An expensive mission

With renovations to the inside of its building almost complete, Philadelphia’s oldest homeless shelter now says the outside of the facility is in imminent danger of collapsing.

The masonry along the top of the Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission on North 13th Street is severely damaged, according to executive director and CEO Dick McMillen. He said the damage can be repaired, but it will cost $80,000, which comes at a particularly rough time as the shelter prepares for increased demand during the Thanksgiving season.

“It’s about an $80,000 job, and it certainly wasn’t an expense we were figuring on at this point,” McMillen said. “We would hope that it would in no way hinder us from providing the meals that we’re providing daily because we have anywhere from 150 to 200 people daily who receive meals three times a day.”

The facility, built around the 1930s, originally served as the Film Center before the breakfast mission moved in in 1973, McMillen said. Contractors found the disrepair while working on upper-floor windows. Scaffolding has been placed outside the building to prevent any potential falling debris from hitting pedestrians.

“Any help whatsoever will be greatly appreciated, whatever it may be at this time, so that we can continue to provide the service to those who are much less fortunate than many of us are,” he said.

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