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Housing the Homeless and Sharing the Gospel in Chicago - The Pacific Garden Mission

Updated on April 26, 2011

The Pacific Garden Mission

Hope For The Homeless

The Pacific Garden Mission in Chicago, Illinois, is often referred to as "The Old Lighthouse" and for very good reason. It has been a beacon to many whose lives been tossed to and fro on the oceans of life - not knowing which direction to turn. It has led many to a place of refuge, safety and hope.

After opening it's doors in 1877, the Old Lighthouse has been more than just a mission. People who come to its doorsteps are met with warm smiles and a place to rest at the end of the day. Medical and dental care are provided free of charge to those who need it, and hot meals satisfy their hunger. Also, they are given hope for their future by hearing sound instruction and direction which helps them get back into life and on their own. Ultimately, the mission helps people find the real answer to all of the problems in life - a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Pacific Garden Mission

Touching Lives - Changing Lives

The Pacific Garden Mission is the oldest continuously running mission in the country. Countless lives have been touched by their various ministry outreaches in some form or another. Only God knows what seeds have been planted and only in eternity will those who have served be able to reap the boundless benefits and blessings due to them.

More than 166,000 people in Chicago are homeless in a year's time. The mission reaches out to the homeless in Chicago providing sleeping accommodations for the night, delicious hot meals, and other resources if the need arises.

The various ministries of the Old Lighthouse include but are not limited to, a men's division, a women's division, a jail ministry, medical clinic, Polish ministry, Bible education and food distribution in Chicago's housing projects.

The Gospel League Home houses women overnight who need accommodations as well as more long-term shelter for women and children who need it.


The Gospel League Home for Women & Children

Ministering to Men

When a man walks into the Pacific Garden Mission, he is greeted warmly and then interviewed to find out his specific needs. He is then given nightly accommodations which include a hot shower, a hot meal and a place to sleep and sleep wear. If determined by the interview, he may also receive clothing and medical assistance.

Medical Clinic

At PGM's medical clinic, as many as 500 patients a month are treated from everything to a cold to terminal diseases such as AIDS for free of charge. Highly educated doctors volunteer their services in the areas of medical, dental, and optical. Other clinic services provided are a psychiatric clinic, counseling, CPR training, crisis pregnancy counseling and vaccinations.

Jail Ministry

Another ministry provided by PGM is reaching out to disciple those who have found themselves in trouble with the law. The outreach distributes free Bibles to inmates, conducts Bible studies and offers sound instruction that wil help them to re-enter society.


Another unique and intriguing ministry provided by The Old Lighthouse is a wonderful and exiting radio drama called UNSHACKLED!

UNSHACKLED! is true accounts of how people's lives have been changed after putting their faith in Jesus Christ. Some of these changes are drastic!

UNSHACKLED! may be heard on radio stations all over the world and is broadcasted over 6,500 times a week, and is heard in seven different languages. UNSHACKLED! may also be heard online.

Listen now to UNSHACKLED! and hear stories of people that have been delivered from drugs, saved from suicide and many other dramatic interventions.

Site of the Pacific Garden Mission in Chicago and Driving Directions

pacific garden mission Chicago:
Pacific Garden Mission Clinic, 646 S State St, Chicago, IL 60605, USA

get directions


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    • Andy Lee Lawson profile image

      Andrew Lawson 

      3 years ago from Knoxville, TN

      I've listened to Unshackled. The programs are obviously amateur but nothing short of sincere. To some, I think they sound narrow-minded, but I think the love in their intention is obvious. Thank you for bringing this ministry to light. Their work is commendable.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Just to wholeheartedly echo what Chemwile and Ambrose mentioned above


      This is a very compelling program that enriches all of us. Shows the Almighty God's providence through His only begotten Son Jesus Christ. Shows His mercy and lovingkindness to even those of us who would have thought that we were not good enough, for no one is good enough except through Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour"

      This is a place indeed of God's Grace and mercy. For I understand it simply depends on the donations from individuals like me and you and yet Pacific Garden Mission has been in existence for over 137 years, the largest continuously open Gospel Rescue Mission in the country. Doing all this without a dime from the government either federal, state or local! It really is the work of God for funds that run the mission are all pledged in the name of God. Great piece at WWW.PGM.ORG. May God through his Grace, and mercy continually help this pacific Garden Mission to continue its mission of responding to the great commission.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      You can watch/read what they do at . quite awesome hand of God at work.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      This is a very compelling program that enriches all of us. Shows the Almighty God's providence through His only begotten Son Jesus Christ. Shows His mercy and lovingkindness to even those of us who would have thought that we were not good enough, for no one is good enough except through Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I am searching for our brother Henry Garcia. Please visit www.helpfindhenrygarciajr.bravehost for a photo and more details and please spread the word. If you see him, let him know he is loved and missed. YOu can contact me at God Bless

    • profile image

      winfield lynch 

      8 years ago

      i am winfield lynch & i am trying to find my sister jennither lync.pleas help me.if you can find her and the little girl. you can email me at you very much

    • profile image

      winfield lynch 

      8 years ago

      i am winfield lynch & i am trying to find my sister jennither lync.

    • blessedmommy profile imageAUTHOR

      Carisa Gourley 

      9 years ago from Oklahoma City Metro, Oklahoma

      frogyfish: You can listen online too! Just follow this link...

    • frogyfish profile image


      9 years ago from Central United States of America

      The Unshackled program airs in very early night-morning hours, so I don't listen anymore - but is has been interesting for many years, and I believe it is a great mission! Thanks for writing info on it.

    • profile image

      Kyungu Lubaba Lubadi 

      9 years ago

      We have changed our adress for a while if you want to repply to our request for starting the homeless project in DRC as there is more needs please repply to us at

      Thank you

      contact 0027787713704

    • profile image

      Ps Kyungu Lubaba Lubadi 

      9 years ago

      Please how can you also start something simular here in Africa.You can chose between SouthAfrica and DRCongo or Zambia

      Please contact us at


    • profile image


      10 years ago

      When I was in military in 1960 I stayed several times and did some soul-winning.I have preached all these years and work with missions and Salvation Army.Would sure appreciate a letter and updates on your ministry.

      In Christ,

      Bro Ron Hopkins

    • profile image


      11 years ago


    • blessedmommy profile imageAUTHOR

      Carisa Gourley 

      11 years ago from Oklahoma City Metro, Oklahoma

      Thanks so much for all the comments!

      Javetta: I was so touched to read your comment. It goes to show that we may never know how lives may be impacted and changed when we do things for God. Now you are giving back that gift. That is beautiful.

    • profile image

      Javetta Cobb 

      11 years ago

      I use to listen to this show in my early teens 2o's, and it has help shaped and molded me today. I went through drastic situations in my life of abuse, loneliness, and homelessness, it helped to know that there was a way out, and a better way to live on earth with direction from God. Today I'm operating my own servantship of encouragement.

    • singingmommy profile image

      Candace Green 

      11 years ago from OKLAHOMA

      Great Hub!!!!!! I love to hear Unshackled, so many seemingly hopeless lives are changed completely. Noone has gone too far , there is HOPE for EVERYONE. Jesus Saves:.)

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Very informative hub blessedmommy. This is interesting, and personal. I am from Chicago, but I moved to Detroit when I was thirteen years old. I wasn't aware of the Pacific Garden Mission. But I can tell you that this program, and others like it, are near to my heart. Thank you for sharing this.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish MS 

      11 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      I used to listen to their ministry radio program. Some of those Unshackled broadcasts were pretty good.


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