The Modesto Gospel Mission (MGM) had its beginnings in 1948 when Mr. John Haine saw the need to feed hungry and homeless men with food for the body, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ for their souls. Leftover funds from Billy Graham's very first crusade (in Modesto) provided the seed money, and a group of Christian businessmen became the first Board of Directors.
The original location on 8th Street did not provide for shelter so a move was made a few years later to 918 "H" Street where the ministry was located for many years.
As Stanislaus County grew it became necessary to expand the services available, and to begin to include women and children. Facilities for men were moved to the Airport Neighborhood in 1984, a women and children's shelter opened in 1985, the Community Distribution Center in 1991 to provide clothing and small household items to the next level of poor, and a children with single father's shelter completed the campus in 2000.
The Modesto Gospel Mission is this area's primary emergency shelter, and is completely privately funded. It receives no government funding and is not a United Way agency. Approximately 150,000 meals are served and about 2,000 men, women, boys and girls are sheltered each year. The oldest homeless guest was a 90 year old lady whose family put her out on the street in the middle of the night. A police officer brought her to the Mission. The youngest was a baby, born in the parking lot, faster than the ambulance could arrive.
As society has gotten more complicated, the methods to help people become productive members of society have needed to improve. In addition to the basic needs of food, clothing and shelter, the Mission offers New Life Programs, Education and Employment Programs, Addiction Recovery, Children's Programs, Medical Programs, Resource Counseling and Referral, Spiritual Counseling, and a hand of love to everyone who comes for help. We are aggressively addressing a problem facing communities across America, "What do we do with the homeless?"
Extensive use of volunteers is part of the Mission's secret to success. Volunteer age groups range from pre-teen to octogenarians. They serve food, clean, distribute clothing, tutor, paint, help with children, provide daily devotions, sew, befriend the weary, encourage the weak, and too many other things to list.
The Modesto Gospel Mission epitomizes what can be done when people come together to make a difference.