At Buffalo City Mission’s Cornerstone Manor Women and Children’s Shelter, and at our Men’s Center, we first provide folks with the relief of a good meal, refreshing shower and clean bed—then we begin to help rebuild and reshape their lives through recovery and a relationship with God.
Often, individuals and families have cycled in and out of homelessness for years, driven by addiction, wrong relationships, financial problems and poor job skills. Our resident recovery programs recognize it can take months of extensive counseling, study and guidance to help men, women and children through the recovery process.
Residents take advantage of life-skills classes in budgeting, nutrition, decision-making, setting goals, anger management, addiction relapse prevention and more to stabilize and prepare to live independently. One-on-one counseling combined with support groups and Bible study help each individual replace old, destructive habits with new attitudes of responsibility, accountability and self-confidence.
Throughout recovery, we also encourage residents to identify and deal with physical and mental health issues that, without treatment, may inhibit their ability to realize their full potential.
Our staff is committed to assist each resident with rehabilitation, relapse prevention, reconciliation with family, spiritual maturity, education and job skills training, medical and mental health treatment and any other issues that may stand in the way of recovery.
Meals—Turning Hunger into Hope
When homeless and needy men, women and children come through our doors, the first thing we do is invite them to join us for a nourishing meal.
Over the years we’ve learned the importance of a good meal. When all a man can think about is the hunger pain in his stomach … when all a mother can think about is that her children haven’t eaten a decent meal in two days … he or she can’t begin to put life in order.
That’s why we provide three free meals a day, 365 days a year, at our Men’s Center and Cornerstone Manor Women and Children’s Shelter for people on our resident recovery programs and homeless from the streets.
We serve a total of nearly 200,000 meals each year in our dining halls.
It’s not easy to walk into an emergency shelter for the first time. But life’s circumstances often force homeless men, women and children to swallow both pride and fear in order to escape the dangers of the streets or abusive relationships.
Both Buffalo City Mission Men’s Center and our women and children’s shelter, Cornerstone Manor, offer clean, comfortable and secure refuge for the homeless, whether for a single night or several weeks. Guests also find plenty of clean clothing, hot showers and nutritious food to sustain them during their stay. Case managers provide extra assistance with referrals for medical help, subsidized housing and other social service agencies.
Free medical care is offered to homeless and indigent men at our Men’s Center. Women and children participating in our recovery program are cared for by doctors and nurses in our free clinic housed in the new Cornerstone Manor, our shelter for women and children.
Among homeless women and children, viral illnesses such as colds, flu and bronchitis top the list of ailments. Oftentimes, homeless kids haven’t had proper health care or vaccinations. Our volunteer staff is able to help parents with vaccinations, feeding problems and minor illnesses. At the Men’s Center, we provide physical screenings that include immunizations, testing for HIV, hepatitis, tuberculosis, anemia and diabetes.
Both clinics also focus on teaching preventive health care and make referrals for mental health issues and further medical treatment.
Referrals to other support services
Many homeless guests and residents need extensive assistance with legal, medical, financial and other challenges that have become barriers to recovery.
Our case managers and counselors are equipped with referrals to local social service agencies for extra help with housing, medical care, legal counsel, financial assistance and counseling.
We believe many of the homeless suffer from more than physical hunger—they experience spiritual hunger, too.
For these, the chapels in both our Men’s Community Center and Cornerstone Manor women and children’s shelter are places of comfort and redemption. Our staff and volunteers provide daily messages that offer new and abundant life through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. As guests and residents attend services regularly, they learn new ways to cope through God’s power rather than their own.
We are thankful for the scores of churches that provide chapel throughout each month and pour into the lives of our guests and residents.
Sunday morning worship is not held at any of our shelter facilities; shelter guests are encouraged to attend Sunday morning worship at a local church.
Buffalo City Mission also employs ordained chaplains and lay ministers who serve as case managers. Individual prayer is incorporated from the first personal intake interview and throughout each person’s stay with us. Every meal begins with prayer led by one of our chaplains, assigned staff or volunteers.