California has embraced many alternative cultures over the decades, be it the hippy movement of the sixties or the "pink" neighborhoods of San Francisco so it should be little surprise that Excelsior found its birthplace on the streets of L.A.
With public opinion always sharply divided on the mutant question, many mutants found themselves left homeless after being abandoned or spurned by friends or society and over time these street mutants banded together in gangs. These runaways were considered a nuisance by many and a danger by more extremist members of society, but as with most minorities, there is always someone who will reach out. Excelsior was formed as little more than a glorified soup kitchen operating out of a church hall in downtown L.A. However, it got caught up in a drifting mood of public opinion and captured the imaginations of those in power.
With mutants more and more in the press, it was little surprise that Hollywood was first to lead the way. At first exploitation movies seemed societies only approach to the mutant question, but then the widely publicized "Mutant X" series began to draw nationwide attention. Shortly after this, a famous Hollywood star (did we decide on Elijah Wood?) came out, revealing that he was, in fact, a low powered mutant. The media began to take more of an interest in mutants on society and Hollywood itself began to employ mutants. It made sense, after all. Why pay for expensive stunts, costing millions to set up, to make a stuntman seem like he was on fire where there were mutants who could literally burst into flame.
So, with this rather more liberal attitude in California, Excelsior began, over time, to get news coverage. At first it was just brief mentions on morning radio, but it became quickly apparent that Excelsior and is team of volunteers, numbering amongst them both humans and mutants, were beginning to grow beyond their humble beginnings. The more mutants heard about them, the greater the numbers grew until the group set up headquarters of its own and became both a hostel and outreach for both homeless and troubled mutants. That was not all, however, as they encouraged many mutants to use their powers in ways that would be beneficial financially. The idea of Excelsior's "mutant for hire" outlook began to catch on as technopaths, translators etc found themselves in high demand amongst the commercial sector. The group slowly grew to become national news, their outspoken views on mutant rights becoming a kind of call for social reform in a country where mutants often found themselves discriminated against and the target of acts of violence.
Excelsior even managed to attract support from California's governor who, seeing an opportunity for press, good or bad, pledged to support the group.
It was only a matter of time before the group went national and volunteers in New York started to approach local businesses as well as trying to raise funds to set up a New York based outreach. the endorsements of more liberal celebrities, as well as experts such as Charles Xavier, ensured that Excelsior had support opening their New York branch. Operating on a more corporate scale than its rather informal roots, it combines a mutant outreach programme of support, be it night classes, help groups or assistance from "reformed" mutants and other experts on control of powers, as well as providing a hostel or shelter for those mutants finding themselves homeless on the city streets.
It attempts to reintroduce these mutants back into society through its outreach programme, wherever possible setting the mutants up in "ordinary" jobs, but also in many cases trying to settle them into positions where their mutant powers can be of benefit. Some members have become residential, working both as volunteers and "hiring" their services out.