Taylor said during the announcement in the mission’s chapel.

When considering nonprofits for grants, Taylor said the foundation looks at an organization’s integrity, responsibility, and accountability and results, and foundation officials felt the Rescue Mission met those criteria.

“Thank you for having the vision to come alongside the Rescue Mission to serve the least of these,” Donovan Coley, the mission’s CEO and senior pastor, said at the announcement.

Once the mission raises 80 percent of its funding goal, the ministry’s board of directors will approve starting construction on the new facility, Coley said. The Rescue Mission hopes to open the new facility by Easter of 2020, which is an ambitious goal, Coley acknowledged.

The new building will contain 80,000 square feet, more than triple the square footage of the existing rescue mission at 301 W. Superior St. The new facility also will have space for 325 beds for people who are homeless or without housing rather than the current 114 beds, Coley said. The cafeteria will contain 300 seats in the new building compared to the current 57 seats.

The new building also will have a community resource center area where partner agencies can send staff to the building to provide resource and information help for rescue mission residents, Coley said.