Wayside Cross Ministries

In July 2015, Wayside Cross Ministries (WCM) opened its newly constructed 47,000 square foot building at 215 E. New York Street in Aurora. With the help of Dunham Fund’s $500,000 grant and the support of many other donors, Wayside has reached a financing arrangement through the Federal New Market Tax Credit program that brought them to 100% of the projected construction cost.

From its timely beginnings in 1928 as a rescue mission for transient men, Wayside Cross has developed transitional ministries for men, women and their children, at-risk youth, the incarcerated, and ex-offenders in six locations in the Aurora and Elgin areas.


The move to a larger facility in Aurora allowed the programs to expand and the quality of care to be dramatically and positively impacted.

The John C. Dunham Educational Center, located on the second floor of the building, includes five comfortable, safe and private rooms for one-on-one mentoring sessions and, for the first time in 87 years, ample, fully equipped space for the various classes that the residents attend six days per week. The Center classrooms, library, and technology center are also available to the five other Wayside Cross operated ministries in Aurora and Elgin.

The third and fourth floors of the new facility have capacity for 100+ male residents in the Master’s Touch Ministry. The early returns for the program show that 41 men out of the 132 who entered the residential program graduated from “Master’s Touch."

Of those 41 WCM “Master’s Touch” graduates:

  • 16 men completed the “Designed for a Work” program
  • 32 found full-time jobs
  • 29 reconciled with wife or family
  • 14 were appointed to full-time WCM resident assistants
  • 3 were appointed to resident staff
  • 7 transitioned to WCM’s “Horizon” discipleship house

This represents a 31% success rate that can be positively compared to an estimated 11% national rate of success for both secular and faith-based programs of its kind combined.

Dunham Fund is proud to support Wayside Cross Ministries and the John C. Dunham Educational Center that is providing assistance and mentoring to at-risk men, women and youth in our community.