Our Story - The City Mission of Cleveland, Ohio

Our Story

A Rich History. A Meaningful Future.

For over 110 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 wraparound services ministry that exists to serve men, women, and children at their point of crisis by empowering them toward stability, through adequate housing and employment. Our programs provide the essentials such as food and housing, uniquely tailored care through life and job skills training, as well as Christian teaching, and the guidance, patience, and resources families and individuals need to discover their best path to personal success. Simply put, we’re empowering people to self-sustainability with practical help, restored hearts, and sustainable homes.

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. Because no one person’s needs are the same, we create individualized, comprehensive programs to assist residents in building their stabilized and independent future. Our mission to reach hearts and change lives in Cleveland has not waivered since 1910, and we will continue to provide basic needs, critical recovery resources, and practical paths to a sustainable future to all seeking help and hope here.

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