I am writing to you today with a heavy heart.
As many of you may be aware and many of you have seen in the news, a resident on the streets of Skid Row was recently shot and killed in a struggle with the LAPD right in front of our building. It was a difficult day on Skid Row and we are still feeling the effects of this tragedy as we continue to do everything we can to be a light of God’s love in this nearly impossible and heart wrenching environment.
It may be easy to pass judgment when something like this happens – it raises a lot of questions, but before anyone starts pointing fingers at the LAPD or this man who perished, let’s ask ourselves a question:
Why have we as the people of LA let this situation on Skid Row exist for so long?
Really this tragic event is more of a reflection that we have a Skid Row, an untenable living situation, and police are trying to maintain peace in an impossible environment. Too often we sit back and only act when there is tragedy. The truth is, we all have a part in this and the time to act is now.
There is a proverb that says, “The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago, the next best time is today”. We can’t change the last 20 years of Skid Row, nor the last 120, but we can change it starting today. I am asking you to join us in prayer. There is exciting momentum in the direction to regionalize services throughout LA County and decentralize Skid Row. This will be done by encouraging and assisting local communities, churches, and cities to help their neighbors, brothers, and sisters experiencing homelessness in their own communities.
The streets of Skid Row are no place to live and any continuance of this practice demands too much from the city’s law enforcement. My question remains – why have we let the situation exist for so long?
It is time for the people of faith to lead the way in reversing this curse on our cities most vulnerable.
Join us as we continue to pray together and strive to make a difference in this city. We have faith in the Hope that comes from Christ and together we will see that Hope come alive.