Programs and Services
Who can prepare and serve 18,000 full, hearty meals each month for about $2,000?
Only God, who sets a very generous table.
Donated food pours into the mission from stores, restaurants and everyday folks: dairy, breads, poultry, legumes, meats, produce, cakes and ice cream, coffee and milk, sugar and spices. Farmers truck whole hogs and beefs to our on-site butcher shop; home gardeners pack vegetables and fruits to our pantries and coolers.
Every day, the mission’s cooks — most of whom live here and work in our training program — serve three nutritious along with assorted snacks. Everyone’s welcome.
Men and women eat at separate times; mothers and children dine together at designated tables during women’s hours in the cafeteria. And it’s spotless, a cafeteria so clean, bright and spacious it truly gleams (to see is to believe: please come for a tour!) Healthy eating boosts the physical health of our guests, and helps them to make wiser decisions regarding their future. Six-hundred meals per day, all for a direct cost to the mission of around only $2,000 per month.
It’s a God thing.
Men’s and Women’s shelters
For so many who arrive at the mission, it’s the end of the road. Nowhere else to go. Yet here they find a warm, dry, safe shelter from the hazards of weather and street life. We consider this an essential need.
Guests stow their backpacks or other belongings in a secure, guarded baggage room. After dinner at 6 p.m., men spending the night may attend chapel services at 7 p.m. Later they shower and receive clean pajamas before turning in to a bed with fresh, newly washed sheets and colorful quilt sewn by women at local churches.
All together, the mission has 275 beds for men, most of who sleep in an open bay.
The newly opened women’s center, with more than 65 beds, also offers a large dormitory. Each bed has a cozy and colorful quilt. Women eat the evening meal at 5 p.m. and may attend a chapel in their center at 7 p.m.
Guests receive all mission services free of charge. Each able-bodied guest is given the dignity and responsibility of performing a daily 1-1 ½ hour chore (custodial, laundry, landscape maintenance, donation sortation, kitchen, etc.) to assist in the care and operations of the mission.
If guests later find their own home or apartment, we provide them with furniture, dishes, appliances and other household items as available from the mission’s inventory of donated goods.
Mothers and Children’s Center
Loving arms greet moms and their children seeking shelter at the Eugene Mission. Many moms come with no job and hardly a dollar to their name. Some have fled domestic abuse and arrive in fear for their lives. They all find a warm, safe shelter here, along with special creature comforts.
Little ones get a teddy bear, brand-new clothes and school supplies. Moms get help from mission staff in connecting with critical community services, such as for permanent housing and financial assistance.
Unless at school —yellow buses makes their rounds to the mission — children remain with their mothers at all times. Breakfast and lunch are served at the center; for the evening meal, moms and kids dine together at their own table during women’s hours at the cafeteria.
There’s fun time, too, in the inviting play area. Come nighttime, moms and kids sleep in beds with quilts provided by local churchwomen.
Currently the mission has 15 beds for moms and kids, and a great reverence for their well-being. Our hope and prayer is that we will soon receive additional funding to be able to shelter 40 in our Mothers and Children’s Center each night.
“See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.” (Mt. 18: 10)
Daily showers come with any stay at the mission. Guests also receive toiletry items like razor/shaving cream, combs and deodorant. Haircut and laundry services operate on site. Clothing rooms, stocked with community donations, fully outfit guests in need.
A clean appearance can boost self-esteem. Help land a job. Muster courage for attending a school, or perhaps simply walking through the doors of a social service agency. Most of all, caring for the body honors God, by whom we are fearfully and wonderfully made.
Should guests need to store their personal belongings while out and about, the mission provides a secure baggage room.
Nothing else matters more. It’s literally the heart of our mission.
Each night, the gospel message is shared: Salvation through Jesus Christ.
More than 200 volunteers from a variety of local churches – the mission is an interdenominational Christian ministry – conduct the chapel services. In addition, staff members lead Bible studies during the day.
Men, women and children spending the night may attend chapel services at 7 p.m., in each of their respective centers.
Life Change Program
I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. …Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 7:15; 24-25 NLT
Up to 40 men and 20 women enroll annually in a year-long journey towards wellness – as they are afforded the opportunity to experience spiritual growth and healing, as well as emotional recovery in their lives. The end goal is that men and women will be better equipped to leave the mission with the tools to be able to reenter society, and to sustain their reentry with a job and housing.
Who are these men and women entering the program? Most have been at the mission for at least several months and are “sick and tired of being sick and tired.” Many have struggled in their past with substance abuse. Some have been physically, verbally, or sexually abused by their parents or have experienced adult domestic violence, and have been unable to cope with the emotional damage of that abuse. Some have criminal histories. Most experience the inability to maintain employment. Whatever their past, all have expressed a desire to “get well” and to “learn about God.” They are hopeful that this one year commitment of healing and learning will lead them to a better future.
Our Life Change members have busy days! They wake up early for a day full of a myriad of classes, support groups, Bible studies, physical fitness, and prayer/reflection time. These groups are led by both staff and community/church volunteers. Sandwiched in between classes and groups are four hours of daily service to the mission in the form of meal preparation and other chores at each Center. As time progresses, and spiritual and emotional growth occurs, the program shifts toward transitioning into job search skills, community service, management of a household and finances, and other skills needed for when the participants are ready to leave the Mission.
Help awaits mission guests who suffer from substance abuse, uncontrolled anger or other lifestyle issues. Four nights per week, the mission runs vans to the highly successful “Celebrate Recovery” ministries at local churches. In addition, we can put guests in contact with various community programs that offer steps toward overcoming addictions.
And day by day, the mission’s chaplain and social workers offer nurturing, one-on-one support to men and women in the throes of physical, financial and family afflictions related to substance abuse.
The Bible says, “As iron sharpens iron, so does one person sharpen another” (Proverbs 27:7).
Though we serve a large population at the mission, much of our ministry is focused on individual needs. Our ministry and social services staff work on to connect guests with whatever community services they need, including:
- Medical health
- Dental health
- Mental health
- Addiction services
- Housing opportunities
- GED high-school completion
- Literacy programs
- ID attainment
- Veteran services
- Re-establishing family ties
- Bus passes and other transportation
Many local social service agencies have permanent or temporary offices at the mission’s Community Services Hub. Our guests can walk across the street instead of across town to obtain these vital social services!