Our Vision and Mission
Xavier Mission strives for a future where all people, regardless of economic status, are treated with dignity and respect and are given the opportunity to realize their goals.
We welcome those who are economically disadvantaged into a supportive community. We serve our guests with dignity, empower them to achieve self-sufficiency, and advocate for social justice.
We provide basic needs (food, clothing, shelter) as well as opportunities to achieve stability (life-skills training, mentoring, financial assistance).
Xavier Mission has its origins in the parish community of the Church of St. Francis Xavier. Our roots date back to early outreach efforts to mid-19th century immigrants on New York’s Lower East Side. In the 1980s, in response to the crises of hunger and homelessness evident in the surrounding neighborhood, the parish opened its doors and began offering services to those in need. The Welcome Table soup kitchen began in 1983, and the food pantry, clothing room, and shelter followed soon after. Xavier was one of the first churches in the city to respond to Mayor Ed Koch’s call to the faith-based community to assist with the issue of homelessness.
In 1995 we welcomed the Education Outreach Program (now called the Life-Skills Training & Empowerment Program, or L-STEP), a collaboration of Catholic Charities and the Interfaith Assembly on Homelessness and Housing, to offer mentoring and support for homeless individuals.
In 2012, Xavier Mission Inc. officially incorporated as an independent organization.
In recent years, we have expanded our services to include a Financial Assistance Program primarily for those facing eviction due to rent arrears and, when possible, for those who are struggling to pay basic needs such as utilities and phone services.
In addition to our six outreach programs, we also run several projects throughout the year, including our Fresh Food Project to bring fresh produce to our food pantry; a Thanksgiving meal delivery to homebound individuals; and the Giving Tree collection during the Christmas season to benefit our Clothing Room.