Support Us Button Widget

Learn about the Wayside Christian Mission and how you can help

The nonprofit has been offering relief to Louisvillians experiencing homelessness for almost 70 years.

A twelve story brick hotel with a cross emblazoned on the front

Hotel Louisville is a multiuse space for all Louisvillians

Photo by LOUtoday

What started in 1957 with 10 beds for overnight lodging has grown into a multi-campus organization that provides hungry Louisvillians with 2,000 meals each day and houses between 500 and 600 Louisvillians each night.

That’s the daily work of Louisville’s Wayside Christian Mission, founded by Reverend Richard Anderson — a student of the Louisville Presbyterian Seminary. It was Louisville’s first rescue mission, and the first racially integrated rescue mission south of the Mason-Dixon line. Throughout the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, Wayside expanded its services, including opening a family and women’s shelter to meet rising needs.

A darkened dancefloor with wood and brick walls

Hotel Louisville’s ballroom and dancefloor have parties and musical acts on a weekly basis.

Photo by LOUtoday

The organization’s biggest expansion came in 2009 with the purchase of the 12-story Hotel Louisville (120 W. Broadway). It now fulfills a range of needs for the organization:

  • Eight floors of short- and long-term lodging
  • Meeting and banquet rooms for weddings or other private events
  • A full-service café
  • Two floors of traditional hotel rooms, proceeds benefit Wayside
  • Job opportunities for residents
  • The City’s contingency plan when all shelters become full in extreme weather

How to help

Of course, none of this is possible without a host of volunteers. Volunteers 18 and older can attend an orientation meeting at Hotel Louisville each Saturday at 10 a.m. Here’s a rundown of the services volunteers can help with:

  • Tutoring
  • Food service
  • Office assistance
  • Groundskeeping
  • Maintenance
  • Deep cleaning
  • Sorting donations

Donating your time isn’t the only way to help. Wayside Christian Mission accepts monthly donations — for context, $1.58 is enough to feed someone a hot meal.

Wayside also accepts working vehicles to add to its fleet, houses or property, corporate giving, and goods donations -- plus, diapers and other baby products are always in demand. Contact Tracy Corby at 812-251-6907 to volunteer.

More from LOUtoday