Buffalo City Mission Exceeds Goal | Community Spirit
In October, Stuart Harper, Executive Director of the Buffalo City Mission, announced the launch of its’ Annual “One Mission, One Hope” Fall Campaign to raise critical funds necessary to sustain programs and services.
Homelessness is an issue that greatly affects our region. According to the Homeless Alliance of Western New York, 50% of the homeless population in Buffalo is experiencing homelessness for the first time.
Today, however, there was good news. To the joy of the Mission friends and family, Harper revealed that the Buffalo City Mission “One Mission, One Hope” campaign topped its goal of $1.9 million by actually bringing in $2.12 million. The Fall Fundraising Campaign ran from October through the end of December. During this time, the Mission needs to raise approximately 35% of its’ annual operating budget.
“Once again, our community has demonstrated its generous support,” said Stuart Harper. “This support will allow us to do the hard and challenging work each day of the year and lift people up and restore Hope in them that tomorrow can be a better day.”
Since January, 2012, the Buffalo City Mission facilities have operated at 90+ percent capacity. The organization has provided over 173,596 meals and more than 83,043 beds to poor and homeless men, women and children. While funding goes to enhance the programs and services that the Mission provides to those whom it serves, community support is imperative to further the dream of the Buffalo City Mission--to provide an opportunity for clients to live in safe affordable permanent housing working towards a “Career Job” while walking in God’s light.
“Homelessness is the result of society’s inability to effectively deal with the issue of poverty, with the most common reason cited for homelessness a lack of affordable and safe housing”, said Stuart Harper. “Housing is unaffordable because people don’t have jobs—which are unattainable because of a lack of skills. These skills can only be earned through education and training. And this indeed is our focus: getting our clients educated and trained, thus lifting them out of Poverty and eliminating their need for government support.”
A recent study conducted by the National Center on Family Homelessness strongly affirms the Mission’s approach, highlighting the important roles education and training play in families' efforts to become self-supporting and demonstrating the need for increased educational and job training opportunities. They spell it out succinctly: Education is a critical component of securing and maintaining a job.
Recently, the Buffalo City Mission has formed a partnership with Erie Community College. “This will be the first time a local, higher education institution will offer classes on site for our clients, said Harper. “Through this program called ‘College for the Homeless’ provided by ECC, classes will be hosted onsite for clients as they prepare to either participate within a one year job training program or actually attend classes at the downtown campus of ECC.”
“Many, if not most, of the people who come to the Mission for help had lost all hope of a better life,” said Harper. “The people who come to us every day are stuck, and the Buffalo City Mission intervenes by providing prospects for real, lasting change. Through our recovery programs and our new partnership with Erie Community College, we feel that the audience of whom we serve will begin to see the opportunities that lay ahead—opportunities that can now be theirs.”
About The Buffalo City Mission The Buffalo City Mission, founded in 1917, is a not-for-profit organization that provides preventative, emergency and long-term recovery services to thousands of people who are homeless or impoverished. The Mission includes: Women and Children’s Shelter (Cornerstone Manor); the Men’s Community Center; the Mission’s Vehicle Donation Program; and their Dick Road Thrift Store Location to better serve our community. For more information, please visit www.buffalocitymission.org or call 854-8181.