Rescue Mission finds silver lining while dealing with tragedy

Published: Nov. 20, 2020 at 8:15 PM CST
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - One of The Panama City Rescue Mission campuses has been shut down completely for the time being.

“We had a fire at our Men’s Campus and it just was released by the Fire Marshall it’s under investigation as an arson,” said President and CEO of Panama City Rescue Mission Stephen Fett.

This has resulted in the facility not being able to hold its annual Thanksgiving dinner or even the community dinners it offers every night.

“It’s a challenge,” said Fett. “It’s a challenge to maintain a positive attitude and find something that is encouraging in that situation.”

Despite the setbacks Rescue Mission has faced, it’s looking forward to the future.

“We have an amazing Christmas week planned, be on the lookout for the 21st, 22nd, 23rd of December,” said Fett. “We’ll be announcing how we’re going to celebrate Christmas with the community.”

While getting in the Christmas spirit, the organization will also be implementing a new program to its facilities.

“Our new life transformation program that helps folks when they walk in the door,” said Fett. “It’s four steps, relationships number one, then health, then economic stability, and ultimately housing.”

This program has given the Rescue Mission a chance to rebrand with a more fitting name.

“We’re rebranding both facilities as Gateway for Men and Gateway for Women and Children because we truly believe this gives folks a gateway to a new life,” said Fett.

Rescue Mission is accepting donations, and if you’re wanting to do so, you can contact them by phone at 850-914-0533 or email at

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