City Mission is a Christ-centered rehabilitative homeless shelter. We facilitate the transformation of those who have descended into homelessness, hunger and despair by providing food, shelter, case management, Christian based counseling, and life-changing programming. Our goal is to help each person who walks through our doors to become a healthy, productive member of society.
The City Mission offers two branches of service - Compassionate Care and our Life Recovery Program. Compassionate Care reaches out to those most in need by offering basic services such as meals, shelter, and medical care. The Life Recovery Program assists men, women, and children who are in crisis and looking for life transformation. Our philosophy is to meet people where they are and to lead them towards their God-given purpose.Learn More
City Mission’s work is only possible by the community and businesses of Southwestern Pennsylvania’s generous donation of time and treasure. If you, your business, or church would like to be part of bringing hope to those hurting in our region, or partner with us to deliver the same - please take action today.Learn More
In 1994, a group of City Mission volunteers and board members had a sweet idea! Sweet Sunday co-founders, Cindy Pfrimmer and Phyllis Ross began meeting regularly to discuss fundraising ideas, and one day, over a cup of coffee, the idea for the Sweet Sunday Dessert Festival was born. The first Sweet Sunday was held at the Holiday Inn on Racetrack Road in Washington. There were dessert vendors, celebrity judges, kids’ activities, auction items, raffle baskets, and a line-up of live entertainers – the same event framework that we still use today. The premiere sponsor that year was Dr. Ron Salvitti, a local ophthalmologist and founder of the Southwestern PA Eye Care Center. Remarkably, Dr. Salvitti and his group at Southwest PA Eye Center have continued to sponsor Sweet Sunday every single year for the past 30 years. Bob Gregg from WJPA helped to promote that first Sweet Sunday, and to this day, he still helps promote Sweet Sunday. For the past 20 years, he has also broadcast live from the event, conducting interviews and making live announcements. Ross and Pfrimmer were expecting 500 guests at the very first Sweet Sunday, but an astounding 1500 showed up! The dessert festival has grown every year since then and has become City Mission’s largest fundraiser of the year and one of the premiere winter events in Washington County. This year, City Mission’s thirtieth anniversary presented by MPLX, is expecting over 3200 guests, 27 dessert vendors, and an amazing schedule of live entertainment, featuring Scott Blasey of The Clarks. As always, there will be raffle baskets, auction items, the café, Kids Korner complete with your favorite characters from Royal Princess Engagements, and all the sweets you can possibly imagine! This year’s event will take place on Sunday, February 25 from 12-5pm at the Hilton Garden Inn at Southpointe. All proceeds support City Mission’s life-transforming programs and services for the homeless. Sweet Sunday is the sweetest way you can help those in need in your community. You donut want to miss it! Learn more by visiting www.citymission.org/support/sweet-sunday.
Former Washington County Commissioner and soon-to-be President/CEO of City Mission, Diana Irey Vaughan, recently ran seven races over seven days on two separate coasts for a total of 71 miles, all to raise funds in support of City Mission’s Hope for Homeless Women capital campaign. “I support Washington City Mission because I want everyone to have an opportunity to fulfill God’s calling in their life,” she explained. “Those served at the Mission, and their families, will find the support and resources they need to achieve success. I know of no other resource in our community that achieves the success rate of City Mission.” This was the sixth running event she has organized to support the Mission, and over the years, she has been able to raise $138,000. “Diana is tireless,” said City Mission Chief Development Officer, Dr. Sally Mounts. “Each year, she sets higher goals for her runs, and best of all, this year, she ran for City Mission’s new shelter for homeless women. How can you beat that?” Starting on March 1, Irey Vaughan will assume the President/CEO role for City Mission, and Dean Gartland, City Mission’s current President/CEO, will transition into a role as President Emeritus, where he will continue to raise funds for the new 50-bed shelter for homeless women, which will break ground this year. “Diana is a long-time major donor to City Mission, and an indisputable believer in the notion that God gives second chances,” Gartland, who has served the Mission for 15 years, said of his successor. “She has my fullest confidence, as a Christian and as a leader.” Washington City Mission provides food, shelter, and medical services for those in need. “The Mission provides the opportunity for a new life for the residents they serve,” said Irey Vaughan. “Families I know personally have been reunited and restored. City Mission is a beacon of hope.”
Emily looked out the window of the bus and breathed a sigh of relief as it pulled away. She had escaped undetected. “I was leaving a violent relationship, heading to Pittsburgh to hide.” It was hard to believe that her life had come to this, so far removed from the love and security she’d known as a little girl. “My dad was a pastor, and I was homeschooled and sheltered.” But when she was 13, Emily started public school without any warning about the dangers she’d face. “It was a drastic change and I fell in with the wrong crowd and started using drugs.” For years, she struggled with addiction, weakening her faith, alienating her family, and eventually, forcing her to flee in fear for her life. But after she arrived in Pittsburgh, she wound up homeless, struggling to survive. “I couldn’t live like that anymore,” she says. Emily completed rehab, but before she left, she discovered that she was expecting. And, in that moment, she cried out to God for a safe place to have her child and change her life. That’s when He led her to our Women and Children’s Shelter, where she found a warm bed, nutritious meals and the love and support she needed to navigate her pregnancy, which is very high-risk, because she has a mechanical heart valve after two open-heart surgeries. All along, it was very uncertain if she would even be able to carry her daughter to full term. Since then, Emily has given birth to a beautiful baby girl, who she named Faith. “It’s been an incredible journey,” Emily explained. “It’s a miracle that she and I survived labor and delivery. And she’s healthy.” Also, through the biblical counseling and life skills classes available at the Mission, Emily has been able to address the root causes of her addiction and become the kind of mother she always hoped to be. “I’ve learned to listen to God, follow Him and make lasting changes.” Through the love of Christ and with the support of City Mission, Emily has been able to restore broken relationships with her family members, and she and her daughter have successfully moved out of the Mission and into their very own home, together. One day, Emily hopes to go into ministry, helping other addicted women find freedom in Christ. Today, she has hope, and she wants to thank YOU for supporting her journey toward a new life. “City Mission gave me the courage to heal and make a fresh start.”
After fifteen years of service to City Mission in Washington PA, Dean Gartland, current President/CEO, will change his role to President Emeritus starting March 1, 2024. After assisting the mission with its important leadership transition, Gartland plans his full retirement after September 30, 2024. Starting at the mission in 2008, Gartland served as Director of Programs and Vice President before assuming the President/CEO position in 2010. Under his leadership tenure, City Mission increased its available beds from 96 to 175, and increased its annual budget from $2.5M to $8M. After a devastating fire in 2015, Gartland supervised the $18M capital campaign that established the four main individual shelters the mission has today: Men, Women, Women with Children, and Veterans. During this campaign he provided the vision necessary to recognize the growing needs in the homeless population which added two additional shelters: Veterans and Women with Children. City Mission’s growth is due in part to Gartland’s cultivation of large Pittsburgh area grants such as FHLB-Pittsburgh, RK Mellon and the Allegheny Foundation. Another contributor to growth is his relentless pursuit to get the word out about the works of the mission and innovations such as his “Hope for Homeless” podcast. His development of an outcomes measurement system for the mission has been a proven tool to showcase the mission’s success, both in his grant and relationship work for the mission. “We have a great model for moving the homeless men and women to independent living that allows us to keep robust outcome measures in Housing, Employment, Income, Recovery, and Spirituality (HEIRS),” he said. “Grants and Foundations are always looking to the end results of their investments, and we’ve been able to provide important metrics that prove the efficacy of our programs.” Among his achievements for City Mission, Gartland also established a 60,000 square foot Vocational Training Center/Donation Center and expanded City Mission’s network of Thrift Stores from three to eight. “Our Thrift Stores give all profits back to the Mission,“ he said. “Last year, they provided $500,000 to programs and services for the homeless.” Gartland will serve as President Emeritus at City Mission from March 1, 2024, to September 30, 2024, working in an advisory capacity to the board and senior leadership team, and serving as a fundraiser for the new 50-bed shelter for homeless women that the City Mission is building in 2024. City Mission considers itself blessed to have benefited from Gartland’s years of service and dedication, which has positively impact thousands of lives around our region. When Gartland announced his plans for retirement a year ago, City Mission’s Board of Directors went through the detailed process of selection. The Board identified Diana Irey Vaughan as Gartland’s possible successor and Gartland agreed she is the right person to lead City Mission. Now City Mission is proud to announce that Diana Irey Vaughan has accepted the role as President/CEO starting March 1, 2024. Gartland says, “I am happy Diana has agreed to serve in this important role. City Mission's board and leadership team have worked closely with Diana over the years on large projects, and we are confident she will provide the leadership that is necessary to continue restoring lives through the mission’s programs and services.” Elected County Commissioner in 1995, Irey Vaughan is Washington County’s longest serving Commissioner, now serving her seventh term of office; she is also the only woman to have ever served in this position. She is a leader in economic development, establishing a public-private partnership in 1999 with the Washington County Chamber of Commerce that created a unified delivery system for economic development efforts. She played a key role in the development of Southpointe I and II, having co-chaired the Western Center Land Reuse Task Force, and has been instrumental in the progress of California Technology Park. She was named one of the top “60 Pittsburghers of the Year” by Pittsburgh Magazine in 1999. Through her insistence on long-range planning, low tax rate, and a unified economic delivery plan, Irey Vaughan has helped to foster an environment that brought more than 6,000 new jobs, ranking Washington County third in the nation in job growth by U.S. Department of Labor in 2010. Irey Vaughan is also well-known for her support of area humanitarian efforts, charities, and non-profits. She has served on numerous boards and task forces during her tenure that benefited the region. She also won the Washington County Athena Award in 2014 and the American Legion Medal of Honor in 2015. In 2017-2018, Irey Vaughan served on the City Mission Capital Campaign Steering Committee and raised over $100,000 for City Mission through her long-distance runs. Upon accepting this new role, Irey Vaughan says “City Mission has long been a valuable asset to our community, caring for our neighbors in need and transforming lives now and for eternity. I am humbled and honored to be chosen as the next President/CEO of City Mission.” With all of Irey Vaughn’s experience and knowledge of the region, coupled with her desire to help those in need, City Mission looks forward to her leadership to continue to build on the mission’s 82-year history and take it into the future. About City Mission: For over 82 years, City Mission in Washington, PA, has sheltered, healed, and restored the homeless to independent living—without discrimination. City Mission’s comprehensive program addresses both short-term needs like food and shelter, and long-term needs, including drug and alcohol counseling, mental health and medical treatment, legal aid, and employment training. City Mission’s goal is to help each man, woman, mother with children, or veteran who walks through our doors to become a healthy, productive member of society. With your help, we can help our residents renew their lives.
Larry recently moved into his very own place here in Washington after a year and half stay at the Mission. He is also gainfully employed in the service industry, which will help him sustain his independence. Larry came to us with a history of substance abuse, and he was mostly isolated from family and friends because of it. Also, he arrived at City Mission as part of Washington County’s Mental Health Court program, which according to the county website, is a “problem-solving court devoted to handling moderate to severe mental health cases that have become involved with the criminal justice system.” When he came to the Mission, he was a little reserved and apprehensive, but we had the great priviledge to watch him grow and blossom during his time here. He deepened his relationship with Christ and poured himself into 12-step recovery. “They say meeting-makers make it,” said Housing Coordinator, Matt Chase, “and Larry was at a 12-step meeting every opportunity that was available to him.” Additionally, he proved to be very diligent about his mental health medication. With his deepening faith, his commitment to his recovery, and his mental health stability, he has been able to transform his life. He even rekindled his relationship with his son. “During the summer,” Chase explained, “Larry and his son would visit Kennywood and they were able to make precious memories together that weren’t possible when Larry was in active addiction.” Larry graduated from our life recovery program and moved out successfully and independently into his own place. In December, he is expected to graduate from the Mental Health Court program. We couldn’t be happier for his success or more proud of all the work he has done to break through the barriers that had previously held him back. We continue to pray for him on his journey of recovery and hope. “He has been an astounding example to the other folks in the program,” said Chase. “Larry is a vision of hope and living proof that God is still in the business of miracles.”
All who knew Doug Bush knew he was not someone to sit still for very long. He was always doing something or going somewhere. On Monday October 9th, Doug made his final trip and went home to be with the one who changed and transformed his life, Jesus Christ. Doug was surrounded by family and friends when he made his final journey. Doug faithfully served City Mission in Washington, PA for over 24 years. His love for the work, and most importantly for God, showed in every moment of his day. He was a tireless advocate for individuals in recovery and his message of hope and testimony of faith have been heard around the globe. Doug served in many roles during his over two-decade time at City Mission: in the donations center; in the Programs department; and served as Chaplain - he touched countless lives in all his roles. Doug’s laugh and presence could be felt in any room and this helped him make connections, too numerous to list. He then turned those connections into help for many people finding their way into recovery and into church homes. Doug always took time for people - whether it was stopping to pray with someone, taking a phone call, or sending a text message. If he couldn’t help with something, he always found someone who could. He served in the community through his ministry as the Pastor of Legacy Recovery Church - a part of Legacy Church International. He presided over many weddings and even more baptisms in the City Mission’s Porter Pillow and Peggy Beaver Pillow Chapel. Doug leaves a legacy of love, grace, and faith. No one will be able to replace Doug Bush. But together we can continue his work: by sharing the love of God with those who are hurting; giving one another grace; and remembering that a smile goes a long way. There is a section of scripture that reminds me of Doug. It is found in Mathew chapter 25 versus 35 – 36, “for I was hungry and you gave Me food, I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.” For me, this verse describes Doug Bush. He will be greatly missed. Arrangements for Doug Bush are as follows: Viewing: Friday, October 13th from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM and 6:00 to 8:00 PM Funeral: Saturday, October 14th at 11:00 AM doors open at 10:00 AM All of the Above will be held at Life Church 100 North Main Street, Washington, PA 15301 After Service Meal: Saturday, October 14th, 12:30pm at City Mission, 84 W. Wheeling St, Washington, PA For those wanting to honor Doug and his Christ-focused legacy, the family requests making donations to either City Mission (www.citymission.org or by check to address listed above) or by check to Legacy Church International, 200 N Forrest Ave., Washington, PA 15301, noting Doug Bush in memorial. In His Name, Dean R. Gartland, MS On behalf of City Mission staff Friend of Doug Bush and President/CEO of City Mission
In a world often filled with uncertainties and challenges, there's an undeniable power in giving. As compassionate individuals, we're blessed with the ability to uplift those facing difficult circumstances. Homelessness is a reality that touches many lives, and donating to a homeless shelter, like City Mission, can make a profound impact on the journey toward brighter days. The Significance of Giving Donating to a homeless shelter goes beyond simply providing necessities—it's an opportunity to restore hope, dignity, and a sense of belonging to those who need it most. Your support allows homeless shelters like ours to offer more than just meals and shelter; it enables us to provide comprehensive solutions that address the root causes of homelessness. We equip individuals with the tools they need to rebuild their lives through education, training, recovery programs, and spiritual support. In 2022, we served 1,145 individuals from all walks of life, offering over 105,000 meals, 38,000 nights of shelter, and 17,000 medical clinic services. We also helped 116 individuals obtain jobs and placed 140 people in their very own home. Your generosity can make an enormous impact in your community and beyond. General Ways to Donate or Give Have you ever thought about how you can help the homeless? You may have wondered what or how to give. The good news is that there are many ways you can make a real difference in the lives of those who need it. Whether you want to provide immediate help, create lasting change, or show kindness, your actions matter a lot. 1. Financial Donations: Providing financial support is a direct way to make an impact. Monetary contributions enable shelters to allocate resources where they are needed most, from housing assistance to program development. Many rescue missions, including us, don't accept government funding. We rely solely on the compassion and generosity of friends like you to raise the $8 million it takes annually to bring hope to the homeless in Washington County. 2. Material Donations: Donating clothing, shoes, blankets, and personal hygiene items helps meet immediate needs. Shelters often provide a list of urgently needed items to guide your donations. 3. Food Donations: Contributing non-perishable food items or organizing food drives can help ensure that individuals experiencing homelessness have access to nutritious meals. 4. Volunteer Time: Giving your time as a volunteer can be as valuable as financial donations. Many shelters rely on volunteers for tasks ranging from meal preparation to mentoring. 5. Fundraising Initiatives: Organizing fundraisers or participating in charity events can have a significant impact. This might include charity runs, bake sales or online crowdfunding campaigns. 6. Gift Cards: Providing gift cards for grocery stores, pharmacies, or clothing retailers gives individuals the flexibility to purchase what they need most. 7. Professional Services: Offering your skills, such as legal advice, medical services, or career counseling, can directly benefit shelter residents. 8. Awareness Campaigns: Spreading awareness about homelessness and the work of shelters through social media, storytelling, or public speaking can inspire others to give. Choosing a Homeless Shelter Deciding to contribute to a homeless shelter is a meaningful choice, reflecting your compassion and desire to make a positive impact. However, ensuring that your donation truly benefits those in need is essential. Taking a thoughtful approach and doing your due diligence before donating can help you maximize the impact of your generosity. Here are some considerations to guide you in selecting the right homeless shelter to support: 1. Mission and Values: Research the shelter's mission and values. Look for alignment with your values and beliefs to ensure your contribution makes a meaningful impact. 2. Programs and Services: Explore the range of programs offered. A holistic approach, like our HEIRS Model, addresses various aspects of homelessness, from housing and employment to recovery and spirituality. 3. Transparency and Accountability: Choose a homeless shelter that is transparent about how donations are used. Check if they are a registered nonprofit organization and adhere to ethical practices. 4. Community Impact: Consider the shelter's impact on the local community. How do they collaborate with other organizations to address homelessness collectively? 5. Volunteer Opportunities: If you're able, explore volunteer opportunities. Your time and skills can complement your financial contributions. 4 Ways to Make a Difference at City Mission Through the support of donors and volunteers, we provide services such as meals, shelter, education, recovery programs, and more, all with the goal of empowering individuals to rebuild their lives and achieve independence. Your contribution matters, and there are multiple ways you can help us make a lasting impact on the lives of the less fortunate. 1. Donating Financially: Your financial support paves the way for real change in the lives of the homeless individuals and families we serve. Whether providing a warm meal, a safe place to sleep, or vital training, your generosity empowers us to offer comprehensive solutions for lasting transformation. Donations can be made online or sent to our address at 84 W. Wheeling Street, Washington, PA 15301. To make a secure online donation, visit our donation page. 2. Donate Assets: Contributing assets such as cash, stock, or other investments through a Donor Advised Fund is a strategic way to make a difference. Partner with your financial advisor to set up a fund that supports charities of your choice, including City Mission. These funds provide immediate tax benefits while allowing you to recommend grants to qualified charities. For more information, contact Dr. Sally Mounts, Chief Development Officer, at 724-705-7122 or firstname.lastname@example.org. 3. Shop for a Cause: When you shop at a City Mission Thrift Store, 100% of the proceeds directly support our Life Recovery Programs. Visit our eight conveniently-located stores for quality finds that create positive change. You can also find us on Amazon Wishlist, where your purchases benefit the homeless and in-need communities we serve. 4. Donate Goods: Your excess items can become life-changing resources for those in need. We accept many items, including clothing, electronics, furniture, household goods, books, etc. These donations directly contribute to our efforts to restore hope and independence. To find out what items we can accept, visit our Ways to Help page. Join Us in Making a Difference Today City Mission is dedicated to creating positive change, and your involvement is crucial to our success. Your donations create hope, leading to lasting transformation and renewed independence for those we serve. Together, we can empower individuals to overcome obstacles and achieve meaningful change.
“Homeless and veteran are two words that should never be in the same sentence,” City Mission Chief Development Officer, Dr. Sally Mounts, said to the crowd at the 1st Annual Washington County Warriors Rock Concert on Thursday, September 28 at Wild Things Stadium. “But unfortunately, veteran homelessness is a reality, and because of that, we have an obligation to help. That’s why the City Mission has created the Crabtree Kovacicek Veterans House for homeless veterans. We hope that you all support our veterans, and just by being here tonight, you are helping us.” Proceeds from the rockin’ evening benefit City Mission’s Crabtree Kovacicek Veterans House and the 22 homeless veterans looking to turn their lives around at the Mission. Despite the gloomy, rainy weather, there was a good crowd at the event, safe and dry under a huge tent in the outfield grass of the stadium. After a helicopter flyover, flown by a local veteran, 11-year-old local singer, Josie Salvitti, sang the National Anthem. And then Gary Racan and the Studio E Band took the stage. They sang a variety of songs from all eras and genres. So there was something for everyone to enjoy. Woven in between the songs were video presentations featuring local veterans sharing the stories of their military service. Paul Karpan was the first veteran to be featured. He is a 101-year-old World War II veteran. Jim Balog, a US Army Aviation veteran, told the harrowing story of his helicopter crash during the Vietnam conflict. Dr. Dan Ravasio, veteran of the US Army Medical Corps, told the tale of helping to save the life of a female pilot who was the sole survivor of a helicopter crash during the war in Iraq. The woman whose life was saved is now a US Senator. Each veteran chose a song that had special meaning for them and the military service, and the Studio-E Band would play it. Paul Karpan, the WWII veteran, chose “In The Mood” by Glenn Miller. Dr. Ravasio selected “Piano Man” by Billy Joel. Jim Balog requested “Riders on the Storm” by The Doors. The event flowed smoothly and was incredibly compelling from start to finish. The most emotional part of the night was a presentation by a Gold Star Family. Judi Kovacicek and her daughter Renae Salvitti honored US Marine Lance Corporal Ryan Kovacicek who was killed in combat in Hit, Iraq in 2005. The story of their beloved son and brother was so moving that there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. The event culminated in a celebration of every veteran in attendance and a firework display. It was truly a beautiful and memorable night. We would like to thank everyone involved with the event: John and Michaela Salvitti who spearheaded the event, Gary and Kim Racan and the Studio E Band for their enthralling performances and presentations, all the veterans who participated, Wild Things Stadium for hosting the event, all of the many event sponsors who made the evening possible, everyone who braved the weather to attend the event, all the volunteers, and everyone who pitched-in in any way to make this benefit concert such a resounding success! “Warriors Rock was an unforgettable experience for everyone who attended,” said Dr. Mounts, “moving and meaningful, and a ton of fun!”
After a weeklong rain delay, the fifth annual Range Resources vs City Mission Hits for the Homeless charity softball game resumed at North Strabane Park last Wednesday. "It's so nice to see our residents go out and play a game and have fun," said City Mission President/CEO, Dean Gartland. "We just can't thank Range Resources enough for putting together this event." For the past five years, each September, Range Resources has hosted a softball game with their employees taking on City Mission residents. Leading up to the game, the Range Resources team also supplied lunch for our residents and served in our dining hall to build anticipation for the upcoming contest and build camaraderie with the City Mission team. After the game, Range Resources presented City Mission with a generous check. This past Wednesday, the two teams came to the field ready to play, resuming in the middle of the second inning with the City Mission team leading 2-1. In the bottom of the second inning, City Mission scored another run, giving them a 3-1 lead. But in the top of the third, the Range Resources’ bats came alive, knocking in five runs. This gave Range their first lead of the game, one they would never relinquish as they went on to capture a 17-12 win, making the series record between the two teams 3-2 in favor of Range and bringing the trophy back to their offices for the first time in three years. "It's really good to see the camaraderie that develops between the residents out here on the field," said City Mission's Men’s Intake Coordinator/Softball Coach, Dave Green. "We see them when they first come to us broken. And then to bring them out here and see their talents start to shine through -- it's really something special to watch." The game is a special event for the residents of City Mission. It’s something that they all look forward to and a memory they will cherish long after they leave the Mission. Each City Mission player, no matter their level of experience or athleticism, plays the game hard and plays to win. Many of them come to us in a very vulnerable state and have suffered through difficult even traumatic events recently in their lives. And at the Mission, they are doing serious and soul-searching work on themselves. This annual softball game is an important opportunity for them to let loose, have fun, and support each other. It’s hard to put into words exactly what it means to them. “I just love playing ball,” one City Mission resident said in the middle of the game. “I just feel free.” “This is what life recovery is all about,” added Green. “It teaches these guys how to live and how to have fun without drugs and alcohol. I mean, they’re having a blast.” So thank you, Range Resources, for making such a meaningful impact on our residents and for engaging with the Mission in such a thoughtful and genuine way. Your business or organization can also make an impact on your community by partnering with City Mission. Contact Corporate Relations Manager, Eric Smith, at email@example.com or visit www.citymission.org for more information.