It is with great pride that SobelCo shines the nonprofit spotlight on Xavier Mission for our December end-of-year newsletter issue.
Since its launch in 1983, Xavier Mission has welcomed, served, and empowered their guests with dignity and respect. They accomplish this by supporting a mission that is committed to providing basic services, as well as opportunities for empowerment and self-sufficiency to New Yorkers in need.
Rather than be considered a ‘nonprofit organization,’ Xavier Mission refers to itself as a ‘for-impact’ organization. This distinction is essential because it makes clear that they would rather be defined by what they DO than by what they DON’T DO. The strength and power that comes from adopting this positive approach to fulfilling a unique vision is what sets Xavier Mission apart from the other nonprofits that are established in the community.
People Committed to Caring
At Xavier Mission, the tone and attitude starts at the top with Cassanda Agredo, the Executive Director, and continues to gain momentum, driven by the sincere dedication of its small but mighty staff, from program directors to administrative assistants to the custodian. Each and every member of this leadership team plays a critical role.
Working in conjunction with an active, hands-on board, Xavier Mission has been able to create critical programs that are the necessary building blocks leading to a better life for all they serve.
Programs That Change Lives
The organization has made a commitment to their guests to not only provide much-needed services, but to do so with compassion, empathy, and respect for the dignity of each individual who walks through their doors. As such, they operate six community outreach programs that provide a continuum of services and holistic care to those facing difficult times. Each individual program provides an opportunity for their guests to meet their basic needs and to take a step towards achieving safety, stability, and self-sufficiency.
The Data Substantiates the Story
At the core of this organization is the dedication of the staff to offering unending love to their guests. By doing so, they enable each person to move forward with pride and confidence, knowing they are valued and cared for. The proof that their hard work is paying off is evident in the numbers.
Remember: 38 Years of Service + 6 Staff Members + Unending Love = Successful Life Changes!
The Clothing Room – Annual Formula #1: 1,200 guests + 15,000 pounds of clothing
The Clothing Room accepts donations of new and gently-used clothing and distributes them to guests in need of fresh items. Seasonally appropriate, casual clothing items are offered as well as business wear for job interviews and employment.
Financial Assistance – Annual Formula #2: $175,000 in assistance = 75 families saved from eviction
Xavier Mission believes that helping a family avoid eviction is a moral obligation. Homelessness has far-reaching traumatic effects that can disrupt a child’s development, undermine a family’s stability, and continue to adversely affect an individual even after their homelessness has ended. They believe it is their responsibility to help keep their neighbors from experiencing this trauma whenever possible.
Preventing eviction is also economically prudent. It costs more than $44,000 a year to shelter a family in New York City and more than $35,000 for an individual. Xavier Mission provides an average of $2,500 in rent arrears assistance to individuals and families because they are convinced that the financial investment is a small price to pay to help a family achieve stability and to save taxpayers millions of dollars each year.
The organization also provides additional forms of assistance, including the first month rent on an apartment for families moving out of shelter, utilities, phone bills, Internet, and other necessities, and MetroCards for various types of appointments or employment/training opportunities.
Food Pantry – Annual Formula #3: 53,000 meals = 1,700 families fed
Deep in our hearts, we all know that nothing can be accomplished on an empty stomach…
And that is why the Customer-Choice Food Pantry provides groceries to low-income families in a shopping-style environment. They distribute women’s and children’s clothing and household linens and provide assistance with benefit programs and referrals to other services. When available, the organization also passes along information about Medicare/Medicaid, private health insurance, government-issued cell phone services, and the Earned Income and school tax credits.
Pre-packaged bags of groceries are provided during the week for those with an emergency need.
Life Skills Empowerment Program – Formula #4 : Two program sites + life skills training + support system = 24 graduates
The Life Skills Empowerment Programs (LSEP) provide life-skills training, mentoring, trauma-informed group support, and supportive services to homeless individuals, homeless veterans, and returning citizens.
The LSEP Model helps people who have experienced the trauma associated with these life circumstances address past struggles, gain essential life-skills, create a support system, and set and achieve goals for themselves. Participants are motivated to make positive changes, develop resiliency, and successfully handle barriers and setbacks.
Xavier Mission’s Life-Skills Training & Empowerment Program (L-STEP), based on the LSEP model, has been in operation since 1995. Their history of running a successful program positioned them as a mentor to other organizations to replicate the LSEP model. They currently partner with Rauschenbusch Metro Ministries (RMM) to operate a program for homeless veterans, Homecoming. They continue to partner to expand this model and are available for consultations with other organizations looking to replicate this L-STEP program.
Shelter – Annual Formula #5: 3,800 Beds Provided + 365 Nights Open = Safe Shelter for up to 13
The Coughlin Men’s Shelter provides a friendly, safe space for up to 13 men, seven nights a week. The shelter runs in partnership with Urban Pathways and the Olivieri Drop-In Center. Guests are referred and screened by Olivieri.
Welcome Table – Annual Formula #6: 78,000 meals + 10 additional services = Chicken Soup for the Soul
Open every Sunday, a day when most other soup kitchens in NYC are closed, the Welcome Table serves an average of 1,300 hot meals. But they strive to go beyond the emergency need of food by also providing guests with assistance in obtaining government benefits, birth certificates, free chiropractic treatments, legal referrals, health screenings, and other essential services.
Xavier Mission is powered by love, energy, passion and concern for all. After almost 40 years, they have again raised the bar and renewed their commitment to being more equitable, more responsive, and more active allies for those who are most affected by systemic injustice. As Cassandra Agredo, Executive Director, explains it, “This work is a partnership between our guests, staff, volunteers, and donors. Our guests let us know what their needs are and make sure we are being equitable and just in the way we offer services to them. Our staff brings the expertise on how to deliver those services, our volunteers are the boots on the ground, and our donors provide the resources necessary to offer these programs. It takes all of us in collaboration to make this work possible.”
We invite you to visit their website to learn more and/or to become a partner in their work!