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City Rescue Mission of Lansing plans to build women's shelter, pending zoning approval

Brick building showcasing the outside of City Mission of Lansing. A Cross hangs from the building with the words: "Jesus Saves".
City Rescue Mission of Lansing
City Rescue Mission of Lansing

The City Rescue Mission of Lansing could soon be expanding to be able to temporarily house up to 350 people per night.

Right now, the Rescue Mission operates two shelter locations and a drop-in center in the city. The organization can accommodate about 250 men, women and children per night.

Despite that, the community needs for immediate shelter exceed what the organization can provide, according to the City Rescue Mission’s Executive Director Mark Criss.

"Three or four years ago, we were sheltering about 133 men, women and children. That was our average, and so, we've more than doubled that on a regular basis in 2023," he said. "We're just currently at capacity, so we can't do any more without a new facility."

The City Rescue Mission is hoping to purchase two buildings on the 400 block of West Kalamazoo Street to open a women's shelter. The building would allow the nonprofit to double its capacity. To do that, the area needs to be rezoned to allow for the operation of a shelter.

"The way its zoned, we cannot put a shelter care facility in that location," Criss added.

The nonprofit's purchase offer on the two buildings is contingent on whether the area is rezoned.

"We're looking at purchasing the property in December, and so we'll use some cash we have on hand. We'll have to get a mortgage. We'll also have to get a construction loan," Criss said.

The plan is to open the facilities by 2025. Last month, the city's Planning Commission voted in favor of recommending the zoning change.

A public hearing will be held on September 18th. Following that, the Lansing City Council would vote whether to rezone that area.

As WKAR's Bilingual Latinx Stories Reporter, Michelle reports in both English and Spanish on stories affecting Michigan's Latinx community.
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