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About Us

EUMA's Mission

Erie United Methodist Alliance is ending homelessness in Northwest Pennsylvania by making it rare, brief and one-time, as Jesus would. 



EUMA's Core Values

By the grace of God, we are called by God, under the leadership of Christ to:

PARTNERING - We work cooperatively with local churches [and the community] to meet human needs as directed by God.

WITNESS/SERVICE - Sharing God’s love needs to be lived out, not only in words but in service to others.

COMPASSION - We recognize the sacredness of all persons believing that everyone deserves to be served with compassion and honesty.

STEWARDSHIP - We honor God by the responsible use of the talents and resources He has given us.

ACCOUNTABILITY - We answer to God and to each other for all decisions and actions we take.



EUMA's History

Since 1888, the Erie United Methodist Episcopal Alliance formed to provide pastoral fellowship and form new churches committed to caring for those newly arriving in the area.  In 1960, South East Erie Ministries (SEEM) was established to house a pre-school and facilitate outreach to those living in public housing units. SEEM was renamed the Erie United Methodist Alliance and was granted 501 c (3) nonprofit status in 1974.

The Refuge was EUMA’s first dedicated shelter program, opening in 1984 as a shelter for women with children fleeing domestic violence. In 1989, based on a growing need, The Refuge was converted to 34 bed emergency homeless shelter for families with children.

In 1985, the Rainbow Connection Thrift Store located at 1516 Buffalo Road was opened to provide clothing, household items, furniture and small appliances to our neighbors in need.

In 2001, EUMA teamed up with the Veteran’s Administration and HUD (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development) to open Liberty House a 10-bed transitional housing program in Erie County specifically for homeless Veterans.

In recent years, EUMA has expanded services to address critical needs in our region including piloting Healthcare for the Homeless Partnership that integrated housing and healthcare.

EUMA’s leadership reimagined existing programs in 2017, and committed to a Housing First methodology. In response EUMA became the largest Rapid Re-Housing program in Erie County helping our homeless neighbors find, pay for and stay permanently housed. Additionally, EUMA converted our existing transitional housing apartments into permanent housing and today have preserved and rehabilitated 32 units of safe, affordable and supportive permanent housing in The City of Erie. All units are occupied by individuals at risk of homelessness or who have experienced a housing crisis.  

In 2018, EUMA welcomed local church coordinators of Our Neighbors’ Place (ONP) Seasonal Shelter as part of the EUMA family of ministries. ONP is Erie County’s shelter of last resort and is committed to providing adults, regardless of how they show up, with a warm, safe place to sleep during Erie’s winter season.

In partnership with Family Services of NW PA and Bethesda Lutheran Services, EUMA began the Journey Home program that provides youth aging out of foster care with independent and supportive living apartments. These traditional apartments and the supportive living environment EUMA provides helps them learn to live independently after turning 18. At all supportive living sites, an EUMA live-in resident assistant provides safety, security and is a partner in helping youth navigate life on their own.

In April of 2023, EUMA purchased properties located at 9th and Liberty Streets in Erie to include the former Quinn Funeral Home. To accommodate a growing ministry EUMA moved its organizational headquarters to this location to accommodate a growing team and provide EUMA’s staff, volunteers, stakeholders and others with a place to meet, fellowship and work to end homelessness in NW Pennsylvania.

Our Impact This Year

  • Adults and children sheltered


  • Bed nights provided by Our Neighbors' Place


  • Veterans exiting to permanent housing


  • People rapidly re-housed


© 2024 Erie United Methodist Alliance

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