By Brian Bouteller
For 40 years, the Grants Pass Gospel Rescue Mission has offered Christ, Community and Transformation to responsible homeless people in Grants Pass. Approximately one in three Mission residents “graduate” from the Mission by leaving with a sustainable income and a home. Yet finding affordable housing in Grants Pass is challenging for people of all walks of life. This is especially true for former Mission residents as they get back involved in our local community. It’s also true for elderly people living in their cars who can’t save up two months’ rent and a security deposit to get into an apartment. What can be done?
The Mission has been exploring new housing models that can help people find affordable places to live in our community.
One idea we discovered at a PATH meeting (Partners Assisting The Homeless) is modeled on Emerald Village in Eugene, which offers tiny homes to qualifying individuals and married couples. My staff and I had the opportunity to tour Emerald Village in June and immediately thought, “We can do this in Grants Pass and do it better with our experience running men’s and women’s shelters.” It would require some help from our city council, but we believe this project could be completed in 2024 and be used as a model for future projects.
The Mission owns a piece of vacant real estate near the current Mission campus. At this time we believe the site could hold at least 12 housing units. The Mission will work with city planning staff to understand the capacity of this property and the cost of any development permits. The working budget is $1.3 million dollars to build a 12-unit project.
Of course, it takes more than vision, expertise and a plan to bring a new project into being. It takes a lot of prayer and community support in the form of money.
Thankfully, an anonymous donor learned of the project and has responded in a very generous way. The person offered to match all community donations dollar for dollar. This means that every donation from families and businesses will be doubled. The Mission needs to raise $650,000 from the community. With the anonymous donor’s match, we’ll have our $1.3 million dollar project fully funded.
Note that the Mission has never accepted taxpayer-funded loans, grants, or gifts. All of our work has been supported by the voluntary contributions of families, churches, businesses and private foundations. The Mission will continue this tradition on this project.
The need for this housing project is great. We ask you to make a contribution today to help fund this important project. Together, let’s raise $650,000 by Dec. 31, 2023, and make this project a reality in 2024!
Please mail your checks to the Gospel Rescue Mission, PO Box 190, Grants Pass, OR 97528. Be sure to write on your check, “Matching Fundraiser.”
Our anonymous donor has a favorite saying, “Life is fragile, handle with prayer.” Please keep the Mission and this project in your prayers.
Thank you for your consideration.
Brian Bouteller is the Executive Director of the Grants Pass Gospel Rescue Mission. grantspassmission.org