Business Name: The Union Mission Ministries
President's Name: Linda Bashford Vaughan
President's Title: Executive Director
Phone Number: 757-627-8686
Public Relations Director: Linda C. Jones
Address: 5100 East Virginia Beach Boulevard, Norfolk, VA 23502
What are your business's core values, goals, and overall mission?
Mission statement: “To aid the poor and needy; to reform the erring; to help those who are out of the way; to feed the hungry; to shelter the homeless; to preach the gospel; and to rescue the perishing."
Our goal is to provide additional and improved life changing services for the homeless and poor and to become a testimonial to how the Hampton Roads community values the least of its citizens.
Share some unique facts and business history? What makes your business stand out?
Founded in 1892, The Union Mission Ministries, a 501 C-3 non profit Christian organization is the largest provider of homeless services in the Hampton Roads region sheltering 325+ men, women and children every night of the year. In over 123 years the ministry has never received any state or federal funding but relies solely on the generosity of individuals, churches, businesses and other organizations. Donations of food, clothing, bedding, toiletries, furniture and household goods are needed and are provided to the homeless and poor free of charge. 100% of the proceeds of items sold in our Thrift Store come back into the ministry. The Mission has a no-debt policy and raised over $15M in its first ever Capital Campaign to build a new Men's Shelter to be dedicated on June 6th. The new facility will provide enough beds so no one has to sleep on the floor. (Today 115-125 men sleep on mats on the floor nightly and women and children are turned away daily for lack of beds). Once complete the former men's shelter will be renovated to become a Women and Children’s Shelter more than doubling capacity for single women and women with children, the fastest growing population of homeless in our country today.
What products or services do you offer companies or individuals?
A Men’s Shelter and a Women and Children's Shelter provides three meals a day, (5,000 per week), 365 days a year, toiletries, showers, clean clothing, job and life skills training in computer skills, the culinary arts, laundry services, warehousing, landscaping, retail and maintenance as well as classes in budgeting and finance, parenting and Bible studies for those in residing in the shelters. In partnership with area providers, a Wellness Program, through a grant from the Sentara Health Foundation, provides for beds set aside in each shelter for those coming out of the hospital or are ill, prescription medications, wellness education and transportation to doctors visits. A Community Assistance Program provides food, clothing, furniture, household goods, and financial assistance to hundreds of poor in the community every year. In 2014, 870 poor families received baskets of food and turkeys and 658 needy children received toys for Christmas. A Retail Training Center provides meaningful work in the Thrift Store and repair shop. Camp Hope Haven, an outreach of The Union Mission provides a week long, overnight summer experience to over 640 children every summer, absolutely free and Hope Haven Children's Home provides a loving Christian home to children from troubled families. There are many volunteer opportunities for individuals and businesses to become involved throughout the year.
What are the greatest obstacles and/or challenges that your business has faced? How have you and your business overcome them?
Two major challenges: Operational funding due to the downturn of the economy with the challenge to provide for the hundreds of people in our care daily and awareness in the community of all the services The Union Mission provides. To overcome these issues we reach out to the community through the media speaking on community awareness programs, radio traffic spots, billboards, social media, direct mail marketing, through speaking engagements in churches, civic organizations, community fairs at businesses and colleges, providing tours and holding luncheons at our facilities and through various fundraisers we hold along with those other organizations hold for us. All have helped bring awareness which in turn helps with financial and gift-in-kind donations.
What accomplishments are you most proud of?
Providing hope and a better future for thousands of marginalized homeless and hurting men, women and children in our community and changing lives for eternity through sharing the Gospel of Christ with those who are lost.
What do you see for the future of your business?
Why are you a member of the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce?
We value our membership and the opportunities it has provided to get our message before the public and private sector and to be a valued partner with other member businesses and organizations in the Hampton Roads community.