The Bowery Mission, New York City Rescue Merge

(This story was updated to discuss financial aspects of the merger.)

Two of New York City’s oldest rescue missions are merging. The Bowery Mission and New York City Rescue Mission have a combined 300 years of service to the homeless and hungry.

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.

The Bowery Mission President and CEO David P. Jones will lead the combined organizations. Craig A. Mayes, Ph.D., chief executive officer of New York City Rescue Mission, will become chief of staff at the joined organization. Three board members from New York City Rescue Mission will join the board at The Bowery Mission, bringing that number to 17, said James Winans, chief development officer at The Bowery Mission.

According to the organization’s federal Form 990, in fiscal 2015 The Bowery Mission had revenue of $14.3 million, down roughly $8.8 million from the previous filing. It had a gain on the sale of its administrative headquarters building of $8,267,429.  This sale made up the majority of its “investment income” of $9,477,996 in that year, and revenue exceeded expenses by $9,025,545 in that year.

New York City Rescue Mission had revenue of $5.09 million and an operating deficit of $686,770 with net assets of $11 million.

Branding is the next step with both organizations getting under The Bowery Mission umbrella, said Winans. For now, both will retain separate nonprofit status. Donors to both organizations have kept their gift level and “been putting those gifts together,” he said.

There are more than 63,000 people homeless in New York City, nearly one in every 130 New Yorkers. The number of homeless New Yorkers sleeping in city shelters has increased 71 percent in 10 years, according to data from The Bowery Mission. “A challenge as big as homelessness in New York City demands a unified response,” said Jones.

“Together, The Bowery Mission and New York City Rescue Mission will be able to say ‘yes’ to more people more often with better services, to have a greater impact collectively than we do alone.” Mayes said community collaboration is vital. “Only with the help of our community, can we support our struggling neighbors in overcoming the cycle of poverty and homelessness,” Mayes said.