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CFC: Helping to find hope

Union Gospel Mission provides more than just food and shelter

Misty Bjorland, an outreach specialist with Union Gospel Mission, provides a homeless man with some warm clothing. Photo credit: Union Mission Gospel

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From a borrowed soup kettle, Seattle's Union Gospel Mission began in 1932 to feed and care for those suffering during the Great Depression.

"Now we love and care for thousands of our homeless neighbors every day throughout the greater Seattle area," wrote Ashley Carver, the mission's marketing project specialist. "Our mission is to bring the love of Jesus and the hope for a new life to our homeless neighbors."

Over the near ninety years, the Union Gospel Mission (UGM) has worked to meet the challenge of caring for the homeless by addressing root causes, building relationships, and offering long-term recovery programs.

In 2020 the UGM served 733,012 meals; held 13,792 counseling and case management sessions; provided 137,837 nights of safe shelter; distributed 27,110 search and rescue blankets; provided 4,474 hours of free legal consultation; ministered to 40,334 who attended Bible studies and devotionals; and made available 1,001 hot showers via its mobile trailer.

"Our approach to the homelessness crisis is much more than just providing food and shelter," continued Carver. "Our efforts work to restore dignity as well as to help move people to healthy and thriving lives."

One of those lives belongs to Steven. 

He grew up around alcoholics and drug addicts. At 13 he dropped out of school, partied like there was no tomorrow, and with alcohol, destroyed every meaningful relationship in his life.

"I was a train wreck," he simply stated.

After living on the streets for three years; after running through the alphabet of treatment centers and help programs, he found his way to the Union Gospel Mission.

"They saved my life ... and now six years later I have a degree in Chemical Dependency Counseling."

This is where Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) funding helps the UGM to sustain its mission.

"Seventy-seven percent of funding goes directly to program services; nine percent goes toward management and general services; and fourteen percent goes toward fund raising," Carver pointed out.

And homelessness remains a reality.

"You see people who have lost so much ... their homes, their families, their hope for a better tomorrow," concluded Carver. "But what you don't see is what so many have found, a path out of homelessness ... that begins with God's grace and leads to new beginnings. Please give to help those who have lost so much find hope."

The Union Gospel Mission's CFC contribution number is 33329.

For more information, visit or call (206) 723-0767.

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