Union Mission’s Annual Fundraiser Exceeds $250,000

Staff Report From Savannah CEO

Friday, June 21st, 2019

Thanks to the support of the business community, key individuals, government officials and volunteers, Union Mission raised more than $250,000 at the 4thAnnual Raising Hope, the organization’s largest fundraising event of the year, on May 9 at the Hyatt Regency Savannah.

The event, presented by Nine Line Apparel and Oliver Maner LLP, was emceed by Rabbi Robert Haas, leader of Congregation Mickve Israel and featured a video highlighting the life-changing impact Union Mission has had on homeless members of our community.

“Raising Hope is a significant source for the $860,000 raised annually within the community to support the local, state and federal programs administered by Union Mission” said Michael Traynor, Chairman of the Union Mission Board of Directors.

Union Mission recognized two long-time community advocates, Don and Kaye Kole, as the 2019 Honorees. The Koles involvement with Union Mission spans nearly three decades. In 2007, the Don & Kaye Kole Center was established to provide those experiencing homelessness with a place of refuge. The center (now serving as the Magdalene Project) currently provides emergency accommodations to homeless women and their children.

“Their continued involvement with our organization allows us to serve our clients year after year” said Executive Director Patricia Youngquist. “The Magdalene Project serves about 150 women and their children annually.”

The event also featured Richard Berry, former Mayor of Albuquerque, NM, for the keynote address. Berry has years of experience and success implementing innovative strategies to reduce homelessness. As a two-term Mayor, Berry advanced initiatives to provide daily work and housing for the homeless; programs he respectively named “There’s A Better Way” and “Albuquerque Heading Home.” Berry praised Union Mission for their cutting edge efforts to improve the current state of homelessness in Savannah and encouraged the 400 philanthropy-minded community members in attendance to continue helping those most in need.

Union Mission estimates that on any given night there are between 750 and 1,000 individuals experiencing homelessness in our community. While the work continues, the need to support Savannah’s homeless population is great.

In 2018, Union Mission was able to make the following local community impact:

  • 95,733 client meals were provided

  • 286 clients utilized our Emergency Services Program

  • 277 clients were served in Permanent Supportive Housing

  • 257 clients were placed in safe/stable housing

  • 140 clients with HIV/AIDS were provided Permanent Supportive Housing

  • 133 clients received Mental Health Services from licensed clinicians