About Us

Our Origins

Founded in 1989, the New Orleans Mission provided Shelter, Food, and Spiritual guidance to a growing number of homeless men who were living on the streets of our city.

Today, the Mission is the largest faith-based private service provider to the homeless population of the greater New Orleans area and the economically disadvantaged residents of Central City.

Our core value is about changing lives and leading people to a loving relationship with Jesus Christ. We do this through a variety of programs and services that are designed to holistically meet the mental, physical, social, and spiritual needs of the individuals we serve.

 Our strategy is to RESCUE people from homelessness, strengthen the RECOVERY efforts of the people seeking our, and fostering their successful RE-ENGAGEMENT into society as healthy, disciplined skilled people ready to lead a sustainable productive purpose-driven life.



The Mission is serving more people than ever before. They’re receiving services that are helping them address the physical, social, mental and spiritual areas of their life. This is all being done through the Mission’s intentionality with three “R’s”:

RESCUE: Rescuing the homeless…Providing Shelter, Food, & Clothing

New Orleans still has one of the highest per capita rates of homelessness in the nation with 46.9 homeless people per 10,000 residents. The high rate of homelessness in New Orleans is due to a lack of affordable housing, extreme poverty conditions, unlivable wages, and substance abuse. We literally rescue people who are living on the streets of the city, in abandoned buildings, or in their cars. Our initial focus is on spiritual growth and physical wellness, so that men and women coming into the Mission can begin to hope again for a better life and have the opportunity to receive medical services and take care of their health issues.

We provide 24/7 safe and secure Emergency shelter to anyone over 18 regardless of race, ethnicity, religious background, or sexual preference. They receive three meals/seven days a week, clothing, and free onsite medical services while being connected to mainstream social services. Our daily bed capacity for men is 251 (including beds at GHR, our North shore campus), 32 beds for women, and 32 beds for transitional housing. The Mission is a designated Emergency Response Center and has a capacity to serve up to 400 during a hurricane or freeze nights. Johnny Lonardo, COO/ Ministry Director, launched America’s only live radio rescue program on June 6, 2016 called Desperate Reality-Facing the Truth.

RECOVERY: Healing Hearts & Changing Lives

The Discipleship Program is designed to holistically meet the mental, physical, social, and spiritual needs of the participants. The holistic approach of our structured year-long Discipleship Program promotes a strong mind, body, soul connection that helps to balance all aspects of a person’s life. Formerly homeless men and women, at risk youth 18-24, and substance abusers enrolled in our programs are learning to use everyday choices to take charge of their health and well-being and are encouraged to keep a positive mindset. Disciples have mentors who walk alongside them, empowering them to face their fears, surrender, and trust God’s spirit within us to guide their actions.

Our weekly bible studies, chapel services, small groups, one-on-one counseling, and phase classes are helping people experience the unconditional love and forgiveness of our Lord, Jesus Christ, which ultimately leads to a healed heart over the twelve months of the program. Personal experience has taught us that until a person experiences a healed heart, permanent recovery is not possible; becoming a disciple is the first step to a life-altering transformation.

RE-ENGAGEMENT: Maximizing Potential...A Road Map to the Future

This is a transitional period for graduates of our Discipleship Program that sets us apart from other shelters and agencies that help the homeless and hurting people in our city. Successful re-engagement into society is the result of the educational classes offered, the empowerment, the spiritual chapel services, and the vocational training we provide disciples throughout the year.

For some, graduation is a celebration of freedom—taking back control of their life that was held hostage during years of abuse. Families are being reconnected. Others sense a “calling” to ministry and join our Master’s Program for another year of service while honing skills in leadership. Our graduates are encouraged to set goals and create a plan that will maximize their employment potential and provide a sustainable future. They receive transitional housing for up to six months; during this time, we provide job-readiness training, computer training, develop effective resumes, and provide tutors and classes to help those pass the HiSet (GED) exam if they didn’t graduate from high school. Our Transitional Director takes on the role of a case manager and works with each graduate to assess his/her situation and focuses on overcoming their obstacles. Those who can work may already be enrolled in our Divine Staffing Program.