Roanoke Rescue Mission turns 65 Tuesday, set to open "Hope House - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Roanoke Rescue Mission turns 65 Tuesday, set to open "Hope House"

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The largest homeless shelter in Western Virginia turns 65 on Tuesday.

The Roanoke Rescue Mission now include more than 400 beds, a staff of 100 people, and more than 4,000 volunteers.

Gus and Lois Johnson founded the mission with a purpose of "helping hurting people in Jesus' name."

"They were such encouraging people," says Laura Norwood, of meeting the Johnsons back in 1953.  "And that's never changed at the Rescue Mission. The staff is still encouraging today."

The mission's next growth includes a new Hope House.  It will be dedicated Tuesday evening.

Volunteers with New Hope Christian Church spent more than a year transforming the property on Dale Avenue in Southeast.

"It was fun to get the guys together that had the heart for it," New Hope Christian Church volunteer, Brad Boris said.  "They are helping people and just gave their all to this project."

The mission plans to use the Hope House for mission staff families and graduates of the mission's recovery program.

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