Who is The South Side Mission?


In 1925, a woman named Helen Haien had the vision to reach children from lower-income families in Peoria with the love of Jesus.

She would go out, pick up children, and bring them back to her house on Sanger Street for an all-day Sunday School. The inhabitants of the area were not only economically disadvantaged, but had little hope of moving beyond their present physical conditions. Over the years, her Sunday School grew so large that she had to move out of the house and into a larger building on Olive Street. South Side Mission changed locations several times before building on the present campus at 1127 South Laramie Street in 1970.

While the location has changed over the years, one thing has remained constant. The South Side Mission’s aim is not only to alleviate the powerful physical poverty of those on the south end but a determination to offer life-transforming change through the spiritual hope of Jesus Christ.



Our mission is to proclaim Jesus Christ, and in His name love our neighbors and provide hope to the community through life-transforming ministries.

Image of houses in a row


Primarily, we serve the residents of the 61605 area code, which is one of the 100 poorest zip codes in the country.


57% of the population is African American, 30% is White, 9% is Hispanic, 3% is Other.


There are 310 city blocks and 7,105 housing units.


The median age is 33, the average household income is $20,918.


The Mission accomplishes its ministry with the help of thousands of volunteer hours annually.


Our annual budget is $4 million, supported by public contributions. We receive no United Way funding.

People call 61605 home

  • Living below the poverty level 43.2% 43.2%
  • Compared to the rest of the country 13% 13%


Minister to our community in Christ loving ways that provide an opportunity for positive change.


WE BELIEVE IN THE SCRIPTURE OF THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS as verbally inspired by God and inerrant in the original writings and that they are of supreme and final authority, in faith and life. 

WE BELIEVE THAT JESUS CHRIST WAS BEGOTTEN BY THE HOLY SPIRIT, born of the Virgin Mary, and is true God and true man. 

WE BELIEVE IN ONE GOD eternally existing in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. 

WE BELIEVE THAT MAN WAS CREATED IN THE IMAGE OF GOD: that he sinned and thereby incurred not only physical death but also spiritual death which separates man from God and that all human beings are born with a sinful nature. 

WE BELIEVE THAT THE LORD JESUS CHRIST DIED FOR OUR SINS, according to the scriptures, as a representative and substitutionary sacrifice and that all who believe in Him are justified on the ground of His shed blood and are Born Again. 

WE BELIEVE IN THE RESURRECTION OF THE CRUCIFIED BODY OF OUR LORD in his ascension into heaven and in His present life there for us as High Priest and Advocate.


WE BELIEVE IN “THAT BLESSED HOPE” the personal return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

WE BELIEVE THAT ALL WHO RECEIVE BY FAITH THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, ARE BORN AGAIN of the Holy Spirit and thereby become children of God.

WE BELIEVE IN THE BODILY RESURRECTION OF THE JUST AND THE UNJUST, the everlasting blessedness of the saved and the everlasting punishment of the lost.