Wayside Christian Mission engages in several socially-significant enterprises.
These endeavors are fueled by two needs:
1) to raise the revenue needed for shelter operations, and 2) to provide job training opportunities for our clients.
Wayside Christian Mission acquired Hotel Louisville at a foreclosure auction on May 26, 2009. Although the facility was much larger than what was needed for our women’s operations, we were unable to locate suitable property elsewhere. Soon after we moved into the facility, it was apparent the sizable utility costs would require additional funding if we were to remain at this location. We began to take in travelers for lodging.
Soon after, groups who had held banquets previously at the Hotel started to ask us to reopen the ballrooms. We also decided to reopen the cafe in the lobby of the Hotel. A Snack Shop was opened across from the front desk in order to provide snacks and drinks to guests and clients alike.
Today, all these components of Hotel Louisville provide a revenue stream with which to fund the costs of the building as well as to subsidize the shelter. Additionally, the Hotel operation provides job training in the hospitality industry for our homeless clients.
Wayside Christian Mission operates a thrift store at 9125 Galene Drive Monday through Sunday. This retail operation depends upon donations from the public and accepts clothing, furniture, household goods, sporting equipment, appliances, collectibles, and many other items. Proceeds from the thrift store are used to operate the shelter.
Additionally, operating the thrift store allows us to always have clothing available at no cost for our clients. When our clients are finally able to move into their own apartment, we also provide furniture and household goods at no cost, when available. Men and women in our work therapy program participate in the thrift store operations, learning employable skills.
In the lobby of the Hotel, a full-service cafe provides a complimentary breakfast to Hotel guests and full lunch and supper service to the public in general. The Cafe happily sports a University of Louisville Cardinals theme, although it has included a Kentucky Wildcats corner in the rear.
Service is cafeteria-style during lunch and features a steam table of great food. Special plates are available, along with short orders. Ordering for supper is from the menu. Curb service is available from 11 AM to 8 PM. Again, men and women in the Mission’s work therapy program staff the cafe, providing job training. All proceeds help to fund the shelter.
Wayside Christian Mission operates dances on the weekend at Hotel Louisville, with all proceeds being used to help operate the recovery programs. Dancing on Broadway provides a fun way to raise funds for the Mission. Most importantly, it has proven to draw in new donors and friends of the Mission.