Please click on a question below:
- How is the Whosoever Gospel Mission funded?
- Does the Whosoever Gospel Mission receive any money from the government?
- How many men does the New Life Program serve?
- Where will Hannah’s Place be built?
- Is it wise and safe to have Hannah’s Place so close in proximity to the men’s program?
- When will Hannah’s Place be built?
- Has the Mission developed a unique program for Hannah’s Place that takes into account the special needs and struggles of women and children?
- When will the new warehouse be built?
A: The Whosoever Gospel Mission is funded 100% through private funding. We rely on donations from individuals and churches, foundation and corporate grants, matching gifts and thrift store sales. Our confidence and faith is in a loving and gracious God who has faithfully given us our daily bread for 120 years (Psalm 23).
The Whosoever Gospel Mission is a tax-exempt 501 (c) (3) non-profit charity. As such, your gifts are 100% tax deductible. You can also feel good about knowing that more than 80% of your gift goes directly to our programs and less than 20% is used for management/general and fundraising. These percentages are considered to be quite good and acceptable by both governmental and private agencies who monitor and evaluate non-profit organizations such as the Whosoever Gospel Mission. Your gift is a sacred trust which we promise to use wisely and carefully.
Although the Mission is not a financially well-endowed organization, it is financially sound and has been blessed with solid financial growth and stability over the last 20 years. For example, prior to the fire, over the course of 20 years our staff grew from 5 to 20 staff members, our budget grew from $250,000 to $1.7 million, and our New Life Program for homeless men matured and developed into one of the most well-respected and recognized holistic and effective programs in the Greater Philadelphia area. We recognize that God is the source of all of these blessings, and we are grateful that He has privileged us to be part of this life-changing ministry and outreach.
A: No, the Mission does not receive any money from the government. The Mission has made this choice because it is a Christian-based organization. However, we do not discriminate whatsoever in our admission policy and programs on the basis of religion – after all, our name is the Whosoever Gospel Mission!
A: At full capacity, the New Life Program is equipped to serve 55 men at one time. We typically run at capacity with a waiting list of men looking to enter the New Life Program.
A: Our Germantown property is the best place to build Hannah’s Place. We have the right zoning, we have good community support, and we have over a 120 year track record of being a good neighbor. Hannah’s Place would be cheaper and easier to run if it is located on our Germantown property rather than at another location. In addition, safe and suitable locations to house homeless people are almost impossible to find in Philadelphia. We are less than a block away from SEPTA bus and train stations, and a City health clinic is one block away. We have several schools and churches within walking distance, and we already have the perfect spot for Hannah’s Place to be built.
We plan to build Hannah’s Place on the large footprint of our old warehouse which burned to the ground. Our old warehouse was originally a 180-bed dormitory when we bought it in 1895 (Philadelphia health codes were different back in 1895!). It became our 4-story warehouse when we built a new dormitory for 48 men in 1911. After the arson fire, we realized that it would make better sense to build a new warehouse next to our Germantown Thrift Store rather than on its old footprint – we could also connect the new warehouse to our thrift store and expand the store. This in turn frees up the perfect spot to build Hannah’s Place.
A: Yes. Hannah’s Place will be a completely self-contained secure building with its own restricted key-card entry. Hannah’s Place will be locked at all times, and the men in the men’s dormitory will not be allowed in Hannah’s Place, nor will we allow our men, women and children to hang out together in the Mission’s courtyard.
The men’s and women’s programs will not share any common activities or space. In the same way that we already have in place policies and procedures for our male clients concerning female visitors to our men’s facility, we will also have wise and firm policies prohibiting our male and female clients from fraternizing with each other.
It is also a well-known fact in addiction recovery treatment that establishing a new romantic relationship is detrimental to one’s recovery from addiction. To prevent this from happening on-site at the Mission, Hannah’s Place will have its own dining room, kitchen, chapel, computer lab and lounge areas in a building that has no connecting passageway to the men’s dormitory. In addition to a wonderful indoor play area for the children, Hannah’s Place will even have an outdoor play and lounge area on its roof for single women as well as moms and their children.
We know firsthand that other facilities in Philadelphia and around the country that house the homeless sometimes have very limited space and by necessity have their male and female clients share common space such as dining rooms and lounge areas, or perhaps they will have the men live on one floor and the women live on a different floor. We believe that we will have an ideal situation in being able to have two separate and distinct buildings. Other larger missions in the country have told us that they wished they had our arrangement with two completely separate and un-connected buildings.
One final assurance – because of the large number of children and teens that annually visit the Mission to do service projects, we already have in place a policy which does not admit convicted sex offenders into our New Life Program for men. We sincerely believe that Hannah’s Place will be the safest place in Philadelphia and beyond for our women and children.
A: We are working hard to develop a plan to raise the money needed over the next few years to build Hannah’s Place. Before we can do this, however, we need to build a new warehouse to replace the one that was destroyed in the fire of 2006 (the new warehouse would cost about $1.5 million to build).
Our initial focus and priority was to first repair and renovate our men’s dormitory and Germantown Thrift Store. In addition to repairing the damage from the fire, we made long overdue improvements to the men’s dormitory (for example, a new kitchen and new bathrooms). In the building design process, we also discovered that we were now required to upgrade the men’s dormitory to bring it into conformity with the current building codes. As a result, the cost of repairing, improving and upgrading our men’s dormitory and Germantown Thrift Store came to a total of about $3 million. Thankfully, with insurance monies and generous donations, we successfully raised the money needed to bring our residential men’s program back to heath and wholeness.
Amazingly, we estimate that Hannah’s Place, which will be a wonderful state-of-the-art, energy efficient, brand new 4-story building with a total capacity for about 40 guests (a combination of women and children) will cost $3.3 million, only $600,000 more than our repaired and renovated 50 bed men’s dormitory which was built in 1911. We discovered that building a new building is almost cheaper than repairing and fixing up an old, fire and water damaged building (at one point, we even wondered whether we should tear down the old dormitory building and build new – but the high cost of the demolition, the additional architectural and construction costs of building new, and the additional time that would be needed to rebuild the men’s dormitory ruled out this option).
We realize that $3.3 million is a lot of money, but we believe that it is well worth it. The fastest growing segment of homelessness in Philadelphia and across the country is women with young children. The City of Philadelphia acknowledges that this is a serious unmet need. Hannah’s Place is needed more than ever.
A: Yes. Our well-designed, compassionate and comprehensive one-year New Beginnings Program for homeless moms and their young children will provide the healing hope of God’s love and will also effectively equip a struggling and hurting woman with all of the skills, resources and tools she needs to establish a stable home and a good life for herself and her children. Our New Beginnings Program will not be a carbon copy of our men’s New Life Program, but rather it has been carefully designed to meet the unique needs of women with young children. We have been diligent to study and visit other programs for women and children across the country and to incorporate the “best practices” of those programs into our own New Beginnings Program.
A: As eager as we are to build Hannah’s Place, we realize that we first need to build a warehouse (we lost a 17,000 square foot warehouse in the fire that we have not yet replaced). Our Germantown facility currently struggles with the need for storage space, and having Hannah’s Place will add to that burden. We would like to build the warehouse as soon as we can raise the $1.5 million it will cost to build. We will then be able, Lord willing, to move forward and raise the funds needed to build Hannah’s Place.