In 1989, The New Orleans Mission, Inc. was established to address the needs of those living on the streets. The Mission focused primarily on men during the first ten years by providing overnight shelter, daily meals, and spiritual guidance for up to 80 guests daily. Prior to Hurricane Katrina, the New Orleans community rallied to help and the Mission had 28,000 supporters. However, after Hurricane Katrina, the number plummeted to around 2000 supporters. For approximately a decade, the Mission worked hard to simply provide minimum services and make ends meet.
But in 2012, the Board of the New Orleans Mission appointed fresh, new leadership to the Mission. Going far beyond providing food and shelter, an expanded vision was formed to significantly extend the reach and impact of those being served.
The Mission is serving more people than ever before. They’re receiving services that are helping them address the physical, social, mental and spiritual areas of their life. This is all being done through the Mission’s intentionality with three “R’s”:
- Going to the highways and byways of New Orleans to offer hope to the hurting and literally rescuing them from the street
- Feeding over 250,000 hot meals a year
- Providing shelter for over 200 men and 32 women nightly
- Providing mental health and addiction counseling to get men and women back on track
- Offering life skills through a mentor program focused on instilling healthy, intimate relationships through opening up people’s hearts and lives to each other
- Providing discipleship training to help men and women once again lead a disciplined life that is productive
- Offering vocational training resulting in men and women being productive through volunteering and work in society
- Providing transitional housing for men and women needing to learn independent living and giving skills
- Connecting residents to churches where there is a healthy sense of family for one to lean on in trouble
Today, the Mission is the largest faith-based private service provider to the homeless population of New Orleans. Serving the homeless population and economically disadvantaged residents as far as the southern coastal parishes of St. Tammany, lower Jefferson, St. Bernard, Terrebonne, Plaquemines, and Lafourche, the Mission’s reach is extensive.
The good news is that a greater number of people in New Orleans are once again reconnecting with those already serving at the Mission to lend a helping hand. They’re hearing and seeing the powerful impact of the positive, more comprehensive reach the New Orleans Mission is having on people to turn their lives around. But there’s very important work ahead!