Rescue Mission rejects proposed move…hmmm imagine that

PANAMA CITY — Rescue Mission directors declined a proposed relocation of the downtown homeless shelter during a closed-door meeting Tuesday afternoon.

However, mission officials left open the possibility of moving if the location and finances were right.

“We are not opposed to moving, we are opposed to it costing us to move,” said Rev. Billy Fox, Panama City Rescue Mission executive director. “Downtown is not imperative, but we do own our property. So we aren’t going raise millions of dollars to go out and make a move.”

The priority of the Rescue Mission, if it were to move, is “to continue exactly what we are doing downtown and enhance what we are currently doing,” Fox said.

In a statement after the Rescue Mission board of directors meeting, Fox said:

“After much discussion, the board of directors resolved the plan of the city of Panama City and the Task Force presented to us … was not conducive to the ministry … , therefore we have no interest in relocating. We would, however, be willing to entertain an offer of a building/land transfer for a different property to continue current ministries and expanded vision of the Panama City Rescue Mission.” Here is the translation: We are not interested in participating in facility operating in conjunction with multiple other organizations that run their organizations in a responsible way as doing such would open what we do to public scrutiny and then the community would learn the details of the scam we have been pulling over their eyes.

The location made all the difference, according to Fox.

“If [Panama City] wants to do this somewhere that is not 10 miles out of town, we are open to discussion,” Fox said. “It is outside of resources and jobs, and 80 percent of people we deal with can and will join our live-saving programs. If they are 10 miles outside of the city, they are isolated and have a long way to go. If they have something that’s closer in we’d like to discuss it with them.”

Fox said the Rescue Mission is not a church but a nonprofit, Christian organization, listed as a 501(c)3, established by bylaws that does not accept government money. OOPS…Fox lied again. Check their website… see the neat little word “direct” as in “we do not accept DIRECT taxpayer funding”? Take a look at our “jigsaw puzzle” post to learn the true meaning of “direct”   (https://movethemission.wordpress.com/2011/12/11/1000-piece-jigsaw-puzzle/) However, the Rescue Mission would look for compensation from Panama City for its property, according to Fox.

“We don’t want to make it sound like we are under duress,” Fox said. “They just forget we are property owners, and we don’t have to do what they say.” Oh my the arrogance….Billy Fox makes that statement as though HE owns the building. Billy Fox just an employee and the PCRM is just a board of directors. None of these people have any individual ownership in any of the property or facilities. The PCRM in actuality is owned by the community that through their donation dollars made the facility possible. Fox is playing games with what really belongs to the community as a whole. Fox could (and should be) fired and board of directors resign still leaving the PCRM as an entity that could then be run by a responsible organization that will provide required services in a way that is responsible to the community as a whole. There is precedence for this action. take a look at this post: https://movethemission.wordpress.com/2012/02/05/sound-familiar/

Panama City Mayor Greg Brudnicki said earlier a proposal to buy the current Rescue Mission property has not been made. He could not be reached for comment immediately after the Rescue Mission board’s decision.

Members of a Community Resource Task Force, appointed by Brudnicki, addressed the City Commission before commissioners voted unanimously to approve the purchase of a parcel of land off Star Avenue on Nov. 13. The roughly 70-acre, $445,000 property is planned to be incorporated under the name “Bay Area Resource Center and Community Campus Inc.”

Project manager Jo Shaffer wrote in a news release the location was intended to “balance the importance of accessibility for the homeless, with … the least impact upon local residents and businesses.”

Despite the rejection to Panama City’s proposal by the Rescue Mission, Shaffer said the Bay Area Resource Center will proceed with plans to accommodate other nonprofits expected to be involved.

“We’re going to proceed forward and we hope we can work with the Rescue mission over time,” Shaffer said. “As they get more information and see how this proceeds we hope they will feel more positive about it.”

Shaffer continued saying, “I truly believe the Rescue Mission would benefit from having a larger site and a new facility,” she said.

Neighborhood opposition

Earlier Tuesday, Cherokee Heights residents made clear their opposition to the Resource Center relocation plan at the Bay County Commission meeting.

Jeff Payne, a real estate agent who lives in the neighborhood, said he wanted to hear the commission’s stance for relocating the Resource Center. He said the neighborhood is concerned about the problems that could befall it if the plan went through.

Three others addressed the commission on the issue, speaking out against the Resource Center moving to CherokeeHeights. They expressed concerns about safety and mentioned schools in the neighborhood.

Commission Chairman George Gainer said this is a city issue and not a county issue.

“This is not a county plan,” he said.

The commissioners said they have scant details on the plan and they learned about it through local media.
Gainer said he was unsure if the Resource Center would be a homeless shelter or some other type of support facility. Gainer said homelessness is a problem and needs to be dealt with in the county.

“We’re not familiar enough with the current plan to move forward and I don’t think the city is yet. It’s a work in progress,” he said.

Commissioner Guy Tunnell said he’d heard from plenty of residents about the issue and that he was worried about the quality of life in the area too. He recommended Gainer contact Brudnicki to “discuss the situation.” Then the commission could figure out where to go from there.

“I need more information,” Tunnell said.

For future discussion, Tunnell said Brudnickicould address the commission or the city and the county could have a joint meeting.

Gainer said he would be happy to take the lead and the commission voted 5-0 that he proceed in that manner.

“It’s not a problem I want to take out of Panama City and inject in Cherokee Heights. … Hopefully we can address the problem,” he said.

http://www.newsherald.com/news/rescue-mission-rejects-proposed-move-1.53084

Advertisements
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: