75 years of serving Birmingham. A look inside Jimmie Hale Mission

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That white cross has been a symbol of hope and restoration for thousands of Birmingham citizens. Photo courtesy of Jimmie Hale Mission

One of the most well-known and beloved nonprofits in Birmingham, Jimmie Hale Mission has been making a difference in the Magic City for over 75 years. Today, they are a dynamic and impactful organization that spreads love in all kinds of ways to all kinds of people. Learn more about their mission and how you can be a part of it.

Jimmie Hale Mission: The Past

Jimmie and his wife Jessie—the couple that started it all 75 years ago. Photo courtesy of Jimmie Hale Mission

In the late 1930s and early 1940s, Jimmie Hale was known as the town drunk. He began rewriting his story after giving his life to Christ, and today, the organization that carries his name has impacted countless Birmingham citizens.

Armed with a desire to share God’s life-changing love with others and to help those walking where he had, Jimmie set out to create a place where homeless men could find encouragement and hope. 75 years later, Jimmie Hale Mission (JHM) is a safe haven for people from all walks of life.

This Mission has been a place of love and joy since the beginning. Photo courtesy of Jimmie Hale Mission

Jimmie founded the Mission in 1944 with his wife, Miss Jessie Davis—a schoolteacher from Moundville, Alabama. Following Jimmie’s passing just eight months later, Jessie refused to forfeit her commitment to the dream she and her husband shared.

As a pregnant widow and an incredible woman of faith, her resolve would prove to be the foundation on which the Mission would stand for generations to come. Curious about the history of JHM? Read all about it here.

Jimmie Hale Mission: The Present

 Former NBA players serving at JHM. Photo courtesy of Jimmie Hale Mission

For three quarters of a century, the Jimmie Hale Mission has been helping men afflicted by homelessness in downtown Birmingham through education remediation, job readiness and spiritual support.

Throughout their operation, JHM has expanded its efforts to impact even more citizens of our community, including women and children and those impacted by addiction.

Today, JHM functions in three branches, each with its own ministry and focus.

1. Jimmie Hale Mission

Volunteers are a huge part of JHM’s work. Photo courtesy of Jimmie Hale Mission

The original location, located in downtown Birmingham, has helped transform thousands of lives by addressing homelessness and addiction over the years. As a nonprofit, the organization has been funded since the beginning by citizens across the state of Alabama.

Their dynamic approach to recovery and independence is offered for free to those in need. JHM’s mission is as follows:

“To transform adults directly affected by homelessness, poverty-thinking, and/or addiction, into those who lead healthy, self-sufficient and productive lives for the glory of God.”

2. Jessie’s Place

A home for mothers and children. Photo courtesy of Jimmie Hale Mission

Named for Jimmie Hale’s wife, Jessie’s Place is a residential program located in the heart of downtown Birmingham that can accommodate up to 35 women and children.

Jessie’s Place is a shelter for homeless women and children, but they also provide all kinds of support—from daily life skills training to job readiness to education remediation and more.

“We believe that providing a refuge for change will help ensure that these women become strong and self-sufficient members of society once again. Inside our doors, women and children find the way out.”

3. Royal Pines

Restoring lives through addiction recovery. Read about one personal story here. Photo courtesy of Jimmie Hale Mission

Royal Pines Recovery Center is a 13 to 15-week active addiction recovery program located in Hayden, AL. This 40-bed facility rests on 75 acres of peaceful countryside, which plays an integral role in helping clients focus on recovery.

The site is home to counseling offices, classrooms and exterior seating areas that allows plenty of space for clients to engage in the active recovery program. As with every location, Royal Pines includes a focus on educational training and job readiness.

“Royal Pines provides an immersive environment where men are equipped with the Godly tools and training they need to overcome substance abuse, restore hope and build a better tomorrow.”

Jimmie Hale Mission: The Future

These men were the first official graduating cohort under the new active recovery program. Congratulations! Photo courtesy of Jimmie Hale Mission

After 75 years of loving their neighbors and impacting their community, Jimmie Hale Mission is nowhere near done. In the future, they hope to keep expanding and improving their operation to serve the greater Birmingham community in the best way they can.

“We don’t care what their brokenness is. I don’t care where they’ve been—if they’ve been in prison, if they’ve been on the streets for 20 years. It doesn’t matter what trauma they’ve been through, or abuse.

All we care about is if they want something different. And if they want something different, we’re going to take them in and we’re going to love them dynamically with the love of Christ, and lay out for them a pathway to be restored.”

Michael Coleman, Executive Director, Jimmie Hale Mission

If you want to be a part of this mission, you have a few options to do so. Check out volunteer opportunities here or donate today.

Want to keep up with Jimmie Hale Mission? Follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and never miss an update.

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  • A Birmingham transplant who can usually be found hitting a new hiking trail or restaurant opening when she's not writing stories and snapping photos for Bham Now.