Timeline

1937

Union Mission Opens Its Doors

April 20, 1937: Union Mission opens its doors to the community under the guidance of Reverend George Akins.
1941

Union Mission Purchases New Building

June 23, 1941: Union Mission begins providing services at the new building on 415 West Liberty Street. The building, originally built in 1910 as a rescue mission by the Women’s Temperance Union, held over 200 people for opening services and provided 7, 744 shelter nights and 20, 294 meals in…
1966

Union Mission Shelter Closes

July 28, 1966: The Union Mission shelter at 415 West Liberty Street is damaged in a fire. Shelter operations close and support is redirected to other Union Mission programs.
1974

Potter’s Place Opens

1974: Potter’s Place opens under the supervision of Union Mission Board Member E.K. Bell and contracts with Tidelands as a transitional housing service for men leaving in-patient substance abuse treatment programs
1987

Grace House Opens

December 15, 1987: Grace House opens its doors. The 62 bed shelter provides a helping hand for men, women, and children.
1989

Phoenix Project Begins Services

April 1989: A Grace House resident is the first homeless person known to have died of HIV/AIDS in Georgia. Union Mission opens Phoenix Place as part of Union Mission’s Phoenix Project. 
1990

Magdalene Project Opens

October 1990: Union Mission opens Magdalene Project, a shelter designed specifically to support the needs of homeless families, at 620 Youmans Street.  
1995

Union Mission Expands Transitional Housing

March 1995: Union Mission assumes management of Hacienda House, a transitional housing facility for women leaving in-patient substance abuse treatment programs.
1998

Employment & Training Center Opens

May 1998: Union Mission expands employment and training programs, taking them out of the shelter and moving to a separate facility. The new Employment & Training Center is located at 111 West Congress.
1999

J.C. Lewis Health Care Clinic Opens

August 1999: Union Mission opens J.C. Lewis Health Care Clinic to provide medical care to the homeless.

J.C. Lewis Dental Care Clinic Opens

October 1999: J.C. Lewis Dental Care Clinic opens to provide dental services to the homeless as part of Union Mission’s broad approach to ending homelessness in Savannah.
2000

Culinary Arts Training Program Begins

July 2000: The Community Kitchen Program begins as a partnership between Second Harvest Food Bank of the Coastal Empire, Union Mission, Parent & Child Development Services, and Savannah Technical College and provides culinary education to the homeless in Savannah and place them in jobs.
2001

Union Mission Cafe Opens

April 2001:  As part of their partnership in culinary arts education, Union Mission and Second Harvest rent a space for a new cafe, known as the Bread & Butter Café. The Café was designed to provide training and financial support for the Culinary Arts Program.
2004

Starfish Cafe Opens Under Union Mission Management • December 2004: Bread & Butter Café renamed the Starfish Café.

  December 2004:  Bread & Butter Café renamed the Starfish Café after changes to the program partnership. Union Mission, in partnership with Savannah Tech, assumes management of the cafe.
2006

Ben and Bettye Barnes Center Opens

March 2006: Union Mission purchases St. Pius convent to provide permanent supportive housing for homeless women. This site becomes the Ben and Bettye Barnes Center.

Union Mission opens Prison Re-Entry Program at Grace House

April 2006: Union Mission begins Prison Reentry Program with the awarding of a $200,000 state grant. This program is aimed at assisting returning citizens as they reintegrate into the community.
2007

Don and Kaye Kole Center for Women Opens

April 2007: Union Mission opens the Dan and Kaye Kole Center for Women in the former Montessori school to house women with disabilities.

Counseling Center Opens

July 2007: Union Mission opens Counseling Center on Fahm Street to provide mental and behavioral health care. The program serves the whole community, offering a sliding fee scale to those whole qualify.
2010

Dutchtown Campus Apartments Open

January 2010: Union Mission opens Dutchtown Campus Apartments to provide permanent supportive housing to chronically homeless individuals with qualifying disabilities.
2011

J.C. Lewis Health Clinic Becomes Independent Organization

January 2011: J.C. Lewis Healthcare Center leaves Union Mission umbrella to become its own separate corporation. This allows the Center to qualify for more government grants and provide a larger range of services.
2015

Inaugural Prayer Breakfast

November 2015: Union Mission holds Inaugural Prayer Breakfast to bring together Savannah’s faith community to raise awareness of the issue of homelessness in Savannah.This event is held as part of National Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week.
2016

Employment Training & Counseling Program Begins

July 2016: Union Mission transforms the Employment & Training Center, adding in supportive services to address crucial work readiness challenges. The new program, the Employment Training & Counseling program, serves clients who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness.
2017

Starfish Catering Opens

May 2017: Revitalizing the Starfish brand after the close of the cafe, Union Mission begins Starfish Catering, a social enterprise which provides hands-on training to Culinary Arts students and supports the work of Union Mission.