About This Cause
The Bread of Life Mission is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that has been offering emergency shelter and recovery/transitional programs to Seattle's most vulnerable, chronically homeless population since 1939. Our core value is to respect and encourage all who come to the Mission and to restore their dignity and hope. Our mission is to overcome the cycle of homelessness in individuals' lives through a "complete-recovery" model that thrives in a culture and family environment of volunteers, board members, businesses, and churches. Primary goals include: providing essential services of food, shelter, and clothing; treating individuals' long-term, core issues contributing to their homelessness and offering a transition to a life of self-sufficiency; assisting program residents to build life and job skills, improve their education level, and secure employment and housing; and expanding the Mission's presence through outreach programs and partnerships involving individuals, volunteers, organizations, and businesses in our services and programs.
The Mission welcomes homeless individuals into our Day Shelter every Monday through Friday from 9:30 am to 3:00 pm. We open our doors, entry way, chapel area, restrooms and showers, and dining room to homeless individuals in Pioneer Square. Our Day Shelter offers practical services and supportive relationships to help clients navigate their way out of their desperate situations. These services include: coffee and pastries, hot lunches, clothing distributions, locker space, mail services, and metro bus passes. The success of our Day Shelter is exemplified by the fact that since the inception of the program we have doubled the number of lunches served on a weekly basis from 300 to over 600. Volunteers and program residents help us prepare and serve about 130 lunches every weekday, clean up after meals, and help sort and distribute clothing and hygiene products. This increase in individuals serviced has also translated into an increase in utilities due to the doubling of meals prepared, and the increase in water used for restrooms, showers, and washing dishes.
Each evening, the Mission provides a warm and compassionate environment in which men can eat their evening meal, relax, shower, and have a clean bed for the night. We have a total of 141 beds (72 for emergency guests, 22 for LifeChange residents, 17 for Resident Volunteers, 28 for men from Nightwatch, and 2 for staff).
The Bread of Life Mission feeds, clothes, and shelters homeless individuals because we truly care about their physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs. We serve almost 100,000 homeless individuals each year and in fiscal year 2013/2014 we prepared 120,582 meals (an average of 10,380 meals per month). We also provided approximately 34,000 emergency shelter and program bed nights and distributed 8,366 items of clothing to individuals in that same period.
LifeChange Recovery Program
LifeChange is a 12-month treatment and recovery program for men with drug and alcohol addictions and destructive behaviors. This program is available to any man (18+ years of age) at no financial cost to them. The first eight months focus on recovery, and men attend classes, group and individual counseling sessions, Bible study, and daily devotions/chapel. During the last four months -- the transitional phase -- the men focus on recovery while simultaneously searching for employment (e.g., building resumes, learning how to apply, interviewing, etc.) and housing. There is a work therapy aspect of the program in which men are expected to contribute several hours daily to Mission house duties, such as managing laundry, cooking, helping with intake, and patrolling on night watch. The LifeChange Recovery Program utilizes a body-mind-spirit recovery model. The program uses The Genesis Process materials and several additional books. We offer our program residents individualized case management where they can recognize their needs, identify their goals, create a plan to transition from dependency to self-sufficiency, and learn how to access other community resources during recovery.
The Mission serves a handful of holiday feasts: Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve/Day, Easter, and Memorial Day. Our Mega Breakfast and Traditional Homestyle Thanksgiving Feast began when over forty volunteers, two dozen residents, and all staff members came together to cook 25 turkeys and provide more than 500 men and women with Thanksgiving meals. During the Christmas holiday, we hosted a Christmas Eve Dinner, Christmas Day Mega Breakfast, and Christmas Day Dinner. In total, 766 meals were served. More than 350 Christmas gifts (e.g., warm winter coats, blankets, shoes, hats, and scarves) were wrapped by volunteers and distributed on Christmas morning. On Memorial Day, the Mission served over 1,300 meals with the help of about 50 volunteers. For the past seven years, the Mission has received proclamations from Seattle and King County that this is Homeless Veterans Celebration Day, uniquely commemorated by the Mission.