Lutheran Foundation makes $1.5 million grant to Rescue Mission

The new Rescue Mission will provide educational opportunities thanks to a partnership with Indiana Wesleyan University. (Courtesy image)

The Lutheran Foundation Monday announced a $1.5 million grant toward construction of a new Rescue Mission in downtown Fort Wayne.

The mission, currently located on Superior Street, is planning a $23 million project that will result not only in a four-story,325-bed facility at East Washington Boulevard and Lafayette Street but will also add beds tot the Charis House women’s shelter at 431 Fairmount Place. Mission CEO and Senior Pastor Donovan Coley has said the public portion of the capital campaign will begin early this year, with construction to begin later in 2019. The “quiet” phase of the fundraising campaign has generated more than $16.5 million.

Other funding sources to date include about $2.1 million in New Market Tax Credits awarded by the city, about $700,000 in affordable housing grants and the city’s $1.2 million offer to buy the mission’s current 114-bed facility on Superior Street for inclusion in riverfront development plans.

“It’s inspiring to have such a significant investment to complete the leadership phase of our campaign,” Coley said in a statement. “Our relationship with The Lutheran Foundation is a special one, as we are both committed to addressing the mental health piece of those we serve.”

Chief Executive Officer of The Lutheran Foundation, Marcia Haaff, stated the organization wanted to make this investment in The Rescue Mission because of a “mutual commitment to addressing the issue of mental illness with Christ at the center. The Lutheran Foundation is an advocate for eliminating the stigma of mental illness. Our vision is whole person health – spiritual, mental and physical well-being for all people.”