In 2010, we celebrate our centennial year. Through God’s grace, we have reached an incredible milestone: 100 years of continuous service. Our journey, however, continues.
That journey began in October of 1910, when Cleveland’s city, business and church leaders encouraged Mel Trotter to establish a mission in the city. Trotter, a former alcoholic, had helped to found 66 other rescue missions during his lifetime. Two public meetings were held and a collection was taken. The next day, in an abandoned saloon on Superior Avenue, The City Mission opened.
The decades that followed saw many changes, including several moves to larger spaces, the acquisition of a 260-acre camp, a growing prison ministry and the creation of Angeline Christian Home, a 16-bed emergency shelter for women and children. Generations of men, women and children received assistance, encouragement and loving support through programs that met both basic needs and provided the tools to build hope, overcome obstacles and achieve self-sufficiency.
In 1991, The City Mission embarked on its most ambitious endeavor: a new campus on East 55th at Carnegie. The campus was a combination of new construction and renovation, and was transformational. Donors and staff increased four-fold. Programming also increased, and The City Mission began offering long-term recovery and skills training services for its residents.
In the late 1990s, The City Mission renovated its camp and worked successfully to better engage volunteers. Individuals, churches and whole communities responded enthusiastically. In 2003, The Mission opened Laura’s Home, a new center for women and children with 136 beds in 51 rooms and long-term programming based on the model used for the men’s program. The City Mission has had thriving youth programs since the early days and in 2007 began Victory, a weekday project for teens who have been suspended, expelled or dropped out of school.