The Rescue Mission in Ithaca

ITHACA, N.Y. — The contract for the Rescue Mission, which has provided emergency shelter and homeless services for Tompkins County since 2014, is ending in October.

According to a news release from Tompkins County, the Rescue Mission recently informed the Department of Social Services “that it would be reducing the scope of its services here.”

The Rescue Mission took over the shelter on State Street, now called the Friendship Center, in March of 2014. The Rescue Mission in Ithaca has also provided emergency shelter and affordable permanent housing. It has also facilitated after-hours placements for people who are homeless in local hotels when the shelter is at capacity.

It is unclear why the Rescue Mission will no longer be serving Ithaca. The Rescue Mission in Syracuse could not be reached for comment Friday.

In response, the county will issue a Request for Proposals soon for homeless housing services. The following services are needed, according to a news release from Tompkins County.

  • Maintain emergency sheltering services as an essential element of the community’s safety net.
  • Provide day drop-in center services to homeless and unstably housed persons.
  • Support and advance the Tompkins County Continuum of Care goals and outcomes.
  • Facilitate after-hours placements of homeless persons in local hotels when the number of homeless persons exceeds shelter capacity.
  • Work with Tompkins DSS to develop and implement an efficient and effective plan for housing homeless persons during winter months under the New York State Homeless Inclement Weather Regulations (also known as Code Blue or Cold Weather Policy).

There will be a Pre-Bid Conference at 10 a.m. July 25 in the Beverly Livesay Conference Room at the Human Services Building 320 W. State/Martin Luther King, Jr. Street Ithaca. Any questions related to an RFP have to be handled through a formal process.

All questions for the Pre-Bid Conference should be submitted by the submission deadline of 4 p.m. Aug. 1 by writing to:

The proposal submission deadline is 4 p.m. Aug. 17.

For more information, visit

Kelsey O'Connor

Kelsey O'Connor is the managing editor for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at and follow her on Twitter @bykelseyoconnor.