Rescue Mission gets new leader, same family passion

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – A Lexington homeless assistance program may be having a

Jim Connell/Lexington Rescue Mission via

Laura Carr/Lexington Rescue Mission via

changing of the guard this week, but its mission and the family passion aren’t going anywhere.

Jim Connell, who left his job in Columbus, Ind., in 2001, to start the Lexington Rescue Mission, is stepping down as director of the mission this Friday.

He is turning it over to his daughter, Laura Carr, who has been chief operating officer.

The mission and its work have been a labor of love for the family, which has helped thousands and built the mission, keeping it going during the coronavirus pandemic when its work often is needed most.

According to the Mission’s history, in the fall of 2000, Jim and Becky Connell felt led by the Lord to start a ministry to the poor and homeless. In April 2001, Jim left his job in Columbus, Indiana, and moved to Lexington to start the Lexington Rescue Mission.

Four months later, the mission purchased a building on North Limestone with the help of a generous gift from a Lexington couple. On Nov. 21, 2001, services started with a Thanksgiving banquet at Broadway Christian Church.

The mission then opened its doors to anyone in need of food, clothing, and financial assistance and began offering Bible studies and chapel services for guests.

Since that time, the mission has grown and changed to meet the needs of those it serves.

The work happens daily. It provides coffee and pastries from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and serves hot, nutritious lunches from 12 to 1 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Breakfast and lunch are free and open to anyone in need.

All meals are served at our Outreach Center at 444 Glen Arvin Ave.

During the current public health crisis, they changed meals to carry-out to decrease the number of people congregating at The Outreach Center. Guests who do not have daytime shelter are welcome to stay at our Outreach Center, but all other guests are encouraged to take their meals home.

In addition to the vegetables grown in the Mission’s community garden, it accepts donations of fruits and vegetables to give to the public. It also gives away donations of bread and pastries.

For information about our community meals, please contact Tammy Clay, Food Service Coordinator, at (859) 381-9600, ext. 225.

Carr has worked in various capacities at the Mission for nearly 15 years.

In the last year alone, the Mission has provided 24,018 meals, 3,841 nights of rest, clothing and supplies t 951 people, 77 job placements and helped put 35 families in housing.

For information on the Mission, click here.

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