North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

Top Stories

February 6, 2013

Doing Unto Others: Gardendale-Mt. Vernon United Methodist members serve the homeless at Jimmie Hale Mission




The Gardendale group not only serves food, but it purchases the meal and makes other monetary donations as well. When groups support the mission in such a way, it helps keep the organization running, as it depends on donations to stay in operation.

The Jimmie Hale Mission is for men only; it’s counterpart, Jessie’s Place, cares for women and children.

Jimmie Hale — who was formerly known as the town drunk, according to the Jimmie Hale Mission website — opened the mission in 1944 as a shelter for the homeless along with his wife, Jessie. The first location of the mission was a storefront; in it, Hale had sold his last drink as a bartender, the website stated.

Eight months after opening the shelter, Jimmie Hale died at the age of 39 from the after-effects of many years of heavy drinking. Jessie, who was 27 and pregnant, continued their dream.

In 1954, Leo Shepura came on board to help Jessie; they worked together for the mission for 36 years.

Then in 1990, Tony Cooper became the mission’s executive director.

Text Only
Top Stories