Long Beach Rescue Mission new John and Helen Apostle House - Photo by Jackie Rae

The Long Beach Rescue Mission on Monday will officially open the doors to the John and Helen Apostle House — a 15-bed facility designed to meet the needs of unhoused men with physical disabilities.

At an open house celebration on Friday, Executive Director Jeff Levine said he wanted to convert a storefront property owned by the Mission at 223 W. Anaheim St. into a specialized facility that could broaden their outreach ministry.

“When our Samaritan House, a 150-bed shelter for men, was built in the late ’80s, they didn’t have the same requirements,” Levine said. “So, all but three of our beds are upstairs, and every day, we turn away men with disabilities who can’t access the beds that we have.”

The Mission broke ground on the new facility in September, thanks to donations including $1 million from the John and Helen Apostle Foundation and an anonymous donation that covers three years of operating costs.

The facility is wheelchair accessible — a feature District 1 Councilwoman Mary Zendejas applauded. “Being a woman with a disability, it really hits home,” she said at the open house.

Zendejas stressed the importance of making people with disabilities feel seen, wanted and given the opportunity to live with dignity. She applauded the wheelchair ramp, beds that allow for easy access and roll-in showers with a built-in bench. “It’s so beautiful, and there are so many men who are going to be helped here,” she said.

Mayor Rex Richardson noted the expedient process of opening the facility and stressed the importance of community partners. “We’re just really proud that now we have another crucial aspect to help in our repertoire of support for the community,” Richardson said at the event.

Richardson said the city is still focused on addressing the homeless issue and is proud of the steps taken thus far. “We’re inspired when we see the amount of focus that our city has been able to put out by deploying, partnering with the rescue mission,” he said.

The work of the Mission has prompted support from volunteers as well. James Farbelow, a Spectrum employee, recommended the Mission for the Spectrum employee-driven grants program.

In his nomination, Farbelow expressed his pride in volunteering and donating to the Mission and its commitment to bettering the lives of others. “To me, that is what the grant is all about,” Farbelow said.  “Neighbor helping neighbor and people lifting up those around us to improve our communities.”

To donate, volunteer, or learn more about the Long Beach Rescue Mission, visit them online here.