TYLER, TX (KLTV) - With sledgehammers in hand, Highway 80 Rescue Mission Ministries board members and financial contributors helped demolish an old storage building.
For 63 years, Highway 80 has been based out of Longview. The ministry helps men and women looking to restore their relationships with God and live better lives.
"And it was the best decision of my life to go through that program," said former program member Joseph Bailey. "It actually meant more to me than when I graduated from college. It was that big of a deal."
Currently, the city of Tyler has Gateway to Hope, a day resource center, but anyone seeking long-term assistance has to travel to the Longview facility. This new facility will serve as a place for residents to receive help right here in Tyler.
"It's really important; we want to help people have a new life ad if you're suffering from drugs and alcohol, you shouldn't have to leave the community to do that," said Highway 80 executive director Eric Burger.
Through grants, Highway 80 now has funding to build two units that will house almost 50 men.
Named Triumph Village, the facility will serve as the home base for the mission's New Creations Discipleship program. A member of the program, Lenord Dudley said he knows it all too well and said this facility has the potential to change hundreds of lives.
"It happened to me," Dudley said. "That's what this place is about its gonna be about triumph and victories. People are gonna be able to come here and start a whole new life, right here in Tyler."
Joseph Bailey says he had his share of demons but now a year out of the program, he is living proof change is possible.
"Now I'm back in Tyler, I've got my very own home, a good paying job, my child is with me, and I couldn't be happier," Bailey said.
The housing sites are expected to be complete some time this summer. Highway 80's plans include four additional housing units at the site as well as remodeling the welcome center. The company's leaders said they will be built as the necessary funds are raised.