UGM thanks Salem community for one year of life-change at new Mission

Union Gospel Mission of Salem’s new Men’s Mission is already celebrating its one-year anniversary. Within the 365 days that have come and gone since the grand opening on July 19, 2021, many lives have been forever changed and UGM has our community to thank. 

“It was the community who helped start the original UGM in 1953,” says Dan Clem, executive director at UGM. “The community has helped sustain us for the past 69 years, and in supporting the cost and construction of the new Men’s Mission, our community has created a legacy of serving our neighbors…” 

The opening of the 284-bed Men’s Mission has provided another critical option for those seeking safety, protection, and hope for ending their homelessness and addiction. 

Since July 2021, the Salem-Keizer area has helped the new Men’s Mission provide:  

  • 100,000+ hot meals  
  • 30,000+ nights of safe shelter  
  • 10,000+ warm showers 
  • 2,500 guests seen at our in-house clinic 

What’s more, sustained life-change has been made: 

  • 80+ men found housing 
  • 80+ men found employment 
  • 4,000+ hours were spent in the Learning Center 
  • 4,000+ counseling sessions took place 

Privately funded, the construction of the new Mission was made possible by the 1,547 unique donors who invested in the cause, and hundreds since keep its good work sustained.  

“Union Gospel Mission is the region’s leading shelter provider for people experiencing homelessness, and has been for more than 69 years,” says Jimmy Jones, executive director of Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency, a partner of UGM’s. “Opening the new Men’s Mission is one more brick in the road to a better world, to permanently ending homelessness in our community.” 

Regularly, the Mission’s services are bolstered through partnerships made with many organizations across Marion County, including Marion County, ARCHES, JD Health & Wellness, Be Bold Street Ministries, Bridgeway Recovery, Marion Polk Food Share, and Great Circle Recovery. 

While the name “Union Gospel Mission of Salem” is mounted on the building, the new Mission belongs to the community, and all the life-change that happens inside has not been possible without local supporters. 

“Right now, I’m getting a two-year degree at Chemeketa Community College for alcohol and drug counseling,” says Alan who graduated from UGM’s New Life Fellowship program earlier this year. “When I get the degree, which I’m gonna get it all right, my plan is to give back.”

Restoring even just one life can alter the future for many lives and, ultimately, a community. 

“Compassion with accountability…Union Gospel Mission is not a handout; it is a hand up in changing lives, both spiritually and economically,” says Dick Withnell. 

“Thank you, thank you, thank you! To our wonderful community volunteers, donors, and prayer warriors,” says Clem.  

 

ABOUT UNION GOSPEL MISSION OF SALEM (UGM): Founded in 1953, Union Gospel Mission of Salem (UGM) operates three facilities in Salem, Oregon, and a women and children’s shelter in Keizer, Oregon. Altogether, they serve more than 570 meals a day, provide up to 463 beds each night, and change the face of homelessness through programs specializing in life skills, addiction recovery, employment, and education. Learn more at ugmsalem.org.    

 

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