The Mission Society began in 1812 to provide food, clothing, and other forms of material assistance to the urban poor of 19th century New York City. Over time, our outreach adapted to the evolving needs of our neighbors – from offering aid to a growing and diverse immigrant population to serving the city’s Black and Latinx communities. Two centuries later, we remain active in the lives of many New Yorkers by providing transformative educational programming for K-12 students from low-income households.
A foundational charity in New York City history, the Mission Society has been a trailblazer, engaging with the diverse population of a growing metropolis through innovative service programs. In 1965, the Minisink Townhouse opened at 646 Malcolm X Boulevard on the original site of the Cotton Club, bringing most of our educational programs under one roof and creating a vibrant community center in the heart of the neighborhood.
Today, the Mission Society is committed to ending multigenerational poverty by unlocking the potential of the city’s most underserved families. We facilitate academic enrichment, college access, and workforce development programs in Harlem and at 12 public school programs in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx. Since our founding, we have provided life-changing opportunities to over 6.5 million New Yorkers, and continue to reach approximately 5,500 children and parents each year.