FAQs

Are your doors always open?
Yes. We serve the homeless community 365 days a year with food, shelter and clothing.

What do you do to protect my privacy?
The Mission values people's privacy and never sells its mailing list or individuals' contact information. For online donations, the Mission is committed to using a secured server to protect personal information.  Read more.

Can I direct how my gift will be used to help people?
As partners with Seattle's Union Gospel Mission you may direct your gift to the area of need that is important to you.

Are my donations 100% tax-deductible?
Yes, to the fullest extent allowed by law. Seattle's Union Gospel Mission is a 501(c)(3) organization that is qualified to receive tax-deductible donations. Contributions to a charitable organization are generally deductible by individuals who itemize their deductions. We recommend you consult with a tax professional regarding how any contribution may impact your tax situation.

What is currently the greatest need?
The needs of the Mission vary from day to day and season to season. The Mission's "Wish List" is updated on a monthly basis.

Seattle's Union Gospel Mission works with community partners to find the best prices for items needed to help people change their lives. Since we can often negotiate very low prices, financial contributions can often better serve the needs of the homeless community because we can get lower prices on blankets, food, etc.

How much of the money given to Seattle's Union Gospel Mission is used for fundraising and administrative purposes?
We are committed to keeping fundraising and administrative costs as low as possible. The Mission spends approximately 20 cents of every expense dollar on fundraising and administrative costs, combined. That means 80 cents of every dollar spent is invested into programs, directly helping homeless and hurting people with food, shelter and other care.

The Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance Standards for Charity Accountability states that fundraising expenses should be no more than 35% of all related contributions (for more information, go to http://www.give.org/).

Do you participate in telemarketing?
The Mission only calls people that have a history of donating to the Mission.

Don't you just enable those that are homeless when you offer them a meal?
If that's all we did -- just feed them and send them on their way -- then yes but the Mission does so much more.

The Mission works hard to create an environment that is inviting, positive, and filled with possibilities. When a homeless person walks through the Mission doors, they go from the cold, harsh reality of the streets to the warmth of our dining room. As they eat, many times they sit across from people who were once homeless addicts but now getting their lives together. They reason that maybe they can do it too. That's when a chaplain or caseworker can sit down with them and explore how they, too, can make homelessness a thing of the past. Whether there's a need for addiction recovery, job training, further education or how to find healing from a devastating past. The Mission staff is there every step of the way to help them turn their lives around.

Does a person have to be a Christian to get help at your facilities?
No. Seattle's Union Gospel Mission opens our doors to anyone and everyone in need, despite religious affiliation. We want to help everyone - those struggling with addiction, domestic violence or needing to find a permanent place to live. We want everyone to be free from homelessness, addiction, and violence.

Do you require men and women to attend chapel before they can receive a meal at the Men's Shelter?
No. However, the staff at Seattle's Union Gospel Mission believe that lives are changed when men and women encounter the love, forgiveness and new life available in Jesus Christ. Many program and shelter residents believe their new lives began when they heard the messages shared during chapel services. The services are also a time for the Mission staff to get to know the individuals who come in off the streets. As the staff gets to know them better, they are able to reach out and offer hope and encouragement in a very tangible fashion.

The Mission does not discriminate. If someone asks for help, our staff will do everything they can to provide what he or she needs.

How do I or someone I know get into one of your programs?
You can use the numbers below to contact the various programs or click on the links to learn what is offered.


Emergency care:
Men's Shelter                       206.622.5177
Women and Children's Shelter  206.628.2008
 
Recovery Programs:
New Vision on Capitol Hill   206.322.6801
Riverton Place in Tukwila   206.242.5585
New Creations downtown  206.622.5177
Oaks (women) downtown  206.628.2008
 
Youth:
Youth Services               206.725.2432

What is your primary source of support?
The largest part of our funding is from individuals. We also receive generous support from churches, foundations, businesses and other organizations. The Mission does not seek or accept government funds, which allows us to customize our programs to better meet the needs of those we serve.

How many people are homeless in Seattle/King County?
It is estimated that over 8,800 men, women and children are homeless in King County on any given night. Click here for more information on the homeless community in our area.

Does the Mission participate in door-to-door solicitations?
No. Seattle's Union Gospel Mission has never required or suggested that homeless men, women and children participate in door-to-door solicitation in exchange for food and shelter. Thanks to community support, all Mission residents are provided for during their time at the Mission. If you encounter someone claiming to be a staff member or client of the Mission at your door asking for money, please politely decline and inform the Mission by contacting Donor Relations at 206.723.0767.