Mission management eyeing to ruin another part of community.

The homeless shelter could be finding a new home.
After several years, the Panama City Rescue Mission is looking to change locations.


Screen Shot 2014-07-19 at 8.45.40 PMThe head of the Mission, Thurman Chambers, says they need something that works on two levels: catering to the homeless and catering to their retail business. This shows the shallow thinking of Mr. Chambers and the entire board of directors of the mission. It is not “two levels” that things needs to work it is “multiple levels” that things needs to work. There are layer after layer of considerations that an organization that maintains a facility of this sort must consider. How about the impact of surrounding businesses? A stroll down the 6th street coridor near the mission will give our community a preview of what the areas around the proposed move will look like within weeks of arrival of the mission staff. How about the residential areas near the proposed location? Again, Chambers and the BOD of the mission are either clueless or could care less what impact they have on our community. Either way it shows the incompetence and irresponsibility of those in charge and everyone of them should be run off.

For years, the Panama City Rescue Mission Men’s Program has been located on 6th St.

Recent rules given to them by the fire marshall has caused them to look for a new place to call home. It took an entity that had some legal jurisdiction over behaviors of the mission to nudge them to react. The fire marshal writing them up for excessive occupancy was a legal mandate that they couldn’t turn a blind eye to. Complaints from the community and dealings with vagrancy legislation and nuisance laws didn’t have the “sting” that would force the mission to make adjustments in how they operated nor how it impacted our downtown community. 

“They would no longer allow us to have people sleep on the top bunk,” Chambers explains, “So that cut our capacity in half.” And they had no business warehousing people to the capacity that they did to begin with. The facility nor the organization itself are designed to accommodate the volumes of people that they are trying to process through their programs.

Chambers says out of all of the locations he’s looked at, the building that previously held Rooms-To-Go on 15th street makes the most sense. Incompetent. If Mr. Chambers thinks this location “makes sense”, we as a community need to ask him for his resignation. I encourage Mr. Chambers and the rest of the gang of Board of Directors to one Saturday morning, take their lawn chairs and sit out on the sidewalk of the vacant building that they think “makes sense” for them to move to and watch the cars that drive by. Look at the license plates of the cars. Look at the people who are heading to our beaches as tourist who are spending millions of dollars each year in our community. Does Mr. Chambers REALLY think it “makes sense” for these hundreds of thousands of tourist coming into our city to see the Rescue Mission as our “welcoming club”?

The size of the building will allow them to house more people, while the location works for the retail portion. Again, more things that make NO sense. Mr chambers is now going to mix those people directly involved in drug and alcohol programs with a retail store? This shows the mentality of the mission management. It is borderline inhumane how they perceive participants in their programs and are interested in nothing more than “warehousing” people. Reason number two that Mr. Chambers should offer our community his resignation immediately and all board of directors resign from their post.

A vagrant that frequents the mission also thinks it’s a bad idea. WMBB reporter…uh…really? We are now interviewing “vagrants” to get their opinion on the proposed move? How about the owners of the businesses within a half mile radius, how about the residence within a half mile radius, how about the directors of tourism for our beaches.

“There’s no way that moving off 15th St is any better for this mission. No way,” says Rescue Mission Client Chris McCloud.

Chambers wants people to see the rescue mission as a good addition to any community, and tries to quell concerns of those nearby. What is Mr. Chambers doing to “quell their concerns”? Nothing …because he can’t. The mission is a cancer on our community under current management. Chambers can whitewash until the cows come home but until they do the basic things to bring themselves back into the fold of our charitable community, they will continue to be a growing cancer.

“One of the hardest things to overcome is perception,” No Mr. Chambers, the biggest thing to overcome is “reality”. The reality that your organization has so many problems and the first of which is ethics. Until the PCRM finds a set of morals within their management ranks, nothing will be fixed.he says, “We’re not the county jail trying to move in next to you, you know. We’re in the business of trying to save lives. You can’t put everybody in the same, same, you know, same basket.”

A move to the location on 15th St. is not yet set in stone. When news 13 called the leasing agent for the property, he said, “no comment.”


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  1. Laura

     /  August 5, 2014

    This rescue mission lacked ethics in 1995 & I see it continues on that path.


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