MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - For Michelle Browder, the choice came down to this; lay off 4 employees at the Montgomery Rescue Mission office or keep the office open.
"We see this as a blessing," said Browder.
A no-brainer says Browder. Because of the economy, the mission will shutter its administrative office and consolidate it with the shelter on Mobile Highway. No one will lose their jobs even though donations are down 50%. Browder says they expect to save $4,500 a month in utilities and equipment costs. Closing the main office won't be easy since so many critical decisions were made in the main building, a victorian-style structure built in 1887 and it used to be a family home.
"A lot of decisions about outreach programs were made here, and we had a lot of prayers here too. I will miss this building. It's a beautiful place," said Browder.
Browder makes clear the rescue mission's two shelters are NOT closing. No services will be impacted. Just the administration building.
The rescue mission takes in around 150 clients a year, the homeless to the working poor. They typically stay 30 days with the goal of getting back into the workforce.
Browder concedes the recession has forced her to be creative. For example, Browder used to run PJR's Bar-B-Que. Not anymore. Shutdown because of the economy but Browder has undertaken a fundraiser; selling ribs, chicken and beans with the hope of getting contributions for the mission's outreach programs. The goal is $15,000.
A mission that focuses on easing the down and out back into society now needs a little rescue itself.
The Montgomery Rescue Mission generally relied on 4 major contributors every year but those donations have dropped by 50%.