KINGMAN Today marks a full week since Pastor Kelly Fallis of the Cornerstone Mission ascended the roof of the Taco Bell on Stockton Hill Road.
Refusing to come down until a million dollars is raised for his proposed Hope Center, a drug rehab facility, Fallis said he has a long way to go, but he hasn't lost faith.
Splitting daylight hours perched on the front or back of the restaurant with a bullhorn beckoning passers-by to give to the cause, Fallis said the most disturbing elements of his confinement has been lack of acknowledgement from the public so far and the heat.
Fallis said that so far he has collected $42,000.
"I don't know what's going on. I don't know what it's going to take to convince people we have a serious problem. But I haven't lost faith.
With a make-shift camp consisting of a thermos of water, bottles of Gatorade, and a trash bag nearby filled with burrito wrappers, Fallis begins his day at 6 a.m. sitting on the top edge of the front façade asking for offerings through his bullhorn, moving to the back side around the lunch hour, then moving back toward the front to preach to pedestrians and passing traffic, calling it quits around 9:30 p.m.
"They're either going to donate or they're going to start throwing rocks at me," Fallis said.
Fallis, indicating that he sent out about 6,000 letters announcing the effort, said he is surprised with having only eight to 10 responses so far.
"Every once in a while I get a word of encouragement that helps," he said.
Fallis said on Tuesday a couple he identified as Mr. and Mrs. Montebello came by and offered a check for $10,000.
"I told them to come by for a tour. I told them it shall be built, no matter what I have to do."
"Doing this has given me a bigger insight to the lives the homeless lead," Fallis said, commenting on the icy looks he receives from some of the public.
"I had a woman ask me this morning 'why are you up there?' I told her she wouldn't be talking to me if I wasn't."
Fallis said he has no plans for coming down for any reason, aside from mentioning a concern that Taco Bell is planning a charity event the first weekend of October that they probably wouldn't want a conflict with.
Short of his family being in dire need for him to be with them, he is not coming down, he said.
He will continue to manage the fundraiser from his camp.
"Tammy Van Pelt's e-mailing all her business and personal contacts, and donated out of her own account. She's been awesome.
"Dr. Lingenfelter Š Ambient Edge donated a $1,000, Hank Nolte has a possible business connection in Vegas. We're putting out feelers in Laughlin.
"I'm going to keep pluggin. It's gotta be done," he said.
"If people truly understood the devastating effect of meth and drugs in this community, I'd probably be beating them off with a stick for donationsŠIf they truly knew the evilness of that drug."
Late Thursday afternoon Garden Care center donated $5,000.