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Mission Minded — Easter 2024

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To Our Community,

As spring breathes new life into our city and the trees begin to bloom, my thoughts turn to the promise of Easter. For all of us at The Bowery Mission, Easter is more than a holiday — it’s a powerful reminder of God’s ability to bring hope and renewal to even the darkest corners of our city. More than ever, this Easter hope is vital. Within just one year, the number of people seeking refuge in New York City shelters has surged by 53%.1

With growing demand at our Red Doors, we don’t view this statistic as a mere number. Each day, we encounter individuals behind this number — real people with faces and names, people of eternal worth who carry stories of great beauty and remarkable hardship. Many of these individuals are simply struggling to survive, facing urgent needs for food, shelter and hygiene. In the midst of such a crisis, how do we embody the hope of Easter?

Hope begins with compassion

I believe Jesus showed us the way when he dedicated himself to addressing the tangible needs of society’s most vulnerable members. Along with teaching, he healed the sick, fed the hungry, comforted the grieving and gave sight to the blind.

On Maundy Thursday, we join congregations across the city and around the world in hosting a traditional foot-washing service — a poignant reminder of Jesus’ humility and commitment to meeting people where they are, even in their most dire circumstances. When we engage in such acts of care, it is often deeply meaningful and entirely surprising. Our guests, who have grown accustomed to being scorned or rejected for their physical state or appearance, are often taken aback by the respectful and loving touch.

I’m reminded of Richard, a man who showed up severely malnourished and in financial ruin. When one of our church partners, Sister Ruth, gently encouraged him to seek further help at The Bowery Mission, Richard was moved. Why would she be so kind to someone teetering on the brink of eviction? In his own words, “her unwavering support and reassurance inspired me. I felt like I was being handed a lifeline.”

Because of Sister Ruth and the compassionate support of friends like YOU, Richard eventually enrolled in our Men’s Program where he regained his health. That was just the first step to so much more — a path toward a brighter future and true life transformation.

Richard experienced hope at The Bowery Mission.

Hope grows in community

Jesus also led by example when he combined simple acts of compassion with an invitation to form deep and meaningful relationships. Beyond meeting physical needs, His acts of healing, feeding, comforting and fellowship broke down social barriers, enabling full participation in community life.

Reflecting on Richard’s journey, I’m struck by the power of human connection. His time at The Bowery Mission was the catalyst for his transformation from isolation to a life of dignity and flourishing. Within our program, he found a family dedicated to supporting his goals and journey toward newfound independence.

At our annual graduation ceremony, I witnessed the deep bonds forged between Richard and his fellow graduates as they enjoyed time together, shared laughter and stories. I glimpsed the beating heart of The Bowery Mission — a community capable of uplifting and sustaining individuals when they feel unable to continue alone. Richard’s relationships, cultivated amidst hardship, became sources of solace and strength in his time of uncertainty. As Proverbs 17:17 teaches, “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.”

Graduates and alumni were witness to hope during the 2023 graduation.

Above: Recent graduates joined long-time alumni at an alumni meetup held at the conclusion of the 2023 graduation ceremony. 

The hope within us

I’m always seeing new life happening here at The Bowery Mission — in our guests and clients, staff and volunteers. This Easter, my prayer is that every member of The Bowery Mission community would embrace the hope of this season, finding solace and strength in Christ even in our darkest moments. In Him, we find a faithful friend who meets our deepest needs with boundless compassion and inviting us into a community of love.

During this season of new life, we’re looking forward to celebrating with our community. Our church partners, volunteers and staff will host several events at our campuses to meditate on and rejoice in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This will include reflective chapel services during Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

Our faith is the driving force behind all our work at The Bowery Mission, and it is graciously offered to all. No matter how lonely, poor, desperate, troubled, tired, hungry or sick we are, we are never beyond the reach of God’s unfailing love. Thank you for being someone who reaches our New York neighbors in need with both immediate help and life-changing hope.

Wishing you and your loved ones a joy-filled Easter, 

James Winans, CEO

“…just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” — Romans 6:4

Volunteers are a vital part in offering hope at The Bowery Mission.

Looking for ways to give back this Easter season?


Every day, The Bowery Mission serves hundreds of meals to neighbors in need, and any one of these meals can lead to a new life. Your generous compassion will keep our Red Doors open to provide meals and other critical care.


Volunteers are a vital part of The Bowery Mission! Make a difference in the lives of our neighbors in need: serve a meal, help with our clothing program or tutor a child. Learn more and sign up today.

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Individuals, employers, teams and community groups can multiply their impact in support of The Bowery Mission and the people we serve. Start your fundraiser today!


1Preliminary Mayor’s Management Report