As the Great Depression gripped the country, Rev Eddie Thomas opens a soup kitchen for homeless, jobless, and destitute men in the basement of the former First Baptist Church. On cold evenings dozens of men gather for a hot meal and a message about God’s redeeming love.
The new Muncie Mission quickly expanded to offer 3 daily meals, a worship service, counseling and job referrals for the men, plus distribution of donated clothing, shoes, and household furnishings to those in desperate need.
Chloe Thomas, who had played active roles in managing the delivery of meals and clothing, is pressed into leadership of the Muncie Mission after the unexpected death of her husband Eddie.
Under Chloe’s leadership the Muncie Mission purchases a former boarding house on S Mulberry St to provide lodging for homeless men who were older, infirm, or unable to support themselves. Meals and worship, plus clothing and furniture distribution continues from the nearby church basement.
With the old church now slated for demolition, the Muncie Mission secures a lease of the Dixie Hotel, across the street from the Mulberry boarding house. The hotel offers individual and dormitory-style sleeping rooms, plus crucial kitchen, dining, and chapel spaces.
The Mission Board of Directors celebrates securing a new truck for circulating food, clothing, and furnishings from donors to families in need.
The Muncie Mission joins the war effort, planting Victory Gardens and collecting scrap metal, rubber, paper, and rags for salvage. Meal counts drop as young men are drafted into the armed services and older men take up factory jobs in local industries.
The Muncie Mission Women’s Auxiliary is organized to raise funds and support important projects. Over the next 40 years the women would purchase hundreds of items from bedsheets to kitchen appliances and host wonderful Christmas and birthday parties for the men.
Upon the passing of Chloe Thomas, Charles Reece is called to become the third director of the Muncie Mission.
After exploring several options, the Muncie Mission purchases and moves to the former Eagles Lodge located at 520 S High Street. The two buildings that had served the Mission for more than 30 years were razed to provide additional parking for Ball Stores.
The Mission purchases an adjacent warehouse building to house the New Life Recycling Center and Attic Window Thrift Store, operations that generate revenue to support programs and services for those in need.
Ray Raines follows the retiring Charles Reece as the fourth director of the Muncie Mission.
The Attic Window Thrift Store moves to a former Marsh grocery property at the corner of Liberty and Memorial. Over the next 2 decades growth would lead to expansion stores opening on the north side of Muncie, and in Winchester, Hartford City, and New Castle.
Muncie Mission dedicates the newly constructed New Life Recycling Center and Attic Window Thrift Store at the Liberty and Memorial location, increasing capacity for these business enterprises by three-fold.
Following decades of planning, and a successful, multi-year capital campaign, the new Muncie Mission residential facility opens on Liberty Street with housing for up to 100 men.
Fire! A devastating fire engulfs the residential areas on the 4th of July. 61 current residents are evacuated and moved to a make-shift dorm in the adjacent New Life Center. An outpouring of community support from churches and concerned citizens keeps the men fed for months while the building is rebuilt.
Upon the retirement of Ray Raines after 29 years of leadership, Frank Baldwin becomes the fifth director of the Muncie Mission.
Muncie Mission begins acquiring and renovating adjacent houses for development of a sober-living, recovery village – transitional homes for men who have completed the residential addictions recovery program.
Beauty for Ashes, a transitional home for women located in Alexandria, becomes an affiliated ministry of the Muncie Mission, marking the first housing for women in the organization’s history.
Muncie Mission assumes management of The HUB, our community’s multi-agency outreach center providing showers, laundry, and counseling services to the homeless who are sleeping in cars, encampments, or abandoned buildings.
The Muncie Mission Clinic opens offering free basic healthcare for persons living in poverty who lack insurance or the ability to meet high deductible costs, and those with unresolved legal or documentation issues.