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Colonial Materials Contributes For Durham Rescue Mission’s Future

Durhan Rescue Mission

At first glance, Durham Rescue Mission’s new dormitory is a simple brick structure, built as a stepping-stone for those struggling with homelessness and drug addiction.  But at a closer look, the new dorm is by no means simple or average. Every sheet of drywall provided by Colonial Materials, a GMS company, holds promise the new building will renew lives. Every bag of insulation holds hope for fostering lasting relationships.

Durham Rescue new dorm

Colonial Materials was one of several companies that contributed to the Ball Educational Dormitory, a three-story, 7,500-square-foot building in Durham, N.C. Colonial Materials supplied drywall and insulation at cost and donated finishing products. Denny Mangum, project executive with general contractor LeChase Construction, said the experience was inspiring.

“Each time I visited the job site, I passed the temporary housing for the men who were enrolled in Durham Rescue Mission for rehabilitative purposes. Many of them congregated on the lawns or the front porches, and you could tell the program was one of camaraderie. You rarely encountered anyone who was alone,” Mangum said. “When you consider the majority of those men have a child or a household that depends on them turning their lives around as a result of this program, you understand your minor assistance, when considered on a collective basis, is building much more than a dormitory.”

Mission Helps Homeless, Addiction Recovery

Durham Rescue plan for phase 2 of new dorms

Durham Rescue Mission opened its doors in 1974 in a two-story home with enough space for about 12 men. In the years that followed, the mission opened to women, children and families. Today, the mission provides housing, food, vocational training and counseling to hundreds of people in the Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill areas. The mission focuses on helping the homeless and offers addiction-recovery programs.

The new building is the first of three dormitories that will be constructed in the coming years. The Ball building includes classroom space, computer rooms, bathrooms, showers and sleeping areas. Some people stay at the mission for a day or two, while others stay for a year or longer, said David Rayle, the mission’s communications, design and marketing associate. 

Rayle said the mission has relied on the community’s kindness for assistance, including donations of materials and labor, such as those from Colonial Materials and LeChase, to build the new building.

Colonial Materials Steps In

Colonial Materials provided hundreds of Georgia-Pacific, American Gypsum and National Gypsum Company mold-resistant and fire-rated drywall panels and Knauf Insulation bags. The company also donated finishing products that included Gold Bond and Sure Sand compounds.

Colonial Materials said the donations would not have been possible if not for Rob Henshaw, general manager of GMS North Carolina, who “agreed it was a very worthy cause.”

LeChase Construction Services, located in Durham, coordinated with subcontractor Senecal Construction of Burlington, N.C. Mangum said the coming together for the construction was “an opportunity to give back to the community” and help a local organization. LeChase constructed the building at no fee, Mangum said.

Building A Future

Mangum said he’s encouraged by the collaborative effort and helping spirit that surrounded the project. With the mission planning for other buildings, Mangum said he’s looking forward to future partnerships and teamwork.

"I am confident that all involved parties would be open to considering furthering our success with continued involvement with the Durham Rescue Mission," Mangum said.

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