Founded in 1877, The Pacific Garden Mission is now the largest continuously operating rescue mission in the country. Once operating from two separate locations; one serving women and children, and one serving men, the mission provides food, shelter, and clothing, as well as gospel services, counseling, and medical and dental care to destitute men and women at no charge. Rehabilitation services such as job skills training and career development are available to residents.
The new centralized 156,000 square foot facility provides sleeping accommodations for virtually 1,000 men, women and children, and a dining room that seats over 600 enabling the mission to serve nearly 180,000 plates of food in a month. It also houses a 600-seat auditorium, men’s and women’s gyms, classrooms, linen and laundry areas, library spaces, a barbershop and a beauty salon. Its cloister and a central indoor street also provide a safe haven for its constituents.
The sustainable features of this low-budget project include a green roof to help manage storm water and to mediate heat gain/loss; solar panel water heating; and energy efficient greenhouses integral to the building used to grow consumable goods. This latter feature is of particular social significance as it incorporates a broader concept of sustainability; residents of the mission will cultivate organic produce in the greenhouses that will provide some income for the mission and will foster a regenerative process of rehabilitation. The mission will also produce organic compost which will be packaged and sold to local gardeners.