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Hope for the
Homeless
In Southwestern PA since 1941

Ways to Help
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success story

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Support our fundraising events by attending, volunteering, or sponsoring.
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We have 7 Thrift Stores and a warehouse! All proceeds go to our life-changing programs.
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City Mission has numerous volunteer opportunities. Sign up today!
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About

Who we are

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.

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a beautiful little girl stares at her empty plate
Programs

What we do

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.

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Way to Help

What you can do

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.

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5 youthful volunteers in the cafeteria alongside CEO Dean Gartland
Our Mission
For over 75 years, City Mission has shared Christ, 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.  Our 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 help our residents renew their lives.
3 male City Mission Resident give a group hug
Men
female resident
Women
mother with 2 children
Women & Children
group of 5 male veterans in discussion group
Veterans
Program Overview
Our Impact
Our goal for each person who comes to City Mission is for them to move from a life of crisis, to a healthy, productive and thriving life.  Because of your generosity, City Mission made a real impact in the community, giving hope to those who are hungry and homeless and come to our doors for help.
icon - food / meals
79204
Meals
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28364
Nights of Shelter
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1085
People Served
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15601
Medical Services
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What Our Residents Say

Amanda, female resident
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"City Mission is where I finally learned that life isn't totally about me. When I began to put others first, I attained a peace that I never had before."
Jackie,
Former Mission Resident
Randy, former resident
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“The Mission gives you the opportunity to get right with the Lord and truly change your life. I’m learning to love myself the way God loves me.”
Matt,
City Mission Resident
kevin, resident
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“This time last year, I was depressed, but today I have hope.  The Mission is a place of restoration.  A place of giving life to the lifeless.”
Carmella,
City Mission Resident
matt, former resident
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“When I had nowhere else to go, their doors were open.  They took me in graciously. They’ve given me hope.  I’ve gotten my confidence and dignity back."
Matt,
Former Resident
Nikki, former resident
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“The Mission is a miracle for me. It has offered and given me so much.  There’s everything here you could need to get on your feet and start over.”
Nikki,
Former Mission Resident
Nikki, former resident
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“I’m finally happy.  Happy that I restored my relationship with the Lord.  It’s definitely better when you have God on your side.”
Garrick,
Former Mission Resident
Renee, former resident
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“The gratitude I have in my heart for this place is indescribable.  It is always going to be apart of my life.  City Mission is forever engraved on my heart.”
Renee,
Former Mission Resident
Jeff, resident
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"City Mission has done wonders for me. It’s really been a God-send. As a vet, it takes me a while to trust people. But God is love, and the City Mission is love."
Jeff,
City Mission Resident

Latest News from the Mission

Our News Articles provide information on all manner of topics related to the City Mission.  Our Subject areas include:  Events; Resident Stories; Our Donors; Newsletter Repository; and Knowledge Share.  Knowledge Share engages a host of topics regarding homelessness, addiction and poverty.  Below you will find an opportunity to be “in-the-know” by being on our email list.  You will also find our most recent news pulled together for you below.  Checkout the "Podcast" section of our Knowledge Share articles page!

Healthcare Needs for Homeless Men and Women

A homeless encampment
November 1, 2022

Helping the homeless can take different forms — food, shelter, and donations in kind, for example. However, another aspect of homeless aid comes from free and accessible healthcare. Homeless people are at risk of physical, mental, and social burdens that impact their morbidity and mortality compared to the rest of the general population. A Nature article on healthcare for the homeless attributes factors such as extreme poverty and harsh living environments as causes of poor health for the homeless, not to mention the prevalence of alcohol and drug dependence within the demographic. In fact, according to the World Bank, the average life expectancy for people experiencing homelessness in the US is 50 — approximately 28 years or less than the overall life expectancy. At our Medical Clinic, some of the most common health issues experienced by our residents range from mental health to diabetes, hypertension, and COPD. In a previous City Mission post about common ailments, we discussed how homeless people who live outdoors are more exposed to elements, making them vulnerable to wounds and skin infections. On top of that, homeless people are prone to malnutrition due to a lack of steady access to food — healthy food in particular — as well as mental health problems due to costly psychiatric help that is often inaccessible to them. Another critical point in the struggle for appropriate healthcare is that most people experiencing homelessness choose to ignore their health issues for a long time. They only seek help once in severe pain or showing symptoms of advanced medical conditions. Our Medical Clinic Manager, Rich Moore, observes that many of the homeless "have a fear of getting a diagnosis because it would be just one more problem" for them, from how to afford medicine to how to store them. Today, we want to highlight some of the ways we are making healthcare more accessible to the homeless: Ways to support them At City Mission, our Medical Care services include new medical facilities that offer free preventive, primary, and urgent healthcare to those who may need it. This includes drug-free pain management as well as chiropractic services. When residents first arrive at City Mission, our first order of business is helping them get Medical Insurance before setting them up with a Primary Care Physician through our partners at Centerville Clinics. Residents also receive free cell phones through Lifeline to communicate with medical providers and referrals to providers and services. On top of healthcare necessities, we also provide them with the tools to help themselves, such as access to nutritious meals, hygiene items, and clean, comfortable beds. However, we can still do a lot to make necessary healthcare accessible to those who need it. Here are a few: Connect them with telehealth professionals While on-site healthcare and free clinics contribute significantly to providing medical care for the homeless, an alternative that can widen the program's reach and impact is helping them connect remotely to healthcare professionals. During the pandemic, remote nurse practitioners here in Pennsylvania and across the US were well-equipped to prescribe primary care services like erectile dysfunction, birth control, UTI, and similar treatment areas – which are essential for the quality of life among homeless patients. Today, telehealth services remain effective for mental health services, connecting patients in need to qualified and trained professionals who are available on more flexible schedules than their in-person counterparts. Services from telehealth nurse practitioners are accessible and essential, given the rapidly aging population in PA. In some cases, telehealth services can be helpful in place of physical hospitals and clinics as the homeless may need immediate care or advice. As they are more vulnerable to certain diseases, having remote, 24/7 access to qualified healthcare providers can help them get medical advice and care when needed. Provide access to self-care interventions Aside from telehealth access, providing accessible healthcare to the homeless can include self-care interventions. Research from the World Health Organization defines self-care as the ability to maintain health with or without a health worker. This ranges from eating a healthier diet to varying ways of managing stress. Self-care interventions include evidence-based devices, diagnostics, and digital technologies provided outside formal health services and used with or without a health worker. For example, self-administered injectable contraception or self-tests for HIV and pregnancy can address common medical concerns for homeless people. As you can see, there are many ways to help make appropriate and free medical care accessible to the homeless. These are made possible thanks to advancements in digital technologies. With the collective effort of volunteers and communities, we can continue to find new ways to bring quality healthcare closer to homeless men and women.

"I Was Completely Broken"

Suzanne and Mykayla
October 27, 2022

As a little girl, Suzanne witnessed her father abuse her mother, and it terrified her. "He would throw her down the stairs, then yell at me for crying," she recalls. Her parents eventually separated, but the damage was already done. By the time Suzanne was in high school, both she and her mother were using alcohol and drugs to numb their emotional pain.Suzanne moved away at 21, longing to leave her past behind. but she, too, fell into an abusive relationship. "You say you're not going to follow the pattern, but somehow you do."The couple had a little girl who struggled with health challenges, so Suzanne quit her job to stay home with her, leaving Suzanne even more at the mercy of her controlling partner. When the toxic environment threatened her daughter's safety, too, Suzanne knew they had to leave, but she had no resources and nowhere to go. So we welcomed mother and daughter into our program. After all she'd been through, Suzanne had buried her faith. But with the guidance of our Christ-devoted staff, it began to resurface. "I used to question God, but now I know He has a plan.' Through classes and counseling, she's learning to live a healthy lifestyle and maintain her sobriety. And we're providing resources for the next steps toward independent living, including housing and assistance with her daughter's special needs. "I'm definitely healing and making a lot of progress," she said. "The Mission does so much for everyone who walks in the door," Suzanned says today. Most importantly, it is giving her the tools and opportunity to become a godly mother and role model for her little girl, breaking the cycle of abuse and addiction.Suzanne is excited to celebrate the restored hope she has been given this Christmas, and she wants you to know just how grateful she is. "I'm thankful to the Mission, because they have truly given me back my life."

Breaking the Cycle

Matt in front of the chapel
October 20, 2022

When Matt was growing up, things were rough at home. He had 10 brothers and sisters and a stepdad who was not a nice man. “He put his hands on me,” Matt said. “And he beat my Mom.” His family struggled to make ends meet and didn’t ever have enough money to buy him new clothes or new shoes. When he was ten, he even came to City Mission with his Mom and stayed here for a few months until they could get back on their feet. “We were bouncing around from house to house and from shelter to shelter,” he recalled. “I remember being here and playing on the playground and running through the hallways.” But things weren’t just bad at home, they were rough at school too. Because his family didn’t have the money to buy him new shoes or clothes, kids teased him relentlessly and looked down on him. So he acted up in school, which made things even more difficult. “I was bad in school,” he admitted. “Read bad.” His only safe place was on the football field, where he played nearly every position on both sides of the ball. “That was my safe spot,” he explained. “I was a violent person, and football was a chance to get all my anger out from the stuff that was happening at school and at home.” When he was a Freshman in high school, coaches from Ohio State University’s football team, came to school and pulled him out of class. “They told me if I could keep my grades up, I could play for them when I graduated,” he said. Unfortunately, Matt dropped out of high school before he could graduate, and he never got to go to college. When he was a teenager, he started running the streets and making money illegally to help support his family. “My Junior year, I was in the streets. I didn’t have time for school no more.” Eventually, he was expelled from public school and sent to a nearby alternative school. “I went there for one day and never went back,” he explained. “I didn’t like it. I couldn’t do what I wanted. They were very strict.” By the time he was 18, Matt was arrested and sent away to prison for two years. He got out when he was 20, but he was arrested again just 10 days later. He spent two more years in prison. While he was in prison, he earned his high school diploma. But it was a hard time. “It’s hard because you miss the people you love,” he explained. “It’s hard to be away from them for so long.” When he was about to leave prison, he had to establish a home plan before he could be released. And the prison denied all of his proposed plans. They were being careful, because the last time he got out, he ended up right back in prison. But he had nowhere to go, so he called City Mission. House Coordinator, Doug Bush, answered the phone. Bush remembered his family from when they were at the Mission over a decade ago. He invited Matt into our program. “I would do anything for Doug,” Matt said. “He got me out of prison.” After his release this past August, he entered our program, and he has been living here ever since. “I ain’t ever going back to prison,” he said. He is doing things differently this time. He got an ID. He got a job. “I never had an ID. I never had a real job before. I’m going to keep it. I’m going to save my money.” But the biggest difference in his life this time around is that he’s a father now. He has a one-year-old daughter. “It changed my life,” he said of being a father. “I missed a lot with her, because I was in prison. I missed her birth. I missed her first steps. I missed everything. But I want things to be different. I want to do better for her.” Matt is determined to break the cycle and create a better life for his daughter than he ever had. “I want good things for her,” he said. “I want her to stay in school and go to college. Things I never had. I don’t want nothing but the best for her. And the best way for her to get that is for me to stay out of trouble.” And the Mission has helped him stay out of trouble. “Oh, I needed to come here,” he admitted. “They kept me on the right path. They gave me everything I needed. If I hadn’t come here, I probably would’ve done things I regretted.” He appreciates the chapel services and the meetings at City Mission. “I have a better connection to God than I ever have before,” he said. And even though he never had issues with addiction and never even tried a hard drug, the recovery meetings at the Mission have helped him a lot. “I love hearing other people’s stories. They’ve been through so much. I can relate to that. I feel like I’m not alone.” Matt is listening, learning, making friends, and growing closer to God. One day, he hopes to save enough money to buy a car and a house for his family. And he wants to travel. “I want to go everywhere,” he said. “I never left Washington except to go to prison. I’ve never been to the beach before. I want to go the beach.” You can help people just like Matt to turn their lives around. They just need a hand up, a hot meal, some encouraging words, and the redeeming love of Christ. Visit www.citymission.org.

Samaritan Care Offers Resources for Residents and Community

Dress for Success -- Heather Howe
October 7, 2022

Dress for Success On the first Tuesday of every month from 11am-3pm, Dress Success Pittsburgh comes to City Mission to help “empower women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and the development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.” If the weather is nice, they setup outside of our Porter Pillow and Peggy Beaver-Pillow Chapel. Any woman can select one full outfit (including 3 accessories and a pair of shoes) each month. They have outfits for church, work, job interviews, or hanging out around the house. “We love coming to City Mission,” said Heather Howe, the Mobile Services Coordinator (South) for Dress for Success Pittsburgh. “It’s a good spot. On average, we help about 20 women each time we come.” And the residents of City Mission look forward to Heather’s visit every month. “We love Dress for Success Day,” explained Sheila Namy, City Mission’s Manager of Women & Children Services. “The ladies get excited. Getting new clothes that are of very high quality makes them feel good about themselves. They’ll run into my office and show me their new outfits – they’re so excited.” “It makes the women feel special,” added City Mission Manager of Samaritan Care Services, Anne Wightman, “that we think enough of them to help supply them with clothes, shoes, and accessories. The clothes are being brought to them, and they can pick the items that best suit their personality.” Dress for Success operates exclusively through donations. You can schedule an appointment to donate clothing items. You can also help by attending one of their clothing sale fundraiser, which they host three times per year to raise funds to purchase specialty items like scrubs and steel-toed boots. Check out their website for details HERE. Free Cell Phones from Lifeline Brian Fuller from Lifeline comes to the Mission about once per week to provide qualifying City Mission residents and community members with free cell phones. Lifeline is a federal program that offers free phones with free service to qualifying individuals. “I love being able to help people that really need a way to communicate with their employer, their doctor, or the family,” Fuller said. “A lot of the people we work with either don’t have a phone at all or have service plans that they can’t really afford.” When new residents come to the Mission who don’t have cell phones, Anne Wightman, our Manager of Samaritan Care Services, calls Fuller and schedules a time for him to come for a visit. “We’ve been doing it for at least 6 months now,” Fuller added. “I’ve probably given out over 100 cell phones to City Mission residents and people in the community.” Our residents are very grateful for the opportunity to get free phones with free service plans. “It’s huge for them,” Wightman explained. “When they first come to us, many of them don’t have a phone at all. The Lifeline program helps them contact their family or call about employment.” Click HERE to learn more about the Lifeline Program.

Staff Spotlight

Rich Moore, Medical Clinic Manager
September 23, 2022

Five Fun Facts about Rich 1 He once had a dog named Moose. Moose was lab who loved children and loved going to work with Rich. “He was a greatest dog,” Rich said. “He was like a kid. The kids in my neighborhood thought he was a kid.” 2 He served in 2 different branches of the military. He joined the Navy for 4 years right out of high school as a jet mechanic. He was also a nurse and an officer in the Air Force. He was stationed in Korea. 3 He took flying lessons as a teenage and could fly a Cessna 150 at the age of 16. 4 He once caught 3 foul balls at a single Pirate game. 5 He lived in Nome, Alaska for 7 months in 2019. Short Bio Rich is our Medical Clinic Manager. He grew up on a farm in Waynesburg, PA. When he graduated from high school, he joined the Navy and learned to be a jet mechanic. After 4 years in the Navy, he became a Park Ranger in Fresno County, CA at the Las Padres National Forest. After 9 years of that, he went to EMT school. He worked for an ambulance company for 3 years. “That’s how I broke into medical life,” he explained. After that, Rich decided to move back home to Waynesburg, where he earned his Nursing Degree from Waynesburg University, and he has been a registered nurse for nearly 20 years. In July 2017, he was hired as our Medical Clinic Manager. “The most important part of my job here is welcoming people to the Mission, medically,” he said. “I complete a thorough medical evaluation when they get here, and I try to identify things that could hurt them in their recovery. And then I pass that on so we can all work together to help them overcome that and ultimately be successful in their recovery process.” "And two goals I have for every resident when they first get here," he added, "is to make sure they are connected with insurance and a Primary Care Physician." Rich currently lives in Charleroi with his wife, Sue. He likes to listen to Sirius Radio, and he hopes to one day become a Nurse Practicioner, so he can help the Mission do even more for our residents. Thanks, Rich, for your dedication to our residents and for everything you do for City Mission!!

"I'm Going Home"

Wesley beside the City Mission van
September 1, 2022

“You can’t go forward until you fill in the gaps of your past,” said Wesley, a former City Mission resident, just one day before boarding a Greyhound bus to Phoenix, where he will meet his birth family for the first time. “I’m going home,” he said. “I can’t stop thinking about the night sky out in the desert where there is very little light pollution. The first night I’m there, I may just camp out in my sister’s backyard and spend most of the night looking up.” Wesley was given up for adoption at birth and never met his birth family who lives on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation in White River, AZ. “It was the best of times. It was the worst of times,” he said of his experience with his adoptive family in Northern Illinois. He was very close with his adoptive dad, but his mom and brother were angry alcoholics who took their anger out on him. He suffered physical and verbal abuse and was told over and over that he would never amount to anything and would always be stupid. “I was only 13 years old when it was at its worst,” he said. “I didn’t know how to reach out for help.” After high school graduation, he joined the Army and was stationed for 4 years at Fort Benning, GA as an Airborne Ranger. “I loved it,” he said of his time in the military. “I loved everything about it.” When his initial commitment was up, he decided to re-enlist. On the night before he was to be transferred to different army base, his friends threw him a going away party. “I call that my day of regret,” Wesley explained. A call from the police woke him up the next morning. He had no memory of it, but apparently, in a drunken stupor, he had punched out an Army officer the night before. He was discharged from the military and forced to return home to Latrobe, where he worked part-time jobs and amassed “countless public drunkenness charges.” Then his adoptive parents both passed away around the same time. His drinking became even worse. He couldn’t hold a job. Eventually, he had nowhere to go, and he ended up coming to City Mission for the first time in 2012. “Doug Bush was my rescuer,” Wesley recalled. “He motivated me and made sure I went to meetings.” Wesley only stayed for 40 days during his initial stay, but it made a big impact on him. About ten years ago, right around the time of his first stay at the Mission, Wesley began searching for his birth family. He started at the local public library, and his search led him to a private investigator who offered to take his case for free. She was able to locate his mom in White River, and she negotiated indirect contact between Wesley and his mother, who only spoke Apache, no English. At one point, the communication suddenly broke down, and Wesley was left with no answers. Undaunted, Wesley continued the search on his own. Eventually, he received a message through Facebook that someone knew his mother. Unfortunately, before he could make contact with her, his mother passed away. “I never got the chance to meet her,” he lamented. But through that contact, he discovered a revelation. He had 2 older sisters and a younger brother. One Sunday, just a few weeks ago, he received a call out of the blue. “I recognized the area code,” he explained. It was from White River. Ever since he found out his mother’s identity, he had been working with the Tribal Council there to learn about his family history and to be reinstated into tribe. So he picked up the phone. “Hi, I’m Sharon,” said the voice on the other end of the phone. “I’m your oldest sister.” They spoke on the phone for over an hour and shared their stories. “Do you want to come back home,” she finally asked him. “Yeah!” The very next day, he received an email from his sister with a bus ticket. “I’m finally going home,” Wesley said. “Where it all began.” On the phone with his sister, Wesley learned that his younger brother is an alcoholic, and he is still struggling. “I got a mission now,” Wesley said. “That’s the way for those in recovery -- to help one that is struggling. Others have been there for me. This is my time to give back.” Over the past 10 years, Wesley has stayed at the Mission six different times for a total of just over a thousand days. “Wesley has been talking about reuniting with his birth family as long as I’ve known him,” said Doug Bush, one of our House Coordinators in the Men’s Shelter. “It seems to have been the missing piece for him. He’s been looking for a sense of belonging. And that’s why he kept coming back to us.” “I can’t thank City Mission enough,” Wesley said. “They rescued me. They will always be a part of me. The Mission motivated me and taught me to be assertive. Without that, I probably never would have continued my search for my family.” Wesley also made some great friends during his time at the Mission. “I have supportive friends here,” he explained. “They’re proud of me. They threw me a party when I brought home my 1-year coin.” “He has good friends, because he is a good friend,” added Clayton, a fellow resident at the Mission and Wesley’s close friend. Wesley has been an integral part of the City Mission family, and we wish him the very best on his journey to get to know his birth family. Please join us in praying for Wesley on this new adventure. You can help dreams come true at City Mission. Visit www.citymission.org. “Five years from now,” Wesley said, “I hope to be on my own -- living happy, joyous, and free!”

Guadalupe Got Her Keys

Guadalupe and her family in their new apartment
August 26, 2022

Guadalupe got her keys! She and her son, Samson, and baby Esther moved into their very own place last week. Samson, 3, has lived in homeless shelters his whole life, and Guadalupe has never owned her own home before. When they moved into City Mission in December, Guadalupe was pregnant. In June, Baby Esther was born, and she became our youngest resident. Guadalupe, who was born in the Dominican Republic and raised in New York City had no friends or family in the area, so Sheila Namy, our Manager of Women and Children Services, went with her to hospital and stayed with her during her labor and delivery. “It was a joyful moment to watch baby Esther come into the world,” Namy explained. “I had tear-filled eyes, knowing that God had just formed a bond between this mom and child and that their lives, and mine, were forever changed by this day.” When Guadalupe finally got her home, the Jesus Fellowship church in Bethel Park volunteered to help her with her move. “The church really took her under their wing,” said Namy. “Guadalupe didn’t have to lift a finger. They went above and beyond.” Jesus Fellowship gave her all new rugs, towels, bedding, dishes, and everything else she would need to make her new home comfortable. They even purchased furniture at our City Mission Thrift Stores so the proceeds would come back to the Mission. Then, when the day of the move came, Jesus Fellowship showed up with trucks and manpower and moved in all her furniture and clothes and everything. They carried it all up three floors to her apartment and set it all up for her. “They even had family photos of Guadalupe and her children framed and hung up on the walls,” said Namy. “They even picked out a welcome mat for the front door that said, ‘I’m finally home.’ It was so touching, down to every detail.” When Samson came into the apartment for the first time, he ran from room to room, saying, “House! House!” And when he saw his new Paw Patrol bed, he jumped right in. “Guadalupe is just so grateful,” Namy explained. “She knows that it’s all a gift from God. She wants to live a new life. She wants to stay connected to the Mission. I see how much God has provided for her.” “God is within her,” she added. “She will not fail.” “I am thankful to the Mission because if I wasn't here, I don't know where I would be,” Guadalupe said of her time at the Mission. “And because they are so loving to my kids. Kids are so precious and pure. And when they are small, that's when they really have to flourish. And the Mission gave me a place to live and showed me a lot of grace and mercy when I was at my lowest.” Thank you, Jesus Fellowship, for helping Guadalupe and her family! You too can help those in need at City Mission. Visit www.citymission.org to learn more about ways to partner with us.

Feelin' Groovy

Brianna Kadlecik at the Tie-Dye event
August 12, 2022

Last Tuesday, we held a tie-dye event for our residents. And it was groovy!! City Mission’s Manager of Career Services, Brianna Kadlecik, has hosted 5 tie-dye events for our residents over the past 3 years. “We started this event in 2020 as a way for our residents and staff to have fun during the COVID lockdown,” she explained. “It was suggested by one of our former residents.” Throughout the two-hour event, which was held under the pavilion outside of our Men’s Shelter, fifty-five residents and 13 staff participated in the event, making over 70 shirts. “There is so much joy and gratitude from the residents,” said Kadlecik. “They get excited when I announce sign-ups, and they have so much fun making their shirts. There is so much laughter during the event.” At City Mission, our residents are working very hard to turn their lives. This tie-dye event is a refreshing and necessary breather from all that intense self-reflection and hard work. “It’s just plain fun,” Kadlecik explained. “For many of our residents who are in recovery from drug and/or alcohol abuse, it is important for them to see that it is possible to have fun without being under the influence of a substance. It’s also an opportunity for some of our residents to get out of their comfort zones in a low-stakes way. You don’t need to have any experience to make a tie-dye shirt, and it’s a relatively easy and inexpensive activity for them to do in the future.” “It’s also beautiful to watch the kids making their shirts alongside their mothers,” she added. “Watching the family bond and make memories is so heart-warming. One of our goals as a Mission is to make this challenging experience of homelessness one of healing and restoration for the men, women, children, and veterans who live here.” Kadlecik hopes to continue hosting these events as long as our residents continue to show interest. “There are hours of preparation that go into this event, but each and every year the residents prove that it is 100% worth all the time and energy,” she said. “Every year, so many of the men, women and children, surprise me with their creativity and their gratitude.”

"It's Gonna Be Incredible"

Nico in his room at the Crabtree Kovacicek Veterans House
July 29, 2022

Nico, a 25-year-old Army veteran and current resident of our Crabtree Kovacicek Veterans House, got a text recently from Washington and Jefferson College (W&J) with his letter of acceptance. “That was a really good day,” he said. “I literally jumped for joy. I was screaming as loud as I could and running up and down the hallway.” He ran out of the Veterans House and down our Freedom Path into the Men’s Shelter, where his Dad, Charles, is currently a resident. He found his Dad in the weight room and told him his good news. And father and son shared the moment that they had both been waiting for. “I had some definite doubts about getting in,” Nico said. “It’s kind of a miracle, actually, given how tragic my high school GPA was. I just never took it seriously. But everything just started coming together so perfectly. And I’m really excited about this new challenge. This is the starting point for me to become the man I desire to be.” Nico came to City Mission a couple of months ago. His Dad, who was already a resident here, told him about the veterans program. “Come up here and get your life together,” his Dad told him. Nico decided to give it a shot. When he came to the Mission, he met our Manager of Veterans Services, Steve Adams, who is a veteran and a former resident at City Mission. “He’s incredible,” Nico said of Adams. “Ever since I got here, he has taken me under his wing. He's shown me everything I need to do to set myself up for success.” When Nico told Adams that his ambition was to become a Radiologist and that he was interested in attending nearby W&J College, Adams immediately got on the phone with Dr. Michael Crabtree, a City Mission Board Member and Psychology Professor at W&J whose name adorns our Crabtree Kovacicek Veterans House as an ardent supporter of our veterans program. “Steve Adams is so committed to his role and to helping every single one of the veterans,” Dr. Crabtree explained. “He has a passion for helping them achieve their goals, and he always knows how to help and who to contact.” Dr. Crabtree contacted the W&J admissions office on Nico’s behalf to help with the application process and to let them know some of Nico’s unique characteristics. “Nico represents the best of what comes out of City Mission,” he explained. “He is going to take the support he gets from City Mission and use it to move on to something exciting that represents a real opportunity for him. Nico is going to need all the tools that he gains at City Mission to face the challenges ahead and to have the resilience to push through. I have no doubt he will be successful given what he has already accomplished.” When Dr. Crabtree, who just so happens to be the academic mentor for the W&J wrestling team, found out that Nico was interested in joining the team, he wasted no time in connecting him with Head Wrestling Coach, Tommy Prairie. Coach Prairie gave Nico a tour of campus and assisted him through the application process. “The main thing that we look for in the W&J Wrestling program are passionate and driven individuals that want to be successful in all aspects of their lives,” said Prairie. “From my interaction with Nico, it’s clear he is not our typical freshman, but you can tell that he has a drive to improve his life and set himself up for the future.” “My number one goal for Nico,” he added, “is to see him graduate in four years with a skillset to be successful going forward in all aspects of his life. Every achievement on the mat is a bonus.” Nico is primed for this new challenge in his life. “This is going to take real discipline,” he explained, “a discipline I don’t think I’ve shown in my life yet. But I know it’s there. And that’s why I’m taking on this challenge. It’s gonna be the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life, but it’s gonna be incredible to see it happen. I can’t wait.” “I am thankful to the Mission,” he added, “because, no matter all the mistakes that I've made, I'm forgiven, and I'm able to start new.” Real life change is possible. It happens here at City Mission. You can be a part of these everyday miracles by helping us turn our residents’ dreams into reality. www.citymission.org.

Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.     — Isaiah 40:31