The Lexington Rescue Mission normally serves others by feeding and sheltering the poor and offering a variety of services. But the Christian nonprofit organization was the one getting assistance Sunday.
After the mission's outreach center on Glen Arvin Avenue closed Wednesday because of a ruptured sewer pipe, workers from a local Home Depot store removed a wheelchair ramp and some fencing Sunday so Roto-Rooter could come in and replace the pipe this week.
Jason Thomas, manager of the Home Depot on Richmond Road, estimated it would take two to three hours to disassemble the fence and ramp.
"We're trying to salvage as much as possible of it for future use," he said.
After media reports about the situation last week, the mission received several calls from individuals, businesses and other agencies asking how they could help, said Risa Richardson, public relations and special events coordinator for the mission.
"Here we serve people," Richardson said. "People come to us devastated. Broke. Broken. And just really needy. So we're used to that desperation that people have when they need a service from us.
"So it seems the tables were turned. And people have just responded in a mighty way. They just overwhelmed us. We just feel tremendously blessed."
For example, Roto-Rooter discounted the cost to replace the pipe. Charlie Lanter, director of the Lexington Office of Homelessness Prevention and Intervention, secured an anonymous donor to cover the remaining cost, Richardson said.
Meanwhile, some tile in a bathroom needs to be replaced because of water damage. The ramp and fence will need to be replaced. Landscaping will need to be redone. And part of the parking area will be need to be repaved.
That might cost $2,000 to $4,000, but Richardson said private donors are coming forward to help with those expenses as well. To make a donation, go to Lexingtonrescue.org.
The Glen Arvin site feeds an average of 400 to 450 people each week. The site also has job-training classes and a medical clinic.
In the meantime, meals will be provided from noon to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at Embrace Church, 1015 North Limestone.
Walk-in hours, in which clients may receive prayer, assistance and resource referrals, will be 1 to 3 p.m. the same days at Embrace Church.
The mission hopes to serve its Saturday meal at Glen Arvin, provided the work is finished.