Panama City Rescue Mission May Relocate

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PANAMA CITY-- Panama City resident Kenneth Shealy has heard the news that the Panama City Rescue Mission may relocate to the vacant Rooms-To-Go store on West 15th street.

“I'm personally against it. I think it would be great if they were out there in 231 or highway 77,” said Kenneth Shealy.

Shealy is not the only one who's concerned about the proposed move.

"They brought that up and I told them it's going to be very difficult to change the public perception of the Rescue Mission,” said Greg Brudnicki, Panama City Mayor.

But rescue mission officials say their current facility on Allen Avenue and East 6th street can no longer meet the organization needs.

"This facility here on Allen Street is worn out. We are not allowed to sleep as many or in programs and that's a lot to do with fire marshal rules,” said Thurman Chambers, Panama City Rescue Mission Executive Director.

Executive director Thurman Chambers said the programs have grown, but the mission is selective about who participates.

He said those who ask for help have to be committed to improving their lives.

There are currently 30 people in the substance addiction program.

The rooms to go facility is about 40,000 square feet.

"The place that we have looked at, it offers us the opportunity to have our retail center in the same facility."

Brudnicki wants the mission board to keep looking.

"I am trying to find them a better place where they can do what they need to do and get their mission done," said Brudnicki.

"Gods will. We are a Christian organization and if it's his will, we will move," said Chambers.

Panama City Rescue Mission officials said they're still early in the process and haven't made any decisions.