Frequently Asked Questions
One of the most important ways you can support the campaign is by joining us in prayer, asking that God would provide for this new building. We also encourage you to spread the word about the project amongst family, friends, and neighbors through email, social media, or over coffee.
We accept donations by check or credit/debit card, gifts of stock, property, donor advised funds, pledges (typically over the course of 2-3 years), and more. Contact us for more information.
Checks can be mailed to P.O. Box 548, Bellingham, WA 98227 with “New Building Project” in the memo line. Thank you!
In the years leading up to the pandemic, we were seeking a better suited location for our low-barrier crisis shelter. The Drop-In Center is a 100-year-old building that was never built to be a shelter and is not a viable long-term option for hosting people overnight.
We made the Drop-In Center work while we searched for a better option. But that search was expedited out of desperate need when the pandemic hit in 2020.
The Drop-In Center did not have space for social distancing and we moved to Bellingham High School, and then on to what is now Base Camp on Cornwall Ave. Base Camp was always a temporary solution and our lease will end in July of 2024.
With such a tight schedule, leadership has been working diligently to raise funds to replace the existing building at 910 W. Holly Street.
Having hosted three different crisis shelter locations and buildings, we have learned a lot about how to ensure the safety of those who are homeless, as well those who live and work in the neighborhood. The new building is designed based on those experiences and with safety in mind.
The site plans use Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED), best-practice lighting standards, hourly staff neighborhood walk-abouts, and natural sight lines through the use of strategically placed windows.
There will be one entrance and one exit on the Astor Street side of the property and a separate entrance for families on the southwest side of the building. The facility will have video surveillance, be staffed 24/7, and staff will walk around the building regularly to check on things and pick up litter.
All of these measures will help create a safe environment. We also acknowledge that Mission staff are not law enforcement and we plan to continue working with the Bellingham Police Department when applicable.
We’ve done some shuffling in the past year! In early 2021, the Mission’s administrative office moved out of the New Life Center building at 923 W. Holly Street (across the street from the main Mission building) into a separate office located in downtown Bellingham. This gave us time to renovate the New Life Center building for the Ascent Recovery Program (which houses 35+ men at a time) to move in.
This spring, the Ascent Recovery Program moved into the renovated New Life Center, leaving the main Mission building vacant and ready to be prepared for demolition.
Thanks to a Partnership with PeaceHealth, our Kitchen and food services were also relocated. Our kitchen is currently near the hospital at 3333 Squalicum Parkway, enabling us to continue serving and distributing 650-plus meals a day during this time of transition.
Since relocating to Base Camp, the Drop-In Center Building has been used as an overflow shelter during the winter months and for community meetings throughout the year.