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Rescue Mission’s new transitional housing shelter brings hope

Updated: Mar. 25, 2019 at 9:46 PM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - Evansville Rescue Mission’s new multi-purpose Centennial Center is now move-in ready.

Bill Clark is the first to call it home, claiming one of the 19 bedrooms at the facility on Walnut Street.

ERM staff named Clark the Centennial Center’s building manager.

“Bill lived and worked at ERM 15 years ago,” ERM President Tracy Gorman said. “He has since returned and again, lived and worked at ERM. Bill has been the head of our safety team, head of housekeeping, and he leads our recovery class on Mondays."

Clark’s battle with addiction to prescription pills ultimately led him back to the Evansville Rescue Mission after over a decade living out of state.

It’s an opportunity the 52-year-old is very thankful for.

“I looked at myself in the mirror, and said, ‘Bill, this is your last rodeo. It’s either do or die’,” Clark replied when we asked him about his story.

“I had open heart quadruple by-pass surgery, and I got hooked on pain pills real bad. I was in denial. I was like, ‘I’m good, I don’t need no help'," he said.

Clark will graduate from PACES soon, which is a dedicated recovery and spiritual program the Rescue Mission offers to the public.

“Bill is really like a model of what we would like this facility to be like for every one who choose to take advantage of our programs,” said Phillip Boyd, Executive Director of the Men’s Residence Center at the Mission. “He’s really worked his way up.”

“For many years, we’ve worked to bring this vision to fruition, and now we’re able to move forward to extend the Evansville Rescue Mission’s outreach footprint into the Tri-State," ERM President Gorman said.

More than $1 million has already been raised to build ERM's Centennial Center through private donations and grants, along with ERM's endowment, with $450,000 left to be raised.

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