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The Mission – May 2016

by Shawna Sopp — April 25, 2016

“People have all kinds of excuses for why they won’t help folks on Skid Row,” says Burlyn, a 60-year-old guest at Union Rescue Mission. “Some of them are afraid and too intimidated to get involved. Others don’t want to know how bad it is, so they just ignore it.”

Burlyn knows all about excuses. He spent more than 30 years of his life addicted to cocaine — and more than 30 years excusing it.

“I came from a good family, so I knew better,” he says. “But when I picked up cocaine in 1983, I couldn’t stop. I had all kinds of excuses: I always worked, so I can’t be that bad. I might be an addict, but I’m not as bad as that guy in the streets. Or when it got really bad, I thought, I messed my life up so bad, there’s no point in quitting.”

But he says there was always a voice in the back of his mind that nagged him, “This isn’t the life you want to live.”

Refusing the Call
In 2012, he finally listened to that voice and broke free of his addiction. Once free, he heard God’s call to minister to others like himself. He even went to school to prepare. But when he left, he found new excuses: He wasn’t smart enough to help anyone, or he was already so broken, God could never use him.

So, Burlyn came to Union Rescue Mission to keep from ending up on the streets. He thought he was running away from God’s calling. Instead, he ran straight into the calling God had planned for him all along.

“I’m All In”
“I could tell right off, Burlyn wanted to serve,” says Chaplain Mike McIntire. “He just needed to stop making excuses and get serious about serving God right here on Skid Row.” So Chaplain Mike hired Burlyn to work alongside him to help other guys in the program.

“I couldn’t run away from it anymore,” Burlyn says. “If God wanted to use me to help these guys, then I’m in.”

True to his word, Burlyn has thrown himself into serving hurting men at URM. Without any judgment, he listens to them, he cares about them, and he shows up every day to remind each one that they’re truly loved.

Skid Row Needs You
He would also like to see more people, including donors, get more personally involved.

"Their donations are really important to keep this place open,” he says. “But Skid Row needs more than money. People here need to see Jesus in the flesh. They need to see people like you and me show them they’re still loved. That someone still cares, and that they can trust that we’re never going to abandon them. That’s when lives change down here.”

Stop Making Excuses and Get Involved


  • Volunteer and serve men, women, and children experiencing homelessness! Please visit . . . or contact our volunteer department at or 213-347-6300 ext. 2135.

  • Use Facebook or Twitter to inform your friends and to encourage them to get involved in this movement to end homelessness in Los Angeles. Link to to share the latest information with your friends.

  • Subscribe to Union Rescue Mission’s email updates and receive regular features, including video stories and requests for volunteering and support at

  • Financially support agencies like Union Rescue Mission, which make a difference on behalf of people experiencing homelessness in our communities and provide effective solutions to homelessness. To donate to Union Rescue Mission, visit


“They’re just lazy.” . . . “They’re on the streets because the weather is so nice.” . . . “Jesus said, ‘The poor you will always have with you.’”

People use many excuses to keep from helping men and women experiencing homelessness. But in Deuteronomy 15, God told His people: If you’re obedient, there will be no poor in the land. But since there is disobedience, both personally and corporately, there will always be poor in the land. So open your hand to your brother and sister. Lift your brother and sister out of poverty. People experiencing homelessness don’t need excuses, they need help — and God has issued us all a call to action!

Change Someone’s Life Today!

Please invest in hurting men, women, and children experiencing homelessness today. Your generous gift will provide them with meals, shelter, life-transforming services — and the reminder that someone cares.

Please visit our website at



Union Rescue Mission provided the foundation for Michael’s new life and now he gives back in an incredible way. Watch his story at



No Excuse
Notes from Andy

As the tragic epidemic of homelessness continues to grow out of control in Los Angeles, far too many people refuse to get involved and do something about it. They have all kinds of excuses: men and women on the streets choose to be homeless because of the weather. Or they’re just lazy and don’t want to work. Or the Bible says the poor you will always have with you. So why do anything?

Excuses like that break my heart.  The truth is, the folks experiencing homelessness are our neighbors. And these precious men, women, and children are suffering and dying on our streets. They don’t need excuses. They need immediate action.

That’s why I’m so grateful for Burlyn, whose story is on the cover of this newsletter. He stopped making excuses, and now other hurting men at Union Rescue Mission are experiencing new life because of him. But I’m also so grateful for people like YOU. You don’t make excuses, either. And now your financial support and prayers are transforming lives here as well. You’re truly an instrument of God, and you’re helping Him make miracles happen here every day.


Thousands of precious people on Skid Row desperately need hope and a helping hand — in fact, they need YOU. And now, generous friends have offered to match every gift we receive — up to $500,000!

That means any gift you give will be DOUBLED automatically — to provide twice as much help for hurting men and women at Union Rescue Mission, and to remind them that someone really does care. This extraordinary opportunity is only available for a short time — the deadline is June 30!

Please go to today and provide TWICE as much help, and in return — receive twice the blessing!

9th Annual Spring Golf Classic

by Shawna Sopp — April 25, 2016

PRE- PRESS RELEASE – For Immediate Release

Kitty Davis-Walker 
(213) 673-4585 or (213) 507-5562
VP of Public Relations

Alexandra Monsibaez
(213)673-4882 or (213)200-1758
PR Coordinator

9th Annual Spring Golf Classic
May 16, 2016

LOS ANGELES CALIFORNIA ( April 2016) DATE RELEASED – On Monday, May 16th Union Rescue Mission(URM) will host their 9th Annual Spring Golf Classic at the fabulous MountainGate Country Club located near Beverly Hills. This year’s event promises to be the most beautiful scenic day of golf with fun games, silent auction, followed by a delicious luncheon and awards ceremony. This annual event is a fundraising vehicle that allows URM to engage, educate, and create a platform for good-will with corporations who have a philanthropic heartbeat that will help raise much needed funds to continue helping men, women, and children experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles.

“Take time to enjoy a great round of golf and change someone’s life.” Rev. Andy Bales, CEO of URM.

Union Rescue Mission would like to thank this year’s sponsors, Tim and Elise Sloan, Puritan Bakery, Michael Broussard, Chicago Title, Herbalife, and Scott and Obaida Watt.


Schedule of Events & Photo Opportunities

  • 6:30am- Guest Check in and Step and Repeat photos

  • 8:30am - Shotgun Start followed with games throughout the course that include longest drive, marshmallow longest drive, hole in the one, and closest to the pin,

  • 2:45pm- Luncheon & Awards Banquet

About URM
URM is one of the largest missions of its kind in America — bringing help and hope to men, women, and children experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles. URM provides comprehensive emergency and long-term recovery services to our guests to help them escape the dangerous streets of Skid Row and transition from homelessness to independent living.

About URM's Hope Gardens Family Center
Nestled in the foothills of the Angeles national forest, HGFC offers a peaceful setting and transitional living to moms, children, a number of single women and permanent supportive housing to senior women. In addition to food and shelter, HGFC offers the real help women need to escape homelessness forever, long-term rehabilitation programs, job training, counseling, training and encouragement.


Twitter: @URM
Instagram: @UnionRescueMission


The Power of Resurrection

by Union Rescue Mission — April 22, 2016

As we wrap up the Easter Season, I find myself reflecting back on our celebration of Easter, better known as Resurrection Sunday, at Union Rescue Mission. On March 27th I was asked once again to deliver the annual message at our Sunrise service on the Union Rescue Mission rooftop. The message-He is Risen-He is Risen indeed.

It was quite an honor to celebrate Christ's resurrection on our rooftop, but to tell you the truth, we celebrate the power of the resurrection every day at Union Rescue Mission. It is celebrated through scripture on our walls, through songs and messages in our chapels and bible studies. Most importantly, we celebrate the power of resurrection through the transformed lives of our precious guests.

I eagerly get out of bed every morning and battle Los Angeles traffic to get to Union Rescue Mission as quickly as I can in order to participate in and see the life saving and life changing work that occurs inside the walls of this amazing place. I feel I have the best job in town.

Little ones saved from hunger and the streets break into the biggest smiles and hand me Hearts of Love they have drawn and colored in.

Join us today and help more people experience the power of resurrection, escape poverty and find their way home again. 

God bless you,



Rev. Andy Bales

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