What We Do

Utica, NY

The Challenge

Utica might have more nicknames than any other American city. From the 1930s through 1950s, corrupt leadership led to the nickname “Sin City.” When industry and employment collapsed during the post-WWII years, we were known as “The City that God Forgot.” As our population plummeted in the late 20th century, residents put bumper stickers on their cars declaring, “Last One Out of Utica, Please Turn Out The Lights.”

Well, the lights are still on, but we’ve still got some problems. Almost 1 in 3 people (30.1%) in Utica live below the poverty level (compared to 14.9% overall in New York state). Our per capita income is a measly $17,775 — barely more than half the state average of $32,104. And the number of homeless people in Utica and Oneida County is on the rise — about a 15% jump from last year to now. About 30,000 people in Oneida struggle with hunger on a daily basis.

Our Calling

God calls us to reach out to these neighbors in need. At the Rescue Mission of Utica, our calling comes straight from Scripture: 

“To share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter — when you see the naked, to clothe him.”
Isaiah 58:6-7

Utica has a couple of newer nicknames that we’re proud of. Because more and more immigrants have settled into our community in recent decades, the United Nations called us “The Town that Loves Refugees.” That’s nice, but we’ve really embraced the nickname that came from Reader’s Digest: “The Second Chance City.” That’s a great description of the Rescue Mission of Utica, too. We’re a source of second chances, a place where people can come to start over and find new beginnings.

a portrait of William Chisem for Rescue Mission of Utica, NY

Transforming Lives

Our Solution

Your support of the Rescue Mission equips us to reach out to men, women, children, and families with the Good News while meeting physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and practical needs. Your support results in transformed lives and hope for the future.

We Do This Through Our

  • Emergency Shelter 

    Providing safe lodging, meals, clothing, counseling and more.

  • Addiction Stabilization Center

    A 25 bed faith based Residential Stabilization Service regulated by the New York State Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services for adult men and women with Substance Use Disorder.

  • Residential Aftercare Program 

    A six to nine month Christian discipleship program offering men a safe environment in which to grow spiritually while healing from addiction and other destructive behaviors.

  • Enriched Living Center

    A New York State licensed, 52 single-room residential program for adult men and women with mental illness.

  • Drop In Center

    Provides services to disenfranchised individuals including: mental health, recovery, peer support, healthcare, health insurance enrollment, housing applications, job applications, and obtaining identification cards. Provides free meals, clothing, and access to the food pantry.

  • Spiritual Life Program

    Helping residents grow in the Christian faith.

  • Representative-Payee Program

    Helping meet the community’s need for reliable financial management and to assist in keeping people from homelessness due to difficulty with budgeting their money.

  • Skills for Success Job Training Program

    A construction skill building program where individuals strive to gain meaningful career opportunities and employment through a construction trades program.

  • Community Service Outreach

    Consists of our clothing closet and Butala Food Pantry. Clothing closet offers free clothing to those in need. Butala Food Pantry offers food boxes to those that qualify. One box provides 15 meals for each family member.

  • West Street Apartments

    Offering workforce housing for individuals and small families. We can provide income qualified households the opportunity to live at a reduced rent.

2023 Statistics

Through the generous support of our community, God blessed the Rescue Mission with the opportunity to serve:

Hot Meals

Homeless & Underprivileged Individuals Served

Food Boxes

Boxes Distributes to Underprivileged Families
Meals That Is Equal To

Financial Management

Individuals Assisted in our Representative-Payee Program


Individuals Volunteers
Hours of Service to the Mission

Nights of Care Provided

Addictions Stabilization Center
Parker House Aftercare Program
Enriched Living Center
Emergency Shelter







Total Units at our West Street Apartments

Apartments Features

How Your Dollar Helps


& Services

Sources of Income

Government &
Program Funding


Call us at 315.735.1645 or fill out the form below.

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Your Support Transforms the Lives of Many in Our Community!