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Who We Are

Mission & History

EUMA Mission

Rooted in God's love and care, EUMA provides life-changing opportunities for those who live at the margins of homelessness to become vital members of our community.

EUMA 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.


At your EUMA, we are working to make homelessness rare, brief and non-recurring in Northwestern PA.  

Our roots can be traced back to 1888 when the Erie United Methodist Episcopal Alliance formed as pastoral fellowship and eventual outreach.  In 1960, South East Erie Ministries (SEEM) was established to house a pre-school and facilitate outreach to 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 abused women with children. Its mission was redefined in 1989 as an emergency homeless shelter for families with children.

The Rainbow Connection Thrift Store opened shortly after in 1985 in a former gas station at 1516 Buffalo Road.

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

In recent years, your EUMA has expanded services to address critical needs in our region.

In 2014, EUMA partnered with Faith Community Nurses of NW PA to establish Healthcare for the Homeless Partnership (HC4HP), a program centered on collaboration with other organizations to provide integrated healthcare and social services to those who are homeless or at-risk.

EUMA’s leadership reimagined existing programs in 2017, establishing our Rapid Re-Housing program to help homeless individuals and families find a home and provide supportive services to keep them there. We also began offering several low-income housing units to those who have experienced homelessness.

In 2018, Our Neighbors’ Place Seasonal Shelter – an existing community effort to ensure everyone has a warm, safe place to sleep during Erie’s winter season – became an EUMA program.

Our Impact This Year

  • Adults and children sheltered


  • Bed nights provided by Our Neighbors' Place


  • Veterans exiting to permanent housing


  • People rapidly re-housed


© 2023 Erie United Methodist Alliance

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