Our Mission’s Continuum of Care

No matter where someone is in their journey with homelessness, we want to have a next step for them towards sobriety, education, employment, and housing.

At Light of Life, we are dedicated to understanding the unique needs of each individual and addressing the root cause of why they became homeless in the first place in order to provide them resources and solutions while walking alongside them with the transformative love of Christ.



"The majority of those we serve require wrap-around services as they face challenges like severe mental health issues, addiction, or trauma. We strive to understand each person's unique needs, and address the root causes of their homelessness, providing tailored steps for transformation." -Rev. Jerrel T. Gilliam, Executive Director

Tributaries of Homelessness

32% of Allegheny County's homeless have a diagnosed mental health condition. Limited access to mental health care, whether due to a lack of options for severe cases or affordability issues, leads many with mental health disabilities to forgo treatment.

The city of Pittsburgh has a deficiency of 40,000 affordable housing units for those needing low-income housing. For low-income families, there is nowhere to live.

Drug and alcohol dependency is a leading cause to an individual becoming homeless. Those experiencing trauma or mental health disabilities often turn to drugs and alcohol to cope. Pennsylvania is among the top 10 states with the highest opioid use and overdose rates.

38% of domestic violence victims become homeless at some point in their lives. 7 out of 10 women who enter Light of Life’s Emergency Shelter have been sexually or domestically abused.

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are traumatic events, such as abuse and neglect, that occur before age 18. Experiencing more ACEs increases the risk of substance use, poor mental health, and homelessness. While adults average 3 ACEs, homeless individuals often have at least 8.


Connects those facing homelessness to additional services, programs, and resources to find the best solution that fits an individual’s unique needs.


Increase of Allegheny County’s homeless population since 2022


Of Allegheny County’s homeless have been diagnosed with a mental health condition


Average number of families evicted each day in Allegheny County


Our work truly begins with the incredible efforts made by our Outreach Services. Outreach gives us the opportunity to make initial contact and directly engage with someone in need of help through our Street Outreach Team, Food Pantry, and Donation Center. From there, individuals in need can begin to receive information on next steps to access emergency services, programs, or resources.

Our Street Outreach Team directly engages those who are experiencing chronic homelessness, addiction, trauma and mental illnesses by making daily visits to encampments. By building relationships with them, we can gain a deeper understanding of their needs and ways we can help.

Our Food Pantry provides individuals and families experiencing food insecurity, as well as partner organizations the opportunity to “shop” for a variety of fresh food on a weekly basis.

Our Donation Center provides individuals and partner organizations with essential items including clothing and hygiene products. We also have a Free Store where individuals can “shop” for items they need while we offer them encouragement and resources to guide them in their journey to recovery.


Connect with a member of Light of Life’s Outreach Team to request access to Light of Life’s Services or Programs


Of the current homeless population are women and children - the fastest growing homeless population


Number of homeless students in Allegheny County reported for the 2022-2023 school year

1 IN 7

Individuals experience food insecurity in Southwestern PA


Light of Life’s Emergency Services give every man, woman, and child experiencing housing or food insecurity safe shelter, a hot meal, and opportunity for a new life of independence. We aim to provide basic needs and create opportunities for individuals to be loved well by our caring staff in hopes they will commit to entering our long-term programs, placing them on a path to life transformation.

Our Men’s Emergency Shelter provides a safe and comfortable place to sleep for those experiencing housing insecurity and opportunity to receive additional services.

Shelter+ is a 90-day shelter option for those seeking to take the next steps toward permanent housing and sobriety.

Our Women & Children’s Emergency Shelter provides a safe, healthy environment and support services for women and their children experiencing housing insecurity due to addiction, mental illness, domestic abuse, or other traumas.

90-Day Jump Start provides women an opportunity to take their next step toward long-term recovery. After 90 days, we help women enter our long-term programming, a halfway house, subsidized housing, or offer referrals to outside organizations that best suit their needs.

We believe hope starts with a meal. Those experiencing food insecurity can visit our Voeghtly Street Shelter for a warm meal 365 days of the year and participate in daily chapel services.


While receiving any of Light of Life’s emergency services, inquire with a staff member about entering a Long-Term Program to begin making steps towards life transformation.


Unique individuals served at Light of Life in 2023


Meals served through Light of Life’s kitchen and Food Pantry in 2023


Light of Life’s Long-Term Programming gives men, women, and children the opportunity to transform their lives from homelessness, poverty, or addiction into healthy members of our community; allowing them to be restored into who God intended them to be.

Men typically enter our long-term program through our emergency shelter, a referral from community partner, or in-patient rehab facilities. Men’s long-term programming is divided into three segments: High Commitment Shelter, Mental Health Program, and Life Recovery Program.

Our High Commitment Shelter is a 6-9 month program that helps individuals build toward their goals of overcoming housing insecurity and addiction.

Our Mental Health Program and Life Recovery Program help men address the core issues that led to their homelessness in the first place. Our staff help them overcome their issues and break down barriers holding them back from a life of independence.

Our Women & Children’s program provides a safe and healthy environment for both women with children and single women to recover and grow from past experiences that led them toward their homelessness. Our staff help them to address their spiritual, physical, emotional and relational needs.

An off-site apartment building owned and operated by Light of Life for women without children. By living together, the women participating in our program get to build a community.

We provide subsidy housing throughout Allegheny County for women with children. By offering subsidized rent for 18-24 months, women feel their families are safe and it removes the financial barrier that often keeps them from focusing on their recovery and rebuilding relationships with their children.

Women being served at partner organizations have the option to join us once a week for educational programming. If they are succeeding, they have the option to enter our program full-time.


Complete a needs assessment to determine which program is right for you. Start your journey in making the next steps of life transformation.


Individuals who have gained employment in 2022


Individuals who have obtained housing in 2022


During the first year after a client graduates from our program, they maintain contact with their Care Team Leader every two weeks. This new life transformation can bring ups and downs, which is why ongoing support and staying connected to the Mission is crucial. After a full year, they are connected with other alumni as mentors for continued support.


As a graduate in the Aftercare Phase of Light of Life’s program, you have gained employment, have become eligible for housing, and are completing ongoing support by staying connected to a Care Team Leader at the Mission.


Number of Graduates in 2023


Everyone who graduates from our long-term program is considered an alumni. Alumni can choose to be a peer mentor, volunteer, take part in alumni events and keep in contact with other alumni. The Alumni Program helps graduates stay connected to the Mission and build relationships with others who have come to Light of Life.


Remain in community, retain employment, secure housing, sustain and share hope of life transformation!

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When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."

John 8:12