As 2019 winds up, we can’t help but reflect on the multitude of ways Cleveland supported our men, women, and children this year. Because of many faithful generations like you, The City Mission has had the privilege of serving the hurting and homeless since 1910. Over the decades we’ve seen much change in the causes of homelessness and who is most affected.
When we started 108 years ago, we were focused on serving mostly single men — financially struggling immigrants seeking a new life in America, or those who were working to overcome an alcohol addiction. Although we still serve that population, the most apparent concern now is the overwhelming number of single moms and their children seeking refuge at Laura’s Home Women’s Crisis Center. These women find themselves trapped in a vicious cycle of poverty and struggling to create a healthy home environment for their family.
However, thanks to the compassion of so many in our city, these families and individuals are discovering hope. Here are five reasons why we love our Cleveland community and the ways you choose to empower people to a better future.
You invest your time.
This year we saw a record number of volunteers take part in making The City Mission a better place for both our clients and staff as 4,295 individuals invested their time by serving our men, women, and children. You provided childcare, served meals, celebrated holidays and so much more.
This incredible investment saved the Mission more than $565,000, allowing us to use more of our budget to feed, shelter, and provide resources for our clients. Whether you showed up as a family, corporate team or retired individual, you made a difference.
You share your talents.
Seeing clients learn that they are worthy of a healthy life and capable of meaningful work is one of the most exciting components of what we do, and Clevelanders who share their knowledge and talents are a major part of making that realization happen.
In 2018, your talents, experiences and unique skills blessed us. Handymen showed our teens how to frame a wooden structure and install basic wiring. Businesses conducted resume workshops and mock interviews at both Crossroads and Laura’s Home. Retired bankers helped men set budgets and create financial plans. Theatre groups held workshops to help little ones explore their creativity.
With each opportunity to learn from you, our clients discovered their own passions and began gaining skills that will benefit their future.
You give generously.
All of our work is funded entirely by private entities such as churches, business, foundations and people like you! Being able to operate independent of government funding is a true privilege and not something that all nonprofits are able to do.
So how are these funds used? Thankfully, 90 percent of our funds go directly to program services — caring for the men, women, and children we serve. In 2018 alone, your gifts provided loving childcare, significant resources, caring guidance, restorative classes, and 181,000+ meals. The result of this provision resulted in stronger families, positive physical and mental health outcomes, and approximately 100 men and women obtaining adequate jobs and housing.
Without your generous financial gifts, thousands of people would be without a place to turn. Instead, thousands are beginning self-sufficient, sustainable lives.
You use your voice.
From the news media to social media, your voice makes an enormous impact on what we’re able to accomplish. This year, we’ve seen so many come to recognize that homelessness is a complex issue, and overcoming it requires more than a meal or simply finding a job. Every person who invites a Mission staff member to speak to their office, chooses to share a Facebook post, hosts a donation drive, or covers what’s happening here in their news story, makes an impact.
As more of our city understands the nuances of homelessness and in turn cares for their neighbors, we come closer to better, lasting solutions for people living in poverty throughout the city. This simply isn’t possible without the time you take to advocate for us.
You have heart.
Cleveland’s heart to see this city thrive is evident across the board — from our growing economy to our sports team enthusiasm. The truth is, all of this revitalization begins with restoring individuals, and that’s what we’re doing here at The City Mission.
We all have other things we could prioritize and spend our time or money on. But amazingly, you choose to care for people you’ll never meet and who will never be able to repay you. In all the ways we see and all the ways we don’t see, we appreciate that you go beyond the surface and seek to make this community a better place for us all.
So thank you for your time, your talents, your generosity, your voice — and most of all, thank you for your heart to see people move from hurting and homeless, to healed and home.
From The City Mission’s family to yours, we wish you a Happy New Year!
Rev. Richard Trickel
CEO, The City Mission