Last night, the city council chamber, lobby, and hallways were packed with Durham Rescue Mission friends and neighbors who were requesting the Durham Rescue Mission be left out of the historic district. More than 300 people showed up for the poor and needy in our community. That’s at least 95% of the people who cared enough to show up! SO many in fact, the fire marshal had to come to ask some folks to exit the chambers.
Despite the hundreds in attendance and the more than 3,000 signatures on our petition, the city council vote disregarded the clear will of the people in our community. In a 4-3 vote, they voted to force the Durham Rescue Mission into the Golden Belt Local Historic District thereby limiting our ability to continue our care for the most needy in our community. We would like to thank Mayor Bill Bell, Mayor Pro Tempore Cora Cole-McFadden, and Councilman Eddie Davis who voted to stand with the poor and the Durham Rescue Mission.
Although this vote will make our mission more difficult and expensive, we have been called by our Heavenly Father to care for those who are hurting in our community, and that’s exactly what we will continue to do.
It’s a comfort to know that the folks who came out, signed petitions, or wrote letters to the editor overwhelmingly support the work of the Durham Rescue Mission. As we move forward, we understand that God’s ways are different, higher, and better than our own (Isaiah 55:8-9). We praise Him in the difficult times and the good times. He has great things in store for the Durham Rescue Mission!
Dr. Ernie C. Mills