DUBUQUE, Iowa - The Dubuque Rescue Mission is that city's only homeless shelter for men. Directors say they don't always have room for every man who needs a place to sleep. In 2011 church leaders at St. John's Lutheran Church started letting men who couldn't fit at the Rescue Mission sleep in their basement, until they ran into some trouble.
Originally from Chicago, Richard Mockmore, knows what's it's like to shiver out in the cold.
Mockmore said, "for two winters I slept in a cardboard box above a subway station. "
These days, he's the guest coordinator for the St. John's homeless shelter.
"I love every bit of what I do," said Mockmore. " If I didn't love it I wouldn't be doing it."
When the Dubuque Recuse Mission became over-crowded, directors at St. John's allowed homeless men to live in the basement.
St. John's Church Board Member, Alysia Hedrick said, "We found out very quickly that our building was not up to code for fire for the city. "
Church leaders began raising funds to make the proper upgrades.
"We had to do smoke detection. We had to do a new sprinkler system. We had to install fire doors, " said Hedrick.
Donations from local businesses gave this shelter the finishing touches.
Mockmore said, "I had people who stepped up for me. I wouldn't be where I am at today if people didn't care about me. "
Mockmore says it took an entire community to help get this place up to code. He says that's what it's all about.