Restoring Hope, Dignity and Lives:

A History You Can Trust

Billy Sunday

June 29, 1917

Baseball hero-turned-evangelist Billy Sunday makes a contribution of $8,400 to the Buffalo Evangelistic Association, directing them to open a rescue mission. Rev. and Mrs. Edward Clark initiated City Mission Society that fall.

June 1922

City Mission Society’s board of directors purchase Fenton’s Pekin Cabaret, a former nightclub, using Billy Sunday’s gift as down payment. The Mission opens its doors June 11 to provide chapel services and meals for the homeless.


City Mission Society expands its services to include clothing and sheltering the homeless.


Women from 20 Western New York churches form a women’s auxiliary to raise funds, improve housekeeping, formalize clothing distribution and coordinate holiday events. In addition to cash, donations during this time include gifts of milk, farm produce, meat and other foods for the Mission’s dining tables and community food pantry.


With drug use and domestic violence on the rise, family homelessness becomes a nationwide concern. In 1981, the Mission opens a shelter and safe house in a Victorian house on Linwood for families victimized by fire, violence and other crises.

Linwood Shelter 1981
City Mission corner


City Mission Society (now known as Buffalo City Mission) moves into a new facility at 100 E. Tupper, where administrative offices and the Men’s Community Center are located today.


The Mission would go on to raise $1.3 million to build the initial Cornerstone Manor Women and Children’s Shelter located at 45 Carlton Street. This facility opened in October 1990 and provided emergency shelter, recovery programs and an on-site school satellite for homeless children.


In 2001, a campaign to build a new and larger facility for Cornerstone Manor begins in response to the growing number of homeless women and children in Western New York.


August 18, 2006, the new building opens its doors for its first year. Foundations, corporations, churches and individuals provided the means to raise $15 million dollars to build Buffalo City Mission’s new Cornerstone Manor for Women and Children.

Cornerstone Manor photo small 800x569

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