Upper Room Mission is facing temporary closures due to financial strain amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Contributed)

Vernon’s Upper Room Mission faces ‘huge financial distress,’ temporary closures

General manager Naomi Rouck hopes $40 for 40 years campaign will help keep the mission afloat

Vernon’s Upper Room Mission is facing a “huge financial distress” amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

General manager Naomi Rouck said the mission that supports Vernon’s marginalized population is running out of funds, and hopes a new campaign — $40 for 40 years of service — will help keep the mission afloat.

“The Upper Room Mission has been struggling for quite a while. People tend to think that we’re funded through the government, but we’re not. We solely survive off of financial donations, our events and our boutique,” Rouck said.

“To keep the Mission going, we are holding a campaign if people can have a little bit of heart and understanding to help us out in this time of need. I know everyone is struggling at this point, but we do need to look after our low-income families, our seniors and our people that are on the street.”

The mission will be temporarily closing its doors as of Friday, March 20, due to financial pressures. All staff have been laid off and the Upper Room Mission Boutique has also been forced to close its doors.

Rouck says she’ll continue to be atthe mission every Tuesday and Thursday morning to make roughly 50 bagged sandwich lunches for those in need.

“I will try to keep the Mission afloat on my own for as long as possible,” Rouck said. “Hopefully people can see that we are trying and we are not abandoning anybody.”

The mission’s $40 for 40 years campaign is open now. Donations can be made in person at the Upper Room Mission on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 10:30-12 p.m., or by e-transfer to administration@vernonurm.org.

READ MORE: ‘We are experiencing a global shift,’ says Vernon mayor

READ MORE: First responders adjust how they respond to emergencies in face of pandemic

Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
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