Seattle's Union Gospel Mission

The information on this page was last updated 11/4/2022. If you see errors or omissions, please email: [email protected]


Seattle's Union Gospel Mission provides emergency care and long-term recovery services to hurting and homeless people in the greater Seattle area.

Contact information

Mailing address:
Seattle's Union Gospel Mission
3800 South Othello Street
Seattle, WA 98118


Phone: 206-723-0767

Email: [email protected]

Organization details

EIN: 910595029

CEO/President: Scott Chin

Chairman: Bill Aanenson

Board size: 14

Founder: Francis O. Peterson

Ruling year: 1943

Tax deductible: Yes

Fiscal year end: 10/31

Member of ECFA: Yes

Member of ECFA since: 1983


We're dedicated to serving, rescuing and transforming those in greatest need in our community. Our vision is to see every homeless neighbor - beloved, redeemed, restored. We address root causes and break the cycle of homelessness by meeting urgent physical needs, building relationships, and offering long-term recovery programs. Our efforts work to restore dignity and help move people to healthy, thriving lives. We want everyone to know, no matter their circumstances, they are loved and cared for, by us and by God.

Mission statement

To serve, rescue, and transform those in greatest need through the grace of Jesus Christ.

Statement of faith

We affirm our Christian identity with the following statement of faith:
1. We believe the Bible is the inspired, infallible, authoritative Word of God.
2. We believe there is one God, eternally existent in three Persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
3. We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, His virgin birth, His sinless life, His miracles, His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, His bodily resurrection, His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and His personal future return in power and glory.
4. We believe that regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential for the salvation of lost and sinful men and women, leading to verbal confession and inward belief in the Lordship and bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ.
5. We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a godly life.
6. We believe in the bodily resurrection of the just and unjust, the everlasting blessedness of the saved, and the everlasting conscious punishment of the lost.
7. We believe in the spiritual unity of believers in Christ.

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Financial efficiency ratings

Sector: Rescue Missions/Homeless Shelters

This ministry has not been rated.

Financial ratios

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Response from ministry

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The information below was provided to MinistryWatch by the ministry itself. It was last updated 11/4/2022. To update the information below, please email: [email protected]


1930s - Seattle in the Depression

During the 1930s, Seattle staggered under the Great Depression. Homeless encampments, called "Hoovervilles," developed near Seattle's railyards and filled with unemployed men. Local businessmen and clergy determined to bring relief to their suffering city, and by August 21st, 1932, the Union Gospel Mission opened its doors as a soup kitchen. Led by Dr. Francis O. Peterson, more than 9,300 meals were served in the first four months of 1933. By 1938, over 100 men were sheltered at the Mission each night.

1940s - Helping a Country at War

After a decade of serving homeless men impacted by the Depression, the Mission knew that it wasn't just unemployed men who lived on Seattle's streets - women and children needed shelter and new beginnings too. In 1940, the Women Division opened, offering an employment bureau, clothing outlet, counseling, and accommodations to women in need of a fresh start.

When the United States entered World War II, the Mission also served veterans in innovative ways. The Mission's Victory Servicemen's Center opened, and included a morale-boosting recording studio that enabled service men and women to send voice recordings home to their families.

1950s - Twenty Years of Service

The Mission celebrated twenty years of service by purchasing the former Ace Hotel as an additional men's shelter. In 1954, 800 men found jobs through the job placement program, enabling them to provide and keep their families off the streets. The Mission also opened the Friendly Inn, a shelter for women, and sent 150 children from the inner city to its first day camp at Lake Sammamish.

1960s - Meeting Needs of Families

The Mission expanded throughout the 1960s and continually discovered new ways to enrich Seattle's community. Cheer Haven Lodge opened as a shelter for homeless families, and included a retail-style space for free clothing, a reading room, and a coffee shop. A weekly medical clinic opened inside the Men's Shelter and the Children's Division hosted over 600 Seattle-area children at weekly Bible clubs.

1970s - A Changing Seattle

The Mission continued to adapt its services to meet Seattle's ever-changing needs. The Men's Shelter expanded its bed capacity, and during the course of 1972, the Mission served nearly 35,000 meals. A pet clinic was also installed at the Men's Shelter to help animals belonging to Seattle's homeless population. The Mission realized that by serving their pets, the Mission could also build trust and help with the emotional needs of the men and women who loved them.

The Mission grew to help other groups in need: Prison recovery programs and Bible studies launched in local jails, while a coffeehouse opened in the inner city to reach at-risk youth. In response to the devastation of the Vietnam War, a retail-style space for free furniture and housewares was also opened to assist the Southeast Asian refugees who were building new lives in Seattle.

1980s - Proactive Outreach

While the Mission helped at-risk youth, families, refugees, and homeless men and women, the work wasn't without setbacks. In 1983, a Mission-run thrift store on MLK Way South was destroyed by arson. Thankfully, the tragedy couldn't stop the Mission's love for Seattle, and with help from the community, the Mission purchased a former Carmelite monastery on Capitol Hill as a new location for ministry. New Vision, a Christ-centered addiction recovery program also launched as a way to help address Seattle's drug crisis.

1990s - Service that Feeds Body, Mind and Heart

Since its launch sixty years before, the Mission grew from a soup kitchen to a comprehensive ministry working to meet Seattle's diverse needs. By the 1990s, Family Services grew its ministry to families, providing food baskets, counseling, Bible studies, and classes in parenting, finances, computers, and job preparation. The Mission began Buenas Nuevas, a Spanish-speaking program offering chapel services, counseling, and ESL classes at the Men's Shelter.

The Men's Shelter, always a vital part of the Mission, added advanced therapy and a dental clinic to its list of services. Senior Ministries reached out to serve low-income seniors, while Open Door Legal Services opened to provide free legal consultation to men and women in Seattle.

2000s - New Decade, New Opportunities

In February 2001, the Nisqually Earthquake (measuring 6.8 in magnitude) damaged three Mission buildings, inflicting significant damage to the Men's Shelter in Pioneer Square. The Mission recovered, with the support of donors and volunteers, and despite the crisis its ministry to Seattle grew in the years that followed.

In 2009, the Mission constructed Hope Place, a five-story Women and Children's shelter in the New Holly neighborhood. The shelter was designed to help women and children move to greater wholeness, offering full-scale recovery and educational programs.

These ministries joined in the larger vision of the Mission: to be bold, strategic, effective, with passionate urgency.

2010s - The Mission added new, innovative approaches - bringing help directly to the streets where it is most needed. At night, Mission Search & Rescue vans visit known homeless encampments, bringing much-needed supplies, food, prayer, and open invitations to recovery programs and therapy. In the morning, the Mission's Morning Watch program aids downtown business with homelessness at their doorsteps.

Partnerships with area churches have also led to the creation of more shelters, including an emergency shelter and additional women's shelter.

In 2016, more than one million meals were provided through the Mission's programs and partner organizations.

Today's Mission

Almost everywhere you look in Seattle, you see people who have lost so much. Their homes. Their families. Their hope for a better tomorrow. What you don't see is what so many have found. A path out of homelessness. A path that begins with God's amazing grace and leads to a new beginning. Over the past year, we've helped thousands of men, women and children walk that path to a new life.

In 2019 Seattle's Union Gospel Mission announced that its Board of Trustees appointed Scott Chin as its new president.

In 2022 Seattle's Union Gospel Mission celebrated 90 years of changed lives. Today, we know so much more about the root causes of homelessness, and the ways trauma, addiction, and mental health play such vital roles as barriers to recovery. We know more about the importance of right relationships, not just with God, but with one another and in the context of local churches, in bringing healing and hope. God has expanded our ministry in ways our founders might never have imagined.

Today, in addition to serving meals, we have an entire array of services and programs to meet the needs of our homeless neighbors, including Search + Rescue, Mental Health Services, emergency and enhanced shelters for men and women (including women with children), Spanish Ministries, Post-Hospital Recovery, Dental Services, Legal Services, Prison Ministries, long-term recovery programs for men and women, Post Recovery Housing assistance, Continuing Education, Job Internships, Job Placement, and more.

Program accomplishments

395,182 meals served
61,718 nights of shelter
12,032 counseling and case management sessions
35,155 Bible studies and devotionals attended
4,000 names we know on the streets