Category Archives: Uncategorized

From the Director ~ October 2018

Executive Director Bob Emberger with the peppers he just harvested from our garden

Executive Director Bob Emberger with the peppers he just harvested from our garden

Dear Friend of the Mission,

Your support of the Mission is an investment in the lives of our men. And as our men move from being unemployed and homeless to working and living independently in their own place, they in turn become productive, contributing members of our community who strengthen the very fabric of our society. We need your financial support because our men are destitute and come to the Mission with no resources, no money and no safety net of support from friends and family.

We are always grateful for your much needed financial support, but at this time of year, there are additional ways you can support us. Click here for a few of those ways that will bless and make a difference in the lives of our men.

The fall also marks the beginning of workplace giving campaigns. Many companies and government agencies ask their employees to contribute to their workplace giving campaigns. The happy news is that you can designate your gift to the Whosoever Gospel Mission through your workplace giving campaign:

  • The United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey – donate to the Mission through United Way’s Donor Choice Program. Our Code Number is 1045.
  • The Combined Federal Campaign – federal employees can choose the Mission to receive their gift through the CFC. Our Code Number is 69784.
  • The City of Philadelphia Employees’ Combined Campaign – the Whosoever Gospel Mission is listed in the Contributor’s Guide under the category: Independent Charities Vetted by America’s Charities. Our Code Number is 30-0047.
  • United Campaigns in other states and regions – you can still designate your gift to the Whosoever Gospel Mission if you live and work in another state or region of the country. Check your campaign booklet or ask your workplace United Way coordinator.
  • America’s Charities and Network for Good provide administrative services for several workplace giving campaigns throughout the country – check with your company’s workplace giving coordinator to find out how you can designate your gift to the Mission if your workplace uses one of these organizations to conduct their giving campaign.

Your gifts are being used every day by the Lord to change lives! Thanks so much!

With joy and thanksgiving,

Bob signature

Robert A. Emberger, D.Min.
Executive Director

Posted in From the Staff, Uncategorized | Comments Off on From the Director ~ October 2018

From the Director ~ September 2018

IMG_8339-001Dear Friend of the Mission,

Each of our men comes from a family. When we deal with homeless individuals, it is easy to forget that our men are not islands unto themselves, but rather they are in fact sons and fathers, brothers and cousins, husbands, nephews, uncles, grandfathers and grandsons.

This month’s true-story highlight tells a wonderful story of reconciliation and a restored relationship between one of our men and his father.

One of the benefits of serving at the Mission for almost 30 years is that I have the joy of seeing the Lord do wonderful things in healing, building, restoring and strengthening the relationships between our men and their families. Here are a few stories that especially warm my heart – these men are either graduates of the Mission or current residents:

  • The Mission’s staff teachers and volunteer tutors taught George how to read, and for the first time in his life he was able to read a story to his 9-year old daughter.
  • Robert is a single parent father who has raised from birth his daughter Helen. Helen is a delightful young lady doing well in school and is quite active in her church.
  • Greg is a great dad to his birth children and step-children. He has put one daughter through college and currently has two other children in college. Apart from Greg, these children perhaps never would have made it to college.
  • After years of suffering from her husband’s criminal activity and imprisonment, Norma divorced her husband, Tyrone. While incarcerated in Graterford Prison for multiple felonies, Tyrone turned his life over to the Lord through a prison ministry. Tyrone came to the Mission after prison, and we had the joy of helping him to reenter society as a good and godly man. The changes that Norma saw in Tyrone’s life were so great that she remarried him. Tyrone met grandchildren at his wedding that were born while he was in prison. There wasn’t a dry eye in the church!

Your gifts are being used to bless not just our men, but also their families!

With joy and gratitude,

Bob signature

Robert A. Emberger, D.Min.
Executive Director

P.S. Because of your wonderful generosity, our $90,000 deficit has been greatly reduced. Ending our fiscal year on September 30th without a cash deficit is within striking distance! Thank you for your continued prayers and on-going support. A miracle is in the making!

Posted in From the Staff, Uncategorized | Comments Off on From the Director ~ September 2018

Urgent Financial Need

We need your prayers and any help you can give.

We just found out that an $86,500 foundation grant we were actually awarded isn’t going to be coming anytime soon, if at all. This is no one’s fault – please see this letter for an explanation of what happened.

We’ve also had some other financial challenges. This leaves us with a $90,000 deficit as we quickly move toward the end of our fiscal year, September 30, 2018.

God is good. Please pray with us for our daily bread!

We’re reminded that our provision and help is now and always has been from the Lord alone (Psalm 20:7). He’s a good shepherd.

If you’d like to give now online, click here.


Posted in From the Staff, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Urgent Financial Need

Going Somewhere

Each year, we put out over $16.5K in essential carfare expenses for men in our New Life Program to access medical care and education, to find employment, and to take care of legal issues.

This is what free access to transportation means to a homeless man working hard to get back on his feet:

IMG_8080Brelan – “I’ve had to go to court at 13th & Filbert twice so far, and I go next week, too. If I didn’t have SEPTA tokens to get there, there would e a warrant for my arrest.” Now, as Brelan works hard to do the right and get his life on track, he can focus on putting one step in front of the other and moving forward.

Isaiah and MikeIsaiah & Mike – Isaiah and Mike are both facing surgery on their hands. Mike lost the tip of his finger from an injury he sustained. Isaiah broke his hand and found out it needs to be set with a pin. Neither one would have taken care of their injuries without carfare to get to the hospital. Now, they can get proper treatment to heal.
UPDATE: Both Isaiah and Mike have had their surgeries and are healing well.

IMG_2112 (1)Leonard – The Mission provided carfare for Leonard to get to and from school for orientation and classes, and to go job hunting. Now, Leonard is glad he has the means to purchase his own SEPTA key card for his part time job and school. He couldn’t have gotten started on this path without the transportation help up front.

IMG_8094Michael – Michael is an accomplished chef. He did much of his job searching strategically online. But eventually he needed to go to an interview at Wesley Enhanced Living – Pennypack where he cooked his way into a job at his 2nd interview. Without carfare, his new job would not have been possible.

Posted in Real Stories, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Going Somewhere

From the Director ~ April 2018

IMG_5567-001Dear Friend of the Mission,

It is amazing how time flies!  On Monday, February 19, 2018, I celebrated my 29th anniversary of working at the Whosoever Gospel Mission.  During my tenure at the Mission, we have had the privilege of ministering to thousands of homeless men.  It is always a joy to be traveling around the city and have either a former resident honk their horn at me as they drive by, run up to the Mission’s van when I am stopped at a red light, or walk up to me on the street to say hi.  One of our graduates is a city sanitation worker and used to pick up my trash each week.  One of my most amazing encounters took place years ago in New York City at Christmas time.  One of our graduates, Richard, operated a watch kiosk on the streets of New York City; he was fully licensed as a street vendor by the city of New York.  My family and I were up in New York to see the play, A Christmas Carol, and were making our way to a food court to get lunch before the play.  Manhattan is always crowded, but at Christmas it is impossibly crowded.  As we were standing on a street corner ready to cross the street after the light turned green, I heard a voice calling out, “Rev. Bob.”  And there was Richard, our graduate from the Mission, selling his watches from a kiosk.  God definitely made that meeting happen.  In a city of millions at Christmastime, the chances of Richard and I running into each other is almost impossible.  We had a nice visit, albeit brief, before we went on to see our play.  Just a side note, Richard today is retired and living in California with his wife.  He keeps in touch with us via email and every now and then sends a check our way to help keep the Mission going.

Probably the most eventful thing in my 29 plus years at the Mission is the catastrophic arson fire we suffered on February 25, 2006.  We were shut down for almost three years, and when we re-opened everything was brand new and in perfect condition.  Today, 12 years later, things are starting to break down and wear out – sadly at the same time!  Right now we have over $27,000 in equipment/building replacement and repairs including a new lobby tile floor, a new fire alarm monitoring panel, emergency repairs to our phone system and the need to replace it with a new system (we actually discovered our phone panel smoking with melted plastic – we really don’t want another fire!), and pump repairs to our heating system and water booster pumps.  We need your help at this time to keep the Mission going as a safe, warm, pleasant, efficient and comfortable place for our men.  Our ministry to homeless men is much more than bricks and mortar, but a good facility helps to make our ministry even more effective.  Thanks so much!

With warm regards,

Bob signature

Robert A. Emberger, D.Min.
Executive Director

Posted in From the Staff, Uncategorized | Comments Off on From the Director ~ April 2018

Christmas 2017 Video

For men experiencing homelessness, the holidays can be a hard. The Mission family wishes to extend a great big THANK YOU to everyone who gave to make this Christmas special for the men of the Whosoever Gospel Mission and their families.

Check out this short video that gives you a taste of our Christmas celebration.


Thank You for a great Christmas!Thank you to everyone who donated to make Christmas special for the men of the Mission!

Posted by Whosoever Gospel Mission on Friday, January 12, 2018


Posted in Photos & Videos, Real Stories, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Christmas 2017 Video

The Mission family is thankful for much!

Enjoying the fellowship at our 2016 Thanksgiving Day Feast

Enjoying the fellowship at our 2016 Thanksgiving Day Feast

When asked what they’re thankful for, this is what our men shared:

  • The opportunity to get myself together
  • Peace
  • Being clean today
  • Joy
  • God’s love
  • A place to be while I deal with my health problems
  • Grace and mercy
  • That Christ forgave me
  • Life
  • Peace of mind
  • Being clean and sober
  • A Savior that loves me no matter what I do
  • Having good people around me
  • The opportunity to come here and reestablish who I am
  • A place to call homes
  • The opportunity to interact with people here at the Mission
  • Everything!

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever.
Psalm 118:1

Thank you for helping to make these blessings and so many others possible.

From our family to yours,

Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted in Real Stories, Uncategorized | Comments Off on The Mission family is thankful for much!

From the Director ~ Thanksgiving 2017

unknown001115Dear Friend of the Mission,

Homelessness, drugs and alcohol really beat up the men who come to the Whosoever Gospel Mission. When a man first arrives at the Mission, he looks like he is carrying the weight of the whole world upon his shoulders. He is hungry, tired, depressed and downcast. Quite often his face bears the physical scars and missing teeth of violence from the streets or even from staying in the City shelters. But when one of our counselors meets him and welcomes him into the New Life Program, he is told that everything can be different, that God can give him a new life, a fresh start, a chance to start over, a new beginning. We also provide him with clean clothes, brand new underwear and socks, a delicious meal, clean bedding, and toiletries so he can get a hot shower, brush his teeth, put on clean clothes, and no longer feel the gnawing pangs of hunger. An amazing transformation begins to take place as all of these good things happen – our new resident begins to believe that a better day has arrived, he feels safe, and he is able to experience a good night’s sleep for the first time in a long time.

Your kind and generous support keeps our doors open, our lights on, our kitchen cooking, and our staff offering a warm welcome to each and every man who comes to the Mission. And with a full array of wrap-around supports and services such as counseling, tutoring, life skills classes, job readiness training, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, access to medical care, case management, and daily chapels, the broken and hurting men who come to the Whosoever Gospel Mission begin to rebuild their lives one brick at a time. Their frowns are turned upside down, and they begin to taste and see that the Lord is good. Our men begin to enjoy the refreshing still waters and the good green pastures of the Lord, even as the 23rd Psalm declares.

Our men are poorer than poor and could never pay for all that we provide them. Your financial support, though, makes it possible for us to give our men a hand-up (and not just a handout) at this Thanksgiving season and throughout the entire year. We are really looking forward to our annual Thanksgiving Feast. The enclosed handout shows some great photos from our 2016 Thanksgiving Day Feast. And on Thanksgiving Day, we will be sure to give thanks to the Lord for you! You are the ones who keep the Mission going as a safe haven of hope and help, not just on Thanksgiving Day, but every day. Our men thank you, and so do we.

Your partner in giving hope,

Bob signature

Robert A. Emberger, D.Min.
Executive Director

Posted in From the Staff, Uncategorized | Comments Off on From the Director ~ Thanksgiving 2017

Video: Toy Giveaway

Christmas is coming! Now is a great time to start collecting new, unwrapped toys so homeless dads working hard to rebuild their lives can gift them to their children!

2014 Toy Giveaway! from K2 Media on Vimeo.

Giving gifts is a big part of the Christmas season and every year hundreds of gifts are given away at the Whosoever Gospel Mission. This year over 1,000 brand new toys were donated and distributed to the men of the mission, giving them an opportunity to bless their kids and grand kids!

Posted in Photos & Videos, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Video: Toy Giveaway

From the Director ~ September 2017


Executive Director Bob Emberger teaching Professional & Vocational Development Class

Dear Friend of the Mission,

As we come to the end of our fiscal year on September 30th, first and foremost I want to thank you for your friendship. Through your support, the lives of broken and hurting homeless men were touched and transformed by God’s amazing grace. Here are only a few of the many ways that your support made a huge difference in the lives of our men and their families:

  • Our men enjoyed over 80,000 nutritious and plentiful meals and snacks this past year.
  • Over 100 of our men received free eye exams from Great Faith Vision; this wonderful non-profit also provided free prescription eyeglasses to any man who needed glasses.
  • Carson Wentz, quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles, and Chris Maragos, a safety on the Philadelphia Eagles, shared powerful words of encouragement with our men.
  • Thousands of items of good used clothing and brand new underwear and socks were given without charge to our men.
  • The Mission provided over 1,648 new toys at Christmas to 317 needy children including the children and grandchildren of our men as well as a number of other needy children.
  • Several of our men were able to recover from surgeries and serious illnesses while living at the Mission. Residents were medically treated for and/or recuperated from a hip replacement, a knee replacement, diabetes, stroke, heart disease, congestive heart failure, an irregular heartbeat, painful abscessed teeth, painful body abscesses, COPD, severe edema in a leg resulting from a clot, dehydration, high blood pressure, gastro esophageal reflux disease (GERD), asthma, HIV disease, AIDS and life-disrupting mental illness.
  • The Mission helped over 45 of our men secure a good job outside of the Mission and 6 men enroll in an off-site education or training program.
  • Over 75% of our men increased by at least one grade level in reading, writing and math.
  • A multitude of our men experienced for themselves the peace, hope and joy of the Lord. Our loving Lord brought life out of death, hope out of despair, and joy out of sadness.

We have also had many financial challenges this year. Please give an extra generous gift before September 30, 2017 and help us end our fiscal year financially strong. Thank you!

With warm regards,

Bob signature

Robert A. Emberger, D.Min.
Executive Director

Posted in From the Staff, Uncategorized | Comments Off on From the Director ~ September 2017