HANFORD – The Kings Gospel Mission, a rescue shelter in Hanford, is set to help the planet while helping the homeless.
The shelter recently opened Kings Cornerstone Recycling, with all proceeds made going back toward the rescue mission. The majority of the workers will be volunteers from the mission who are currently in the mission’s Life Transformation Program, which aims at helping those in need recommit to their faith, as well as learning life readiness skills and vocational preparedness.
The Kings Cornerstone Recycling center, located at 13747 Sixth St., Unit C in Armona, accepts all CRV items including metal cans, plastic and glass bottles. The center is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Kings Cornerstone Recycling director Jeff Rhodes said the mission was looking for a way to increase revenue for the shelter and increase what Kings Gospel Mission could offer to the homeless.
“It doesn’t seem like too many people are doing anything to help the homeless in Kings County,” Rhodes said. “We’re trying to take a bite out of it.”
The mission provides overnight shelter for up to 20 men. The Life Transformation Program is for eight men and there are room and board facilities for men who have income, but cannot find affordable housing.
Michael Quarels is a volunteer who said he wanted to give back to the program.
“The program helped turn my life around and strengthen my relationship with the lord," Quarels said.
Rhodes said the mission hopes that money raised from the recycling center can provide more curriculum, expand its housing and help give volunteers training that could land them jobs once they are finished with the program.
“Primarily we want people to know that God loves them and offers eternal salvation, and then we help people to find a dignified purpose in their lives,” said Kings Gospel Mission CEO Dave Clevenger. “Stable housing and a great job are byproducts of those pursuits.”
The opening of the recycling center could be a reverse in local trends as well.
In 2016, as the cost of aluminum and glass dropped, the closing of multiple recycling centers in Kings County was feared to cost local residents nearly $200,000 in supplemental income.
In Hanford alone, three recycling centers closed in a six-month span, with centers in the county dropping from 14 to eight by July.
Rhodes said they plan on doing outreach to different churches and schools that may be doing fundraisers by collecting cans and bottles.
Quarels expects the center to be a success.
“When people hear what we’re trying to do, I think it will take off,” he said.
Clevenger said the mission hopes to continue to make a difference.
“Together with the Kings County community, we are transforming lives,” Clevenger said. “We do that by removing barriers and giving opportunities that mainstream society supports: jobs, homes and community.”