The Long Beach Rescue Mission held a groundbreaking ceremony Monday for a new 15-bed facility to serve unhoused men with physical disabilities.

When the original building, the Samaritan House, was built in the late 1980s, it did not meet today’s Americans with Disabilities Act guidelines, according to Executive Director Jeff Levine. It currently has only two beds for men with disabilities.

“Every day we turn away people with disabilities, and that breaks our hearts,” said Levine. “And that speaks to the importance of this project, to be able to expand those services.”

The new building, located next to the Samaritan House, will be named after the John and Helen Apostle Foundation, which donated $1 million to the project. An anonymous family foundation also committed $900,000 over three years for operating costs, said Levine.

The mission was founded by Wayne and Janet Teuerle in 1971. It currently serves 150 men and 58 women at its Samaritan and Lydia Houses and more than 500 people who are homeless a day with meals, said Levine.

“Long Beach Rescue Mission has been a longstanding partner with the city of Long Beach and we’re still continuing to gain momentum,” said Mayor Rex Richardson. “And by working together we can continue to build our capacity to make a real difference in people’s lives.”

The John and Helen Apostle House will be located next to the Samaritan House at 1335 Pacific Ave.

Maison Tran is a fellow at the Long Beach Post. Reach him at [email protected].