Bread of Life Mission

The information on this page was last updated 10/9/2023. If you see errors or omissions, please email: [email protected]


Bread of Life Mission helps people experiencing homelessness in the Seattle area. Bread of life Mission is a non-denominational, Christian, social services organization, which provides critically needed goods and services to the homeless, poor, and needy of Washington State without regard to race, color, sexual orientation, creed, national origin, or religion.

Contact information

Mailing address:
Bread of Life Mission
97 S. Main St.
Seattle, WA 98104


Phone: 206-682-3579

Email: [email protected]

Organization details

EIN: 916057907

CEO/President: Willie Parish Jr.

Chairman: Leonard "Russ" Williams, Jr.

Board size: 8

Founder: Mavel Sherman

Ruling year: 2005

Tax deductible: Yes

Fiscal year end: 06/30

Member of ECFA: Yes

Member of ECFA since: 2010


To see God transform the lives of those experiencing homelessness, impacting Seattle one life at a time.

Mission statement

Bringing hope, healing and recovery to Seattle homeless through a Christ-Centered approach.

Statement of faith

We believe that the Bible, consisting of the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments, is the revelation of God to mankind, is verbally and fully inspired by Him, is sufficient for the knowledge of God and His will that is necessary for the eternal welfare of mankind, is infallible and inerrant in its original manuscripts, and is the supreme and final authority for all Christian faith and conduct.
II Tim. 3:16,17; II Pet. 1:21; I Cor. 2:13; Deut. 29:29; II Tim. 3:15; John 10:35.

We believe that there is but one God whose essential nature is that of a living, personal Spirit. He is infinitely perfect in all of His attributes; He is the creator and sustainer of all things; and He exists in three persons-Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
I Cor. 8:4; John 4:24; 5:26: Gen. 1:1; Col. 1:16,17; Matt. 28:19

We believe that Jesus Christ is the true God and true man; that is, He is fully divine and also fully human. He preexisted eternally with the Father, was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, lived a perfect life, and died a substitutionary death for the sins of mankind. We believe that He arose bodily from the grave, ascended to heaven, where He is presently High Priest and Advocate for His people and that He will return personally and bodily to the earth at the close of this age. He is the world's only Savior and is the Lord of all.
Phil. 2:5-11; John 1:1; Matt. 1:23-25; I Pet. 2:22; I Cor. 15:3; I Tim 2:6; I Cor. 15:20; Heb. 4:14-16; John 14:3; Acts 4:12.

We believe the Holy Spirit is a divine person, the third person of the Trinity. We believe that He was sent from the Father by the Son to convict the world, to regenerate and indwell those who trust in Christ, to baptize them into the Body of Christ, to seal them for the final day of redemption, to guide them into truth, to fill them for a life of holiness and victory, and to empower them for witness and service. We believe that He gives spiritual gifts to believers for the proper functioning of the Body of Christ, which is the Church.
Acts 5:3,4; John 16:7-14; 3:5-8; I Cor. 2:9-12; 3:16; 12:3-13,28-31; Eph. 1:13,14; Gal. 5:16-25; Acts 1:8.

We believe that man was initially created by a definite act of God in His image and is dependent upon and accountable to his Creator. Through disobedience, the first man sinned and fell from his original state of moral perfection. Consequently, he brought upon himself and the whole human race the penalty for sin, spiritual and physical death. Since Adam, every person has been born with an inherently sinful nature and becomes a sinner in thought, word and deed. Every person, therefore, stands under the just condemnation of God and is unable to save himself or to present deeds worthy of merit before God.
Gen. 1:26,27; 2:7; Rom. 2:6-16; 5:12-21; 6:23; Matt. 5:20-48; John 3:36.

We believe that a person is saved by God's grace alone, made possible through the shed blood of Christ, whereby He died a substitutionary death for mankind, and through the resurrection of Christ. Salvation becomes effective when a person, by an act of faith, acknowledges Jesus Christ as his personal Savior and Lord. The benefits of this salvation include the forgiveness of sins and a new standing before God, the impartation of new life, and all the privileges that accompany a new family relationship with God. The assurance of salvation as a present possession is the privilege of every believer in Christ.
Eph. 2:8,9; I Cor. 15:3; Acts 16:31; Rom. 10:9; Acts 3:19; Rom. 3:28; John 3:16; John 1:12; 10:28; Phil 1:6.

We believe that God expects every believer to live a life of obedience, in which every area of his life is brought under the lordship of Jesus Christ, and the fruit of the Spirit becomes increasingly evident. The goal of the Christian life is to be conformed to the image of Christ. This life is characterized supremely by self-giving love for God and others. The life and character of Christ, which grows through the Holy Spirit, are noticeably distinct from the world's life. A believer who resists the gracious working of the Holy Spirit and fails to grow in obedience is chastened in infinite love by his Heavenly Father, so he may learn obedience.
John 14:21; II Cor. 10:4,5; Gal. 5:22,23; II Cor. 3:18; Matt. 22:37-40; I John 2:15-17; Heb 12:5-14.

We believe that the Church of Jesus Christ is the universal company of God's redeemed people, His Body, of which He is the head, His Bride, whom He loves infinitely, and His temple, in which He dwells. This universal Body of Christ is visibly expressed in local assemblies whose purpose it is to glorify God through worship, fellowship, instruction in God's Word, observing the ordinances, and training in service to the world. The supreme task in the mission of the Church is to make disciples for Christ in all nations through the proclamation and teaching of the Gospel. The Church is also to demonstrate the love and compassion of Christ, through word and deed, in an alienated world.
I Pet. 2:9,10; Eph. 1:22,23; 5:25-27; 2:19-22; I Thess. 2:14; Eph. 3:6-10; Acts 2:42; Eph. 4:11-13; Heb. 10:25; Matt. 28:18-20; 26:26-29; I John 4:17.

We believe in the imminent premillennial return of Christ to take His people to be with Him and to judge and rule the earth in righteousness. We believe in the resurrection of the body for both believers and unbelievers. We believe that the believer goes to be with Christ in conscious blessedness immediately after death, having escaped the condemnation of his sins through the death of Christ. He will, however, stand before God to receive rewards for works approved by God or to suffer loss for works disapproved. The believer will live eternally in the immediate presence of God, while the unbeliever must face the eternal and holy Judge who will sentence him for his sins. He will experience the punishment of eternal separation in hell from the presence of God.
John 14:3; I Thess. 4:16,17; Rev. 11:15; I Cor. 15:20,23; Phil. 1:23; Rom. 8:1; II Cor. 5:10; Rev. 20:11-21:5; Rom. 2:11.

We believe in the personality and depraved character of Satan, the great enemy of God and man. We believe that he, along with the company of demonic beings serving him, works out his evil plans through the ungodly world system, limited only by the sovereign rule of God. We believe that he was judged by Christ at the cross and will ultimately meet his doom in the lake of fire, where he will remain eternally.
Matt. 4:3-11; Gen. 3:1; John 8:44; Rev. 12:9,10: II Cor. 4:4; I John 5:19; Job 1:6-12; I John 3:8; Rev. 20:10.

The Bread of Life Mission asks its staff and volunteers to conduct themselves in their private lives in a manner that is pleasing and glorifying to God. Scripture teaches that we are to behave in ways that honor God, to live a life worthy of the calling we have received (Eph. 4:1-5). Staff and volunteers must be involved in their local church for learning, worship, fellowship, and service. They are expected to read the Word of God, live a life consistent with it, avoid sin, share their faith with others and pray. We receive complete joy in Christ by living a life of obedience to Him as we no longer live for ourselves but for Him who died for us and was raised again (John 15:8-14, II Cor. 5:14-15). Living in obedience to Him means we will not indulge in the temptations of this world. We are to abstain from drunkenness through the use of alcoholic beverages and from harming our bodies by refraining from the use of tobacco, non-medicinal narcotics, or illegal drugs. We should avoid sexual sins, such as premarital sex, adultery, and pornography. Additionally, stealing, slanderous and profane language, dishonesty, and occult practices are unacceptable (Ex. 20:3-17, Prov. 23:29-32, Prov. 31:4-7, Rom. 14:12-23, I Cor. 6:12, 19-20, Gal. 5:19-21, Eph. 5:3-6). Paul paints such a life of obedience in broad strokes when he says, "Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy" (Romans 13:13).

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Financial efficiency ratings

Sector: Rescue Missions/Homeless Shelters

CategoryRatingOverall rankSector rank
Overall efficiency rating957 of 1112121 of 141
Fund acquisition rating923 of 1113128 of 141
Resource allocation rating1032 of 1113130 of 141
Asset utilization rating475 of 111256 of 141

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Balance sheet
Receivables, inventories, prepaids$13,548$13,692$17,786$39,570$30,832
Short-term investments$1,787,454$1,698,252$1,099,047$790,327$648,799
Other current assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total current assets$2,247,363$2,209,781$1,533,270$1,240,060$884,249
Long-term investments$0$0$0$0$0
Fixed assets$1,051,490$1,027,568$980,240$943,696$980,836
Other long-term assets$2,147$2,147$2,147$2,147$2,147
Total long-term assets$1,053,637$1,029,715$982,387$945,843$982,983
Total assets$3,301,000$3,239,496$2,515,657$2,185,903$1,867,232
Payables and accrued expenses$29,729$46,314$68,305$47,028$71,607
Other current liabilities$0$0$0$0$0
Total current liabilities$29,729$46,314$68,305$47,028$71,607
Due to (from) affiliates$0$0$0$0$0
Other long-term liabilities$0$0$0$0$0
Total long-term liabilities$0$0$0$0$0
Total liabilities$29,729$46,314$68,305$47,028$71,607
Net assets20222021202020192018
Without donor restrictions$3,163,363$3,035,978$2,439,250$2,003,673$1,711,671
With donor restrictions$107,908$157,204$8,102$135,202$83,954
Net assets$3,271,271$3,193,182$2,447,352$2,138,875$1,795,625
Revenues and expenses
Total contributions$2,113,465$2,347,540$1,929,915$1,891,708$2,011,931
Program service revenue$89,709$91,028$201,491$243,933$211,598
Membership dues$0$0$0$0$0
Investment income$66,259$50,050$34,509$30,224$21,224
Other revenue$6,796$0$3,840($12,530)($3,381)
Total other revenue$162,764$141,078$239,840$261,627$229,441
Total revenue$2,276,229$2,488,618$2,169,755$2,153,335$2,241,372
Program services$1,256,223$1,252,440$1,252,709$1,265,021$1,625,906
Management and general$229,187$217,767$198,432$195,262$209,751
Total expenses$1,923,174$1,879,930$1,851,009$1,834,611$2,156,133
Change in net assets20222021202020192018
Surplus (deficit)$353,055$608,688$318,746$318,724$85,239
Other changes in net assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total change in net assets$353,055$608,688$318,746$318,724$85,239


Willie ParishPresident$129,338

Compensation data as of: 6/30/2022

Response from ministry

No response has been provided by this ministry.

The information below was provided to MinistryWatch by the ministry itself. It was last updated 10/9/2023. To update the information below, please email: [email protected]


January 1939 - Towards the end of The Great Depression, Mavel Sherman started Bread of Life in a building on the corner of Washington and Occidental Street in downtown Seattle. The first year was filled with challenges, including a week-long closure due to shortage of funds and problems with Mavel Sherman's health.

October, 1939 - After nine months of starting Bread of Life, Mavel Sherman asked Jennie Conrad to take over as the Director of Bread of Life. Jennie Conrad agreed and accepted the position in October 1939. She served in that position for the next 35 years. Ms. Conrad began her social work with the Salvation Army and worked throughout the United States before she came to the Bread of Life. During her time at Bread of Life, she met and married Jack O'Hara, a new Christian who came to the BOLM looking for assistance. He was eventually ordained as a minister and served as Bread of Life's co-Director for eighteen years.

1942-1945 - Jennie and Rev. Jack O'Hara purchased a home in 1942 that was a subsidiary of the Bread of Life and a place for participants in the program to live during in their rehabilitation. A building committee was appointed in 1944. The committee stepped out in faith by making a payment of $1,000 for the building on the corner of 1st Ave and South Main, which remains the present home of the Bread of Life. Bread of Life drew financial support from three principal sources-rent from the hotel rooms in the building, offerings at Bread of Life's services, and donations from sponsors.

1945 - 2009

While building and maintaining Bread of Life's programs, the first recorded board meeting was March 15th, 1945 and began with three board members. Today we have six board members.

Bread of Life continues to provide temporary facilities, a bed, food clothing, and a safe environment for those who are in need. Bread of Life reaches beyond the physical needs by offering an opportunity to make a life-changing decision to accept Jesus Christ. Bread of Life is interdenominational and is supported entirely by individuals, churches, businesses, and foundations that believe in giving hope to Seattle's homeless. Bread of Life is an integral part of the historic Pioneer Square district in downtown Seattle and partners with many local organizations to bring improvements to the whole community.

The Bread of Life has a dedicated staff and Board of Directors who are committed to living according to the Gospel by being actively involved in the Pioneer Square community. The future goals of the Bread of Life are as follows:

Grow the capacity in our residential LifeChange substance abuse recovery program

Expand our shelter beyond daytime hours with the goal of creating a 24-hour program

Program accomplishments

The Mission's Day Shelter is the place the homeless call "home" for the day. We serve between 200-300 individuals daily. People come for essential services such as hot meals, clothing, showers and assistance with medical and social services.

6,700 articles of clothing are distributed to our guests every year. We provide shoes, clothing, toiletries, and other available items that the women need every week.

The third Saturday of every month the Mission goes to the Courthouse Park and provides warm meals and beverages to hundreds of homeless people.


Financial gifts (cash, stocks, donations through Amazon Smile purchases) provide nourishing meals, safe shelter, and life-saving programs. Volunteers can serve at one of the Holiday Outreach meals. Gently-used surplus clothing and household goods can be donated. Prayer is appreciated for the clients, staff, donors, and volunteers at the mission.