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City mission seeking funds, volunteers

Oct. 16, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- The Huntington City Mission welcomed potential volunteers and donors to an open house Tuesday evening to learn about the facility and its current needs.

Established in 1939, the mission provides housing, food and training to some of the Tri-State's most vulnerable citizens.

"It's the only facility like it in the state and one of very few in the United States," said Pastor Pete Davidson, executive director.

The mission, located at 624 10th St., currently serves about 150 homeless people in its "Project Hope" long-term transitional living facility and its emergency shelter.

"Project Hope" is an 18-unit apartment facility to help parents get back on their feet.

"You have to have a child or be six months pregnant to live there," Davidson said. "It's about taking people from homelessness to productive citizens who are able to live on their own."

Residents are able to stay for up to 18 months, but they must obtain employment. The mission does its part to help by guiding residents in the process. They also assist with home aspects such as budgeting, cooking and child care.

Although the mission employs 35 people, it relies largely on volunteers to help with its meals and child care programs.

Theresa Cashion, volunteer coordinator, said much of their help comes from church groups and college students who want to help women and children, but they need volunteers for the men's facility as well.

"A lot of people feel passion to help the children or single women, but the single men need some support, too," she said. "We'd like a group of men who want to be good role models (to volunteer)."

And while the mission has anywhere from 50 to 100 volunteers helping its staff on any given day, it is struggling to meet its financial needs.

Davidson said the mission started its fiscal year with a $500,000 budget shortfall, mainly because of declining donations, but he is hopeful they will come up with the funds to keep the mission going.

"God provides the money," he said. "God provides the money through the people of the Tri-State area."

To help meet its goal, the mission will host an art auction next Thursday. "Art for Hope" is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. Oct. 24 at the Huntington Renaissance Center, 900 8th Street.

For more information on the Huntington City Mission, visit huntingtoncitymission.org or call 304-523-0293.

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