POSTED: Tuesday, November 23, 2010 - 5:30pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, November 24, 2010 - 6:06am
EL PASO- With Thanksgiving fast approaching, many area charities are gearing up for the yearly rush. But one local program is doing a little bit extra this year.
"We cook up all of the turkey, the dressing, the gravy for the Thanksgiving feast...we'll probably have about 5,000 people downtown," says Blake Barrow, Director for the El Paso Rescue Mission.
He calls Thanksgiving one of the busiest weeks of the year, but says he's got to think past Turkey Day.
"Here at the Rescue Mission, we have a really big building expansion going on. We're adding 18,400 square feet," he says.
It's big enough that we took a climb up on of the Mission's familiar silos, just to see it all in one shot.
The building expansion project began in February but had to stop in October, because the Mission ran out of money. But thanks to a few timely donations, the project started up once again this morning.
The building will house up to 125 people when it's done. A new space is needed, especially when you compare it to the old space. But the expansion doesn't stop there.
New rooms to rent will be added. Each one will cost about 400 bucks a month to rent, with food and utilities included.
Bobby Carlson, who works for the mission, might rent a room.
"That means keeping me off the streets and keeping me off drugs. Just being involved. Everybody here is an alcoholic of some sort and just being with them and helping them helps me."
"As you can see by the crowd behind me, the need is huge. We need to expand, we need to care for people properly, we need more space," says Director Barrow.