Panama City Rescue Mission Asking for Help

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PANAMA CITY Most charities struggle with finances, but the new Executive Director of the Panama City Rescue Mission says things are really tough.

Donations dropped off significantly after the Mission Board parted ways with former billy fox last month, and now the organization is now half a million dollars in debt.

Thurman Chambers has been on the job just 3 weeks, but he's already facing hat he calls the biggest challenge of his career.

When he took over the Panama City Rescue Mission, he also inherited a mountain debt.

Panama City Rescue Mission Executive Director Thurman Chambers elaborates, saying, "[I] never followed one that, you know, there was a problem or happening within the organization so it's taken a little adjustment."

The Rescue Mission serves about 150 homeless people during the average summer day.

But it's about to get busier.

The numbers increase in the winter to 200 a day.

Chambers is worried about handling that increase, when the Mission is about half a million dollars in debt.

"We're behind in some of our payments, and our accounts payable, that sort of thing. That's going to help us get caught up so to speak. We're in the negatives right now so we gotta get the ship right."

Chambers is still trying to figure out why donations are down.

He isn't sure if it's because of the change of leadership, or the on going debate over the Mission's plans to expand Bethel Village for women and children.

"You know for the last two years, it's been really, really slow for them."

Whatever the reason, Chambers is asking for help.

He sent a letter to local churches and media soliciting more donations from residents during the holiday season.

The organization historically receives most of its donations during the last 3 months of the year.

Apparently the request is working.

Chambers says he's already received calls from local Pastors, wanting to help.