History




1953
UGM of Salem is founded by a group of Christian businessmen, beginning the mission of meeting the basic needs of the homeless and needy in Salem, Oregon.
1953
UGM begins providing nourishing meals, safe shelter and life changing programs that help men, women and children experience lasting transformations as they learn to follow Christ.
1953
George Simonka became the first Executive Director and went on to serve for 37 years.


1958
A building is acquired, which over the years will be expanded and remodeled and is the present day location for the men’s ministry.
1968
A facility is acquired to serve women and children – the first of its kind on the west coast.
1989
Upon George’s retirement, Tom Zobel becomes the second Executive Director.


1993
The Mission Store expands with a new location.
2002
Services to women and children are expanded with a new facility in nearby Keizer, Oregon (the current Simonka Place).
2008
Michael Rideout becomes the third President/CEO. Michael brings extensive experience in addiction recovery, after-care and transitional services.


2008
The Dental Clinic opens and begins providing free dental care to Mission clients.
2009
Grear Street Transitional Housing is established to provide safe, affordable housing for men as they leave the Men’s Mission and transition back into society.
2013
Restoration House, a 34-bed facility, begins providing vocational training, educational assistance and job search resources for men re-entering the community from prison or jail in Marion County.


2013
Simonka Place is expanded to alleviate persistent overcrowded conditions. The expansion provides 90 beds for women and children - an 80% increase in capacity.

Looking to the Future
Our vision is to serve with excellence in our current programs, as we also expand and improve the ministry’s addiction recovery and transitional services. Our goal is to improve the success of men and women becoming productive participating members of our community, as their lives are transformed by learning to lead Christ-centered lives.