Founded in 1878
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About Us

History

Helping the HUNGRY, Homeless and Hurting

Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission was established with a simple goal in mind: to serve breakfast every Sunday to Philadelphia’s poor and homeless while sharing with them the love of Jesus Christ. Since the Mission’s founding in 1878, Sunday Breakfast has grown to be the largest emergency homeless shelter in Philadelphia, and the only provider of the three free meals a day, 365 days a year to homeless men, women, and children. Sunday Breakfast has become a safe haven for the homeless community by ministering to the mind, body, and spirit of anyone who walks through our doors.

1878

Well-known businessmen John Wanamaker (Wanamaker’s Department Store); John B. Stetson (Stetson Hat Co.); W. Atlee Burpee (Burpee Seed Co.); and former Gov. James Pollock established the Sunday Breakfast Association. More than 250 men attended the first meeting at 11th and Wood streets, where they were served a hot cup of coffee and a roll before church.

1879

More than 500 men attend the Sunday Breakfast Association meetings weekly. This inspires the founders to start a Bible study, and form a committee to find ways to lodge and assist the homeless.

1908

The Sunday Breakfast Association hosts The New Year’s Dinner with 1,200 guests.

1929

The radio ministry begins, and each Sunday a service is broadcasted on WPEN.

1930’s

To accommodate the victims of The Great Depression, the board purchases a building at 1120 Vine Street to house more people in need.

1942

The Mission moved to 6th and Vine streets. This building contained 800 beds, and became the largest gospel rescue mission on the East Coast. Other features included a chapel, an industrial work area, a playground for neighborhood children, and a thrift store for families.

1950s-1960s

Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission continues to welcome guests of all ethnic backgrounds, despite racial tensions running high in America.

Founded in 1878, we have reached out to the homeless in Philadelphia for more than 140 years.

1973

The building at 6th and Vine streets closed to make way for city improvements and the construction of the Vine Street Expressway. At that time, the Mission moved to its current location at 302 N. 13th Street.

1991

The long-term Overcomer Program, a recovery program for homeless men, is established. The goal of the program is to encourage men in their walk with the Lord, while equipping them with the practical life skills they need to be self-sufficient individuals and positive contributors to society.

1992

Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission opens Wayne Hall – a safe house for women and children living in poverty.

1996

The BeeHive and BeeHive Too Thrift Stores open in the North East region of the city.

2009

Penndel Thrift Store opens in Bucks County, making this the third thrift store owned by Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission.

2015

In partnership with The Asian Arts Initiative, Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission builds an urban farm at its emergency shelter at 13th and Vine streets. The farm helps provide fresh fruits and vegetables for meals served at the Mission.

2019

Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission commits to becoming a 21-Century, 5-Star Ministry serving the Philadelphia’s hungry, homeless, and hurting.

The Mission closes its thrift stores because they were no longer profitable, and resources needed to be invested in the Mission’s programs. The Overcomer Program is redesigned to better meet the needs of the Mission’s guests, and relaunched as the Next Level Transitional Housing Program

Unconditional Giving

Next Level Transitional Housing

In addition to meeting basic life needs for men, the Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission enables those men who are committed to a positive life change to address their problems through a 12-month transitional housing program

Group Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteer opportunities for groups with Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission take place at our Center City and Germantown locations.

Get Help Now

Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission would like to come alongside you in this difficult stage of life. Be sure to visit the Mission at 13th and Vine or call our Homeless Services Team at (215) 922-6400 ext. 1050.

Financial Transparency

Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission is committed to transparency in our daily operations, as we seek to be wise stewards on behalf of our donors.

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