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History

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…to read more about SIH’s history

The mission of Seafarers International House began in 1873, when the Church of Sweden sent a missionary to start a ministry to Swedish seafarers in New York City. It soon became apparent that there would be a flood of Swedish immigrants arriving in New York City who also needed housing. To meet the needs of these many seafarers and immigrants, Seafarers International House and its sponsoring church, the Augustana (Swedish) Lutheran Synod collaborated with Das Deutsche EmigrantenHaus to provide hospitality and accommodations. Twenty years later, Seafarers & International House built its own guesthouse down on the Battery in Manhattan and 70 years later (in 1964) a new guesthouse was built near Union Square.

Nearly 125 years later, the German Seamen’s Mission of New York merged into Seafarers  International House. So, this mission has come full circle to serve seafarers and asylum seekers, drawing upon a long tradition of hospitality and service among the Swedish and German peoples, extending to people of all nationalities, cultures and faiths.