In 2014, Tiffani got caught in a perfect storm of misfortune. The year started well. “I learned I was pregnant with my youngest daughter. I had just graduated from Everest College. I was working two jobs. I had two cars.
I was living with my grandmother and was doing good for myself and my kids,” she recalls.
But in April, she first lost one job and then the other. Unable to pay rent, her grandmother asked her to leave in June.
“I didn’t have any other family who would take us in,” she says. “So me and my children lived in a truck, until that was repossessed. Then we lived in a motel. I lost everything.”
But in September, her fortunes changed when she learned about Hope Gardens, a safe haven for single mothers and children experiencing homelessness.
“I knew it was the right choice for my children,” she says. “They’d have their own beds, showers, and three meals a day. But I needed it, too. I was a mess. I needed support. And I needed hope.”
Tiffani found that and more. Over the next 16 months, the staff at Hope Gardens taught her better parenting skills, how to save money, and they even helped her improve her relationship with her fiancé. And “they helped me figure out who I am: a strong, independent black woman,” she says.
She also credits the support she received from the other mothers. “The women here, we’re all the same. We all have things we’re going through and we all need help. I needed a sisterhood, or a family, to help me get where I needed to go. I got that here,” she explains.
But best of all, Tiffani says she found a new faith in God. “Before, God was always on the back burner,” she explains. “But He’s the one who got me through all this. Now He’s number one in everything.
“They call this place a garden,” Tiffani says. “Well, God used Hope Gardens to plant a seed inside of me. Then they watered it every day to keep that seed alive and grow.” And today, Tiffani is a grown, mature woman, ready to blossom in the world away from Hope Gardens.
“I did not deserve to be homeless,” she says. “But God does everything for a reason. He used this to open my eyes and show me what’s really important.”
No one deserves to experience homelessness — but everyone who IS experiencing homelessness deserves your compassion and help. Your gifts to Union Rescue Mission provide them with:
• Meals • Spiritual Guidance • Safe Shelter • Recovery from Addiction • Health and Dental Care • Love and Friendship • Educational and Job Opportunities • Counseling • A Way Home
Because of YOU for 125 years: Colin’s Story
For almost 15 years, Colin, originally from Uganda, lived the American dream — until the spring of 2008, when his coffee-importing business collapsed and his home went into foreclosure. Suddenly Colin, his wife, and his 3-year-old daughter found themselves walking the streets of Skid Row to Union Rescue Mission.
“It just shows how quickly things can unravel,” says Colin. “When we came to Skid Row, all I could think was, ‘What am I doing here? This isn’t my story.’ But I quickly realized anyone can suddenly find himself here. Whether you’re a CEO of a Fortune 500 company or a beggar on the street, things outside your control can quickly change.”
Today, thanks to caring friends like you and the help he received at Union Rescue Mission, Colin and his family have returned to Africa, where they founded and run the International Hospitality Academy of Rwanda.
Attention Golfers: 9th Annual Spring Golf Classic
If you or someone you know enjoys golfing, please consider joining us for our 9th Annual Spring Golf Classic on May 16, 2016. This event, held at Mountaingate Country Club, will help Union Rescue Mission provide hope and healing to men, women, and children experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles.
For more information, please call Karmen Herring at (213) 347-6311 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Notes from Andy
No One Deserves This
Homelessness is exploding, not just on Skid Row, but all over Los Angeles. It’s skyrocketing rents. The breaking down of families. Mental health issues. Broken prison and foster-care systems. Child and spousal abuse. Unemployment. And, yes, drug and alcohol addictions.
And it’s not just men anymore. For the first time in Union Rescue Mission’s history, we’re sheltering more women and children than men. But no matter who we’re talking about, no one deserves to get left behind, to experience homelessness. Children don’t make that choice. Tiffani didn’t make that choice. The mentally ill don’t make that choice. Not even those who are losing the war to their addictions deserve to die on a sidewalk.
They need help, not judgment. And who will give them that help? “Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter” (Proverbs 24:11). Caring people like you and me. We are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers. We are responsible.
And that’s why I’m so grateful for you. Your compassionate support provides shelter, meals, and the real, tangible help that leads many from homelessness back to home again. Thank you for all you do.
Thousands of hurting people like Tiffani are struggling with homelessness in Los Angeles today. Many suffer from fear, loneliness, physical abuse, addictions, neglect, illness, job losses, home foreclosures, and more. No one deserves that.
You can help restore the broken lives of precious men, women, and children who deserve a second chance today by supporting Union Rescue Mission. Your generous gift of $25, $35, or more will help provide them with safe shelter, hot meals, and the real, long-term help they need to find their way home.
So please give the most generous gift you can today. Thank you!