Broad Street Ministry
Mission and History: Broad Street Ministry was founded in 2005 as a broad-minded faith community with a mission to extend inclusive hospitality and work for a more just world through civic engagement. Over time the mission evolved to include serving Philadelphians living in deep poverty who are experiencing homelessness or housing insecurity, and establishing our flagship program--the Hospitality Collaborative--to provide a welcoming epicenter of social services where guests can develop a greater sense of community while also securing some basic needs.
Programs and Activities: BSM's core values: Community, Hospitality, Collaboration, and Civic Engagement permeate through all of our programs and activities, creating a rich foundation for social impact. In addition to our flagship program, the Hospitality Collaborative, BSM engages the community through the following initiatives:
Breaking Bread: We offer seven healthful meals a week, prepared skillfully by our kitchen staff under the supervision of our head chef Steven Seibel. Meals are completely free, open to all; served in a restaurant-style setting, our Breaking Bread service coincides with other social services ranging from benefits counseling, rapid HIV/Hepatitis testing, a free clothing closet, distribution of personal care items, and more.
Mail Program: More than 2,300 persons currently receive their mail in a safe and secure fashion here at BSM thanks to our ever-growing mail program. In 2015, more than 1,400 new persons enrolled for the first time in this service providing a crucial link for those seeking public benefits, a job search, residency and the ability to stay in touch with friends, family and community supports.
315 South Café: Together with the Bethesda Project and Horizon House and supported through grants from the City of Philadelphia, BSM has hosted an overnight winter café since 2007. In 2016, the 315 South Cafe hosted more than 700 adult men and women who are "shelter resistant."
Concierges: Recognizing we are welcoming guests rather than clients, our concierge team serve as a point of welcome while also responding to the needs of case management for some of our more vulnerable guests. This new team of social workers, launched in April 2015, is already rapidly expanding as it seeks to better connect our guests to services offered on-site and throughout the community towards their goals of greater material stability, comprehensive health, social connectivity, and hope.
Worshipping Community: As an extension of our mission of hospitality and social justice, BSM welcomes any and all to our weekly worship service. Community members sit together with guests of the Hospitality Collaborative, donors, employees, and volunteers. While worship is open to all, it is not a requirement for participation in any of BSM's programs or activities. Instead, it is an opportunity to break down barriers within our city to find common ground for social change.
Youth Initiative: Designed to educate youth about issues of poverty and inspire them to take action, the Youth Initiative hosts middle school, high school, and college-aged students from the region and across the country for a week or weekend of service learning. Youth provide hands-on volunteer support for the Hospitality Collaborative and at non-profits across Philadelphia while participating in supplemental educational programming. Last year, BSM hosted 530 youth from 13 states who provided the equivalent of almost 4 years of volunteer time.