Thanks to You 217,725 Meals were Served in 2013
Thanks to the wonderful support of our donors and volunteers, 217,725 meals were served to the homeless and people in need in 2013. This represents a 10% increase in demand for meals from 2012. Union Gospel Mission also provided 2,283 food boxes, over 5,000 gallons of coffee and 103,919 snacks in our day room for our homeless guests. In October 2013, along with other Missions around the country, Union Gospel Mission conducted a survey of our guests that accessed our survey. While not a scientific survey, it did provide a picture of the lives of those we serve. We were able to compare the statistics of Union Gospel Mission Portland to the composite results of Missions across the United States and parts of Canada. While Union Gospel Mission of Portland's numbers aligned with the nation for the most part, there were a few exceptions. At Union Gospel Mission in Portland we have a higher percentage of long term homeless, meaning those who have been homeless for than a year, 64% versus 30% in the national result. The homeless guests at our Mission also experience a higher level of physical violence 42% of the guests surveyed our Mission experienced physical violence in the past year, versus 19% in the national composite result. More of the homeless we serve struggle with mental illness, 51% at Portland's Union Gospel Mission versus 31% nationwide. Union Gospel Mission of Portland is serving more veterans from the Iraq/Afghanistan war. Of the veterans surveyed, 23% served during the Iraq/Afghanistan war, compared to 8% in the national composite survey.
We are very thankful for the donors, volunteers and supporters that make it possible to serve those who are homeless and struggling. We are humbled and grateful for the prayers, time and treasure given to allow us to serve meals and give care to those most in need.