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Friday April 25th 2014

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Lunch at Waterfront Rescue Mission

Waterfront Rescue Mission has had a pretty eventful year. Opening a brand new, beautiful facility and then, when the flood came through leaving the building in waist-deep water, having to renovate.

But within a record amount of time, clients of the Waterfront Mission rebuilt it. A testament to the kind of individuals Waterfront serves.

At Waterfront’s Thanksgiving Luncheon, there weren’t enough nice things to say about the people that helped make this facility a reality and the people that inhabit and run it.

The new men’s shelter is quite an upgrade—from 65 beds to 126.

“We’ve had an eventful year in the last year,” said Waterfront President Mick Breault. “We weren’t here for 30 days and we filled this facility up.”

Breault noted how the new men’s shelter was a group effort.

“It’s something for Pensacola and Escambia County to be proud of,” he said. “We’ve been able to make it work.”

After Breault spoke, City Councilman Brian Spencer took to the podium to present a proclamation recognizing National Hunger and Homelessness Week throughout the city of Pensacola. John Johnson, executive director of EscaRosa Coalition of the Homeless accepted the proclamation.

Presenting his personal account about his time at Waterfront Rescue Mission, Allen talked to the audience about his life before Waterfront Rescue Mission.

“I was in prison before I went to Waterfront,” Allen said. “My life was just corrupt.”

The last four year of his 16 year sentence, Allen was saved. When his time was done, he decided that instead of going back to Jacksonville and possibly regressing to his old lifestyle, he took a Greyhound bus to Fort Walton Beach and started the Waterfront Program. He is currently in the Career Development Program.

“They were different,” he said. “I met some good, good friends. It’s just been a blessing. Without Waterfront, there’s no telling where I would be.”

“Allen has had a truly life changing experience, we’re extremely proud of him,” Breault said. “That’s our mission to change lives one at a time.”