TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- The Topeka Rescue Mission is "building hope for tomorrow" with a $12 million expansion plan.
Executive Director Barry Feaker detailed the plans during a Friday open house at Great Overland Station. He also announced that two "anonymous angels" gave separate $1 million donations to kickoff fundraising efforts. On top of that, Feaker said a total of another $1 million had been given already by other donors.
Over the years, Feaker says he has seen the generosity from Topeka members, but two separate million-dollar donations caught him a bit off guard.
"It's humbling and exciting to know we can jump out there and get going but it is also a clear sign that there is something bigger here than we are," Feaker said.
Feaker said the project will be done in four phases, the first of which involves building what they're calling the Children's Palace. It will be built west of the Hope Center and will give children the room they need to interact in a kid friendly environment.
Staff members believe beginning the project with a focus on children will deliver their promise to empower and transform those that come through their doors. The mission sees nearly 400 children a year.
"I'm so excited to provide a safe place for these children to come where they know they are loved and valued and that they have a purpose in the world," said Director of Children's Ministries, Jessica Hossman.
Phase 2 includes building a New Life Center at the location of the Bailey Moving and Storage building. It will expand the shelter to include 260 more beds, for a total of 410 beds, increasing mission space to 36,500 square feet.
Phase 3 involves making the current shelter facility at 600 N. Kansas Avenue into an Empowerment and Transformation Center with expanded kitchen. The final phase will add a Youth Center onto the Children's Palace for K-thru-10th-grade youth.
Feaker says it costs just 97 cents to feed one homeless person for a day. He challenged people to consider giving to the campaign at that "dollar a day" level.
People can help donate to the expansion project by going online at www.trmonline.org.
This rendering shows the future Children's Palace for the Topeka Rescue Mission. (Submitted)