New York City Rescue Mission

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New York City Rescue Mission
Formation1872; 147 years ago (1872)
FounderJerry McAuley
Maria McAuley
Founded atNew York City
HeadquartersManhattan, New York City, 10013
  • 90 Lafayette St
ServicesRescue mission
Soup kitchen
Homeless shelter
Food bank
Formerly called
Helping Hand for Men
McAuley Water Street Mission

New York City Rescue Mission is the oldest operating rescue mission in the United States. The rescue mission was founded in 1872 by Jerry McAuley and his wife, Maria with the purpose of providing a soup kitchen and homeless shelter.[1][2]


Homeless was on the rise in the 1870s largely due to a wave European immigration. In 1872 investment banker, Alfrederick Smith Hatch, donated a building located on 316 Water Street to Jerry McAuley and his wife, Maria. The couple open a rescue mission called "The Helping Hand for Men".[3]

In 1912, the original building was torn down and a new four story building was erected. The shelter changed its name to the "McAuley Water Street Mission". Ten rooms were opened for men. In 1927, the John Markle dormitory was dedicated. During the 1960s, McAuley Water Street Mission moved to its current location at 90 Lafayette Street.

In 2000, the rescue mission was renamed to its current name, New York City Rescue Mission. The building began expansion for a third floor in 2011.

Since its founding the homeless shelter provided housing for men only. In 2014, the shelter opened to women after 142 years of being male exclusive. By 2015, 220 beds were available.

In 2018, the New York City Rescue Mission merged with the Bowery Mission. The two organizations "provided more than 653,500 meals, 167,300 nights of shelter, distributed 46,380 articles of clothing, and offered 1,300 on-site medical, dental and optometry exams during 2017".[4] The two missions received over 90,000 pounds of food a year from Rescuing Leftover Cuisine.[5]


  1. ^ Priscilla Pope-Levison (8 January 2015). Building the Old Time Religion: Women Evangelists in the Progressive Era. NYU Press. pp. 227–. ISBN 978-1-4798-8989-1.
  2. ^ Andrew Atherstone; David Ceri Jones (11 July 2018). The Routledge Research Companion to the History of Evangelicalism. Taylor & Francis. pp. 215–. ISBN 978-1-317-04152-8.
  3. ^ Rob Wingerter; Julie Alvis (23 August 2018). The Story of Wheeler Mission: Celebrating 125 Years of Ministry to Those in Need. AuthorHouse. pp. 38–. ISBN 978-1-5462-5199-6.
  4. ^ Clolery, Paul (2018-02-02). "Bowery Mission, homeless, merge, New York City Rescue Mission". The NonProfit Times. Retrieved 29 January 2019.
  5. ^ Beitsch, Rebecca (3 January 2019). "Fighting food waste to feed the hungry". The Bakersfield Californian. Retrieved 29 January 2019.

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