Chapter 1


For over 100 years, generations of men, women and children have 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.  Our methods adapt to the unique challenges of every generation and demographic, but our mission remains the same.

The City Mission 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.

Throughout the rest of the 20th Century The City Mission continued to expand. A larger building was needed and the Mission moved to 801 East St. Clair. Services provided at the time included a wide variety of Bible classes and Sunday School for all ages, assistance for the homeless, food baskets for the hungry, a prison ministry, and various clubs and activities for local residents.  This diversified ministry was a precursor to the varied and holistic approach we take to transforming lives today.

The opening of Angeline Christian Home in 1981 was another example of our dedication to reading the needs of the city.  This women's shelter was “a first for the city’s homeless women,” according to The Plain Dealer.   The need for women and children's shelters continued to grow, and now Laura's Home on Cleveland's West Side serves families in crisis with capacity for nearly 170 individuals.

In 1992 we expanded the square footage of our ministry at 5310 Carnegie Avenue.  This campus is home to our administrative offices and men's shelters, Crossroads.  With better facilities for both men in crisis and Mission employees, our vision has been allowed to keep up with changing times and new ideas.

Today, The City Mission is a holistic ministry that exists to serve men, women and children at their point of crisis by progressing them towards stability, employment and independent housing. Our programs function to enable those at-risk, in crisis or incarcerated to live self-sufficient lives of faith, productivity, and excellence. This dynamic ministry provides essential community services such as adult education, vocational training, job readiness training, mental health counseling, youth programming, re-entry, Spiritual direction and much more.

Through wars, depression, economic recession, and decades of change for the city of Cleveland, dedicated men and women worked hard and adapted to meet the changing needs of those experiencing crisis.  We continue to follow their example today by providing Help, Heart, and Home in ways that are both effective in sustainability and sharing the love of Christ.