Who We Are

Though jobs left the area during the Rust Belt Era – and with it many people – one part of Buffalo has a neighbor that will always be there:

The Seneca Street United Methodist Church


Sunday breakfast and dinner to feed the community – approximately 70 people each week

We’re here because the children here. They face many challenges, including generational poverty and household instability.

After-school program

Seven-week summer program:

  • Vacation Bible School

  • Reading camp

  • A field trip at the end of each week

A teen-only program each Friday

We work together with the residents in the neighborhood to help improve … their educational opportunities, their job capabilities, their health capabilities, so we can continue to grow the neighborhood to be different for the next generation.

Narcotics Anonymous meetings three nights each week

We are supported from the outside by individuals, by churches, by organizations. The churches throughout Western New York and in other parts of the country have been our major support for many, many years. And people may send $5, or they may send $100, or whatever, but that just keeps us going. And somehow we never really think we’re going to be able to make it, and then another check comes in. If you'd like to help, checkout the donation page 

Fortunately, The United Methodist Church is here, and this has become the district’s church and now the Conference’s church. At this moment, there are people from at least 5 other United Methodist churches working as volunteers among our 80-something children in reading camp.

One of those churches is the Duluth First UMC in Georgia, Pastor Brians's sister’s church, whose volunteers help with the reading camp for two weeks each summer.

“I think we need more of this,” said Charlie Doerlich, a SSCDC reading camp volunteer from Duluth First UMC. “Even though it’s just a short two-week period, I think there is a lot to gain both for them (the kids) and for us.”


And the church is starting to see results from the programs, as an increasing number of individuals in its programs are graduating from high school.

The church also hosts a teen-only program each Friday. Seneca Street UMC hires the teens as part of the summer staff, providing many of them with their first work experience and educating them through the job readiness program about how to fill out an application, how to interview, and more.

The church fills a role as it’s just a safe place. It’s a welcoming place. It’s a place where someone will listen to you and care about you and try and help you. We’re not going to do things for you; we’re going to try to do things with you or find resources to help you do things on your own.

Seneca Street UMC exists to “live out the gospel,” referencing the story of the good samaritan as well as the story of the prodigal son.


In addition to the church’s other programs, it hosts Narcotics Anonymous meetings. A couple times a month the food shuttle comes and brings dated fruits and vegetables and breads that many benefit from receiving.

Hopefully the church has been and will continue to be a haven to get off of the street and come to a place where everybody knows your name and is glad you came.

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