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
Garrick had a happy childhood, growing up in Beaver County, and going to church with his family. Life was good. But then, in high school, he made some bad decisions, fell in with the wrong crowd, and got into drugs and alcohol. His life went off course, and he even had to drop out of college. Eventually, his addiction took everything away from him. “My life went downhill really fast because of addiction,” he said. “Basically, it escalated to the point in my 20s and early 30s that I pretty much like burned every bridge with everybody I had in my life. I was in and out of rehab, sleeping on people’s couches, sleeping outside on the street if I had to.” At one point, Garrick managed to stay clean and sober for almost five years. During that time, he met someone and had two beautiful children. He had a job and was creating a good life for himself and his family. “That short time period proved to me that life can be good and worth living,” he explained. “And that there is another way to live.” And then, he relapsed, and his life, once again, spun out of control. “It got to a point where my life was so bad that I needed to try something different,” he said, “because life, the way I was living it, was pretty terrible.” After addiction tore his life and his family apart, Garrick, with nowhere else to turn, came to City Mission in 2018. He stayed for over a year. He got clean and then he moved out. But the everyday battle with addiction lead to a relapse in a very short time. “I basically fell flat on my face again,” he said. “But when I was here the first time, I was doing what I had to do for the addiction side but without God in my life.” Garrick had been very closed-minded about the spiritual aspect of his recovery. He had grown up in the church, but when addiction grabbed ahold of him, he blamed God. “I was like how could God let this happen to me,” he recalled, and he had a difficult time opening his heart back up to God. But when he came back to the Mission for the second time, he came in with a very different perspective. “I was so broken by the time I got back here again that it was like a light bulb went off in my head,” he explained. “Through my trials and tribulations, I basically learned how to open my mind up to the idea that there is a God. I thought to myself, I need to try something different, because whatever I was doing before wasn’t working. I hated myself for so long and I feel like that’s what became natural for me was hating myself. Until I came back here and was here for a couple weeks.” As seen with many addiction journeys, it took two tries for Garrick to turn his life around. But he knew that City Mission was the place where a new life was possible. “Before coming to the Mission, I was broken. Since coming here, I’m finally happy. Happy that I restored my relationship with the Lord. It’s definitely better when you have God on your side.” Now that Garrick has his life back on track, he wants to give back and help other people. He is looking to go back to school for drug and alcohol counseling or nursing. “I truly believe that I need to do something that helps people. Because I’ve had a lot of jobs that didn’t help people and I was miserable,” he said. “I think the biggest thing that I learned at the Mission is how to help others.” Garrick is a new creation. You can help others just like him to turn their lives around at City Mission. Visit www.citymission.org to find out how.
“Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” 1 Corinthians 12:27 We are incredibly grateful for all of our church partners. Together, we are the body of Christ. We are His hands and feet in a world that cries out for help, and the Spirit of the Lord moves through us as one body with one purpose. Over the years, The Bible Chapel has been a great friend and supporter of our ministry. “Our relationship with City Mission goes way back. It pre-dates my time here,” said Pastor Wayne Johnson, who has been with The Bible Chapel for eight years and has acted as their Pastor of Outreach for the past year and a half. Members of The Bible Chapel have long served alongside the Mission in many ways: volunteering on our campus, donating money or food or other items, preaching at our chapel services, teaching classes and Bible Studies, serving on our staff, leading donation drives, and so much more. 2020 was a difficult time for everyone, and in the beginning of the COVID lockdown, there were many people in our community who found themselves hurting, out of work, and uncertain about the future. The Bible Chapel was one of the first churches to reach out to us and ask how they could help. Their South Hills campus opened their doors as a collection site for food and clothing donations and even held donation drives for us. “Their generosity did not end there,” said Shelley Kubincanek, our Manager of Church and Community Relations. In the beginning of the pandemic, when our City Mission Thrift Stores shut down in compliance with statewide COVID regulations, we used many of them as sites to give away bags of food as part of our Samaritan Care food pantry, which is our community outreach program. Thanks to partners like The Bible Chapel, who generously donated to the cause, we were able to give out 4,000 bags in the first two months of the COVID lockdown. “In the beginning of the pandemic,” said Johnson, “it was my assignment to see what we could do to help the community. City Mission was one of the first places I reached out to. We appreciate City Mission and the tremendous ministry they’ve had over the years.” When The Bible Chapel’s annual Vacation Bible School rolled around in August, the needs of City Mission were still on the hearts and minds of their congregation and staff. “VBS is always a major event for us,” Johnson said. “We typically have about 800 kids come to church for that week.” With the pandemic this past summer, they were forced to do things differently to ensure social distancing. Instead of having hundreds of kids at the church, they set up small groups in neighborhoods throughout the area. And instead of focusing their VBS outreach efforts on international missions like they do every year, they focused on helping local communities. “Wayne contacted us to see if their VBS program could hold donation drives to assist with our Samaritan Care food pantries,” Shelley added. “They delivered three truckloads full of nonperishable food, which was enough to supply our pantries for an entire week. We were able to help the community during this most difficult time thanks to the generous members of The Bible Chapel.” “We just really think it’s important to give back to the community,” Johnson explained. “What God blesses us with, He wants us to share with others. That’s an important part of the Christian walk.” With church and community partners like The Bible Chapel, City Mission can put Christ’s teachings into action by helping those in need. Visit www.citymission.org to learn more about City Mission or www.biblechapel.org to learn more about The Bible Chapel.
Sam Kuzmishin, a 16-year-old Sophomore at Winchester Thurston High School, found a unique way to give back to his community and help those in need. One day, a few months ago, he was thinking about all the ways that the COVID pandemic has negatively-impacted our world, our country, and our local communities, and he wanted to find a way to help. “People are losing their jobs,” he said, “and some aren’t able to pay rent. I just wanted to find a way to help as many people as possible get back on their feet.” Sam and his dad, John Kuzmishin, love working on cars together and fixing them up in their garage. “It’s really, really rewarding when you figure out what’s wrong and how you can fix it,” Sam explained. Sam thought maybe he and his dad could take in dilapidated cars, restore them, and offer them at a deep discount to those in need. “The more I thought about it,” he said, “I realized that reliable transportation is such an important step to independence and getting your life back on track. It helps people commute to work, get groceries, take kids to school. And if you don’t have a car you can depend on, it really limits the jobs available to you.” Sam started contacting local nonprofits to find an organization he could work with, and City Mission called him back. “We get calls intermittently from people wanting to donate cars to us,” said City Mission’s Director of Hope Enterprises, Mark Vinoverski. Some of those donated vehicles are not operational. With limited space and no one dedicated to restoring the vehicles, the Mission could only store a limited number of them at any given time. Additionally, as homeless residents transition out of City Mission and into independent living, reliable transportation is often a very important step in their progress, so the Mission was really the perfect fit for Sam’s plan.“John and Sam have a real heart for the Mission,” said Vinoverski. “They really want the cars to go to our residents and help people in need.”A couple of months ago, Sam and his dad picked up their first car from the City Mission warehouse, a 2006 Buick Rainier with 155,000 miles. They hauled the vehicle on a trailer back to their home in Pittsburgh where they have a lift in their garage and a safe space to work. The car had a short circuit on the driver’s side door and a non-functioning air suspension system, among other issues. They purchased a control panel for the door, new suspension air bags, and a new air compressor with their own money and installed them. They also replaced the windshield, fixed non-functioning windshield wipers and performed preventative maintenance.Once the father and son team had restored the vehicle, they brought it back to the staff at the Mission, who already had a resident lined up to buy it. The resident purchased the vehicle, which will help him get to and from work, at a deep discount.“We want the residents to purchase the vehicles, so it’s like a real-life situation for them,” explained Vinoverski. “They learn to save money. They feel like they have ownership. It’s not just handed to them. They earn it.” Sam and his dad already picked up their second car and have begun working on it. Sam is working hard to acquire funding from companies, sponsors, and foundations to help purchase parts and fund the project. He is making contacts, writing grants, and building a website to document the impact their work is having in the community. “We just want to help people in need help themselves…one at a time,” said Sam, “especially during COVID.” Visit www.driveon412.com to learn more about this project. Want to find your own, unique way of making a difference for those in need? Contact City Mission at citymission.org or 724-222-8530 to find ways you can help.
In December, when Governor Wolf announced a second round of restrictions on indoor dining for restaurants, Dan Smith, the President and CEO at Equipment & Controls Inc. in Lawrence, PA, had an idea. “It started with a conversation at the kitchen table,” Smith explained. “I saw two big problems. You have local restaurant owners who have been in the community for years and have battled through COVID since March. They probably just ordered all this inventory for the holidays and now they’re forced to shut down. And then you also have people in the community who can’t afford to eat. And I just thought, if we could get the right people involved and put the funding in the right place, maybe we could put a dent in both of these problems.” Smith called his long-time friend, City Mission’s Chief Financial Officer, Denny Kennedy. They had worked together years ago when Kennedy was the CFO at Smith’s company. When Smith and Kennedy brought the idea to City Mission’s President/CEO Dean Gartland, his first thought was, “what a tremendous idea. This can be a win-win for everyone involved. We started working right away to make this idea a reality.” “Really, all I had was an idea,” said Smith. “All the credit goes to the folks who went out and made it happen. I couldn’t believe how fast it all came together and how passionate everyone at the Mission was to get this going.” Smith made an initial donation to City Mission, and the Heroes Fighting Hunger program was born. City Mission used the funds to purchase meals from local restaurants for the homeless residents living on their campus. So far, the program has supported 15 local restaurants and provided over 7500 total meals for City Mission residents throughout the months of January, February, and now into March. “This is just a massive win-win for restaurants struggling with lowered revenue due to COVID-19, and for our residents here at the Mission as well,” said City Mission’s Chief Development Officer, Dr. Sally Mounts, who joined the program early on and quickly jumped into action. Mounts reached out to generous donors in the community, and using Smith’s initial donation as a matching gift, was able to raise even more money for the cause. Major donors to the new program include: Brian and Karen Shanahan, Mike and Kathy Makripodis, Jon Halpern of Pineapple Payments, and others. “We’re all struggling to get to the other side of this terrible pandemic,” added Mounts. “Anything that unites us in this effort is a bonus for the whole community. And since so much of our ministry centers around food and shelter, it helped us provide a real bright spot for our residents.” City Mission typically relies on food donations to keep costs low and financial donations to provide meals for the residents who depend on them for food and shelter every day. But the generous donations received as part of this project, enabled the Mission to spend more per meal this month, which helped not only to support local restaurants but also to offer their residents more upscale meals and a greater variety of options. City Mission’s Food Services Manager, Judy Sandy, came on board to organize the project, contact the restaurants, and put together a meal schedule. “It’s exciting,” she said. “It’s good for the restaurants and for our residents.” Sandy reached out initially to eleven different restaurants who have worked with the Mission in the past, and every single one of them said yes. “And it’s special for our residents too,” she added. “The variety of the meals is incredible. It’s like they’re getting to eat out every day. These are places they can’t typically go, and these restaurants are actually coming to us. And the residents are so grateful. When they come in and see the food it’s like they’re thinking, ‘is this really for me? Do people really care this much about me?’ It makes me cry to even think about it.” Chicco Baccello, a small coffee house, bakery, and deli in Washington, was one of the first restaurants the Mission approached with this idea. Every Tuesday in the month of March, Chicco Baccello is providing lunch for the residents at City Mission by making deli sandwiches made with the highest-quality meats and cheeses along with side dishes like macaroni salad made in-house. “We’re in close proximity to City Mission,” said Lisa Aprea, one of the owners at Chicco Baccello. “We have regulars who stop in that work at the Mission. We’ve participated in their Sweet Sunday event in the past, and we participated again this year. So they know our coffee, our food.” In the beginning, the pandemic hit their business pretty hard. Aprea explained, “We knew we had to adapt. We had to be willing to change the way we did things or we weren’t going to make it. We made online orders available and offered curbside pickup. And our community has been extremely supportive.” When City Mission approached Aprea with the idea, she was excited and grateful. “What a wonderful thing to do to bless small businesses and the residents of City Mission. And it isn’t just about the added revenue we’ll get this month -- what a blessing it is for us to make 100 sandwiches for the residents at the Mission. Our staff is excited to do it.” City Mission is planning to complete this program at the end of the month as in-dining restrictions ease and funding for the project winds down. But you can always help provide meals to those in need at the Mission. Call 724-222-8530 or visit www.citymission.org for more information.
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THANK YOU for your support of the 2021 Sweet Sunday at HOME Dessert Festival! Your generosity helps City Mission continue to provide HOPE for HOMELESS through the proceeds of this event, held virtually this year due to COVID-19. Although winners of our auctions and raffles have been notified by email, we thought you may want the list of winners to check. The list is by the event platform # assigned to you when starting the auctions and raffles. You can sign in to the platform https://one.bidpal.net/sweetsunday/search/sweets(authentication:login/sign-in) to get your number. We look forward to holding this event back in the in person format for 2022, so see you there!
Katie Mason has been City Mission’s Event Coordinator since May of 2020, and she loves working for the Mission alongside wonderful people who work hard every day to help others and make the world a better place. “I love working with an incredible team, serving incredible people, and furthering an incredible mission,” she explained. Katie was born and raised in Peters Township, and her first experience with City Mission was volunteering with her Dad at the inaugural Sweet Sunday when she was a little girl. When she was young, she loved to study history, and her dream job was to be a historian or a professor or any job where she could learn more about history every day. In high school, she moved with her family to Big Timber, MT. She went to college at Montana State University in Bozeman, and for nearly 4 years, was the Director of Artistic Planning & Development Coordinator at the Helena Symphony, the “largest regional-professional orchestra in Montana.” Recently, she moved back to the area and was hired as the Event Coordinator at the Mission, where she has had the privilege of helming the 27th annual Sweet Sunday, the same event she attended with her dad as a child. “I love the tradition of Sweet Sunday,” Katie said of our largest annual fundraiser, with all proceeds helping to provide hope for the homeless. “I remember it as a kid, and it has evolved into a truly special community event that is about much more than buying chocolates, bidding on auction items, buying raffle tickets, and watching entertainment. It is about bringing our community together to help the homeless and the underserved.” This year’s Sweet Sunday event is the first one ever to go virtual. It has been an enormous undertaking to bring all the fun, tradition, and excitement of a beloved in-person event into an exclusively online setting. But Katie has been up to the challenge, and the event has already exceeded expectations thanks to the compassion and generosity of our community. On September 4, in Cedar Falls, IA, Katie will be getting married to Benjamin Bower! “I know it sounds cliché,” she said, “but I feel like the luckiest girl in the world!” A few months ago, Katie got sick and ended up in the ER. Ben took time off of work and drove all the way from his home in Maryland to take care of her for 4 days. She and Ben have already bought a house in Canonsburg and are looking forward to their big day! Thanks, Katie, for everything you do for the Mission!
City Mission’s Sweet Sunday at Home Dessert Festival presented by Realty One Group Gold Standard this year will mark the 27th year of the event and the first time it will be conducted virtually, with sweets delivered to your door on Sunday February 28th. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, it will look quite a bit different than it has in past years, but it will still have all the fun and excitement that you have come to know and love from Sweet Sunday. “Although Sweet Sunday will be very different this year, the need remains the same,” said City Mission President/CEO Dean Gartland. “This is a critical time of year because of the Pandemic and the need for hope is greater than ever.” “This year, we’re bringing Sweet Sunday to everyone’s homes,” explained City Mission Event Coordinator, Katie Mason. “It starts on February 15 and culminates on Sunday, February 28th with delivery to your door. You can start early to order your sweets boxes, bid on silent auctions, and buy raffle tickets for your favorite baskets, the Wreath of Wealth, and a custom dollhouse!” You can participate in the event online at: www.citymission.org/support/sweet-sunday. All sweets ordered between February 15 and February 27 will be delivered to your home on Sunday, February 28. Sweets ordered on the 28th will be delivered on Monday, March 1 along with auction prizes. You must live within a 30-mile radius of the Mission to have any sweets or items delivered to your home. All proceeds benefit City Mission’s life-changing programs. “For years, people have loved Sweet Sunday,” said Chief Development Officer Dr. Sally Mounts. “It’s a fun family event at a reasonable price point. We’re doing everything we can to transfer that fun spirit to a virtual/at-your-door delivery event. And it will be so easy to access. Just go to our website, click on the Sweet Sunday tab, and get connected to wonderful, delicious sweets and fun auctions.” The Mission will also host an exciting Facebook Live event on Sunday, February 28. “You’ll get front row seats to an exclusive concert by Scott Blasey of the Clarks,” Mason explained. “The sweets will also be delivered right to your door, along with a special surprise bag full of goodies, including your program, information on voting for your favorite sweets, kids’ activities, and gifts from our sponsors!” Creating an online event that captures the fun and excitement of Sweet Sunday was no easy task, and for Mason, who joined City Mission’s staff in May, this was her first time ever planning the Mission’s largest yearly fundraiser. But she remembers attending the very first Sweet Sunday with her Dad, who passed away 21 years ago. “They are some of my most cherished memories with him,” she said. “I am honored to be working alongside amazing people to create an event that encompasses the essence of Sweet Sunday while maintaining low-risk of spread during the pandemic.” “My favorite part of Sweet Sunday is the basket auctions,” said Mounts. “It’s always been so much fun to see the glittering baskets lined up, waiting for tickets. We’re having the same auction, only this year, it’s online. And I get two whole weeks to look at the pictures, read the descriptions, and decide what baskets to put my tickets in!” “This will certainly be a different Sweet Sunday than I’m used to,” added Gartland. “However, I’m really looking forward to connecting online with first-time Sweet Sunday supporters. And I’m really looking forward to sharing in all the joy and excitement of this year’s event.” Please go to www.citymission.org for more details about the event or contact Katie Mason at email@example.com.