Rescue Mission of Trenton asking for help

TRENTON (WPVI) -- For more than 100 years, the Rescue Mission of Trenton has come to the aid of the homeless and the down and out.

But now this respected non-profit is forced to ask for help itself. The Mission is facing a $400,000 budget deficit.

Directors think they can cover half that amount, but need help with the rest.

"We know what our service level's going to be, we know what our income's going to be. We did not want to wait until the crisis was upon us," Trenton Rescue Mission CEO Mary Gay Abbott said.

A combination of factors has led to this. The state is denying more applications for emergency assistance, creating a funding crisis for shelters like the mission. The store is making less than it used to and costs for staff, services and maintenance are going up.

"Laundry, utilities, electric, water, insurance just to maintain everything," financial manager Crystal Bacon said.

Winter is the time when the demand for services is most critical so having money problems going in to the cold season is a real cause for worry.

The Mission provides a place for the homeless 24/7, 365 days a year along with mental health, addiction and housing services.

Jason Berkey arrived a year ago hooked on heroin with no place to live. He's been through the program here and now works as an administrative assistant.

"At first when you come in you may not think this is something that you can do. I'm here to show you you can do it. And if you work hard and stick to your game, the Rescue Mission is always there to help you," Berkey said.

"And that's what we're here to do is to try to help them and understand that there's a better opportunity out there for them. They just need to want to go and get it," COO Barrett Young said.

The Mission is trying to cut costs while reaching out to foundations, corporations and individuals to help stop the looming budget crisis so it can continue to help the people who need it most.
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