Make a life-changing donation Make a life-changing donation The problem and The Solution The problem and The Solution How you can Get Involved How you can Get Involved Learn about our Programs Learn about our Programs

The Mission – September 2016

by Christin Weir — August 26, 2016

 



 

One of Lorraine’s fondest childhood memories is her mother’s cooking. Food was her
mother’s way of saying, “I love you.” But no day was better than Thanksgiving and the magical aroma of turkey, ham, stuffing, macaroni and cheese, yams, and sweet potato pie. Lorraine was only 11 when the magic ended. That’s when her stepfather came into the family, bringing verbal, emotional, and physical abuse. Lorraine’s mother quickly
became a drug addict. And love disappeared from the home. Then the unthinkable happened. Lorraine was 13 when she was raped by her stepfather.

Crippling Scars


“When I told my mom, she didn’t believe me,” Lorraine recalls. “She just said, ‘No way. He’d never do that.’ After that, I felt so alone. I didn’t feel like I was
worthy of living.” A scar on Lorraine’s face, from a car accident, was just the physical manifestation of the wounds she felt inside:

“ I hated myself. When I looked in a mirror, all I could see was how ugly I was.”

Lorraine left home at 15. She soon had her first child at 16, dropped out of school, and her life slowly unraveled — abusive men, alcohol abuse, more children, and severe
depression crippled her. In August 2014, unemployed and a mother of four, she came to Union Rescue Mission and Hope Gardens.


Cooking Up a New Life


“I asked God to help me build a new life,” she says. “Hope Gardens was the perfect place for me. God answered all my prayers. The people here didn’t see me as a scared and ugly girl no one cared about. God used them to drive the clouds away in
my heart and bring the sunshine out. They showed me I’m not Lorraine-who’s-ugly-and-raped. I’m just me. A brand-new person.” Today, Lorraine is also a cook on staff at Hope Gardens, where she serves nearly 222 meals a day to mothers, children, and senior women. “This is my dream come true,” she says. “When I cook, it reminds me of the magic of my mom’s cooking.” But no meal has been more important than Thanksgiving: “Last year, I got to cook all the things I remember from childhood: turkey, ham, mac and cheese, sweet potato pie, all of it. I cooked all night. It was my way of showing the women and kids here how much they’re loved. When we all prayed, I thanked God for Hope Gardens, for my new life, and for my chance to give back to these women. It was the best day ever.”






 

THANKSGIVING AT UNION RESCUE MISSION: The Recipe for Success . . .


Union Rescue Mission will serve more than 135,000 meals this holiday season and more than 4,000 meals at our Thanksgiving Celebration alone! It’s never too soon to start getting ready. Here’s a brief peek at everything that goes into making Union Rescue Mission’s special Thanksgiving Celebration a day filled with good food and a whole lot of love.



1. FILL THE PANTRY!

It takes months to collect enough food!

 

2. VOLUNTEER!
We need over 200 volunteers to help
make this day special.

 

3. PREPARE FOOD
We have to start prepping the food almost a week in advance! After all, we have to deep fry and serve more than 500 turkeys in one day!

 

4. SEE GUESTS SMILE
We’ll serve hundreds of thousands of
meals this Thanksgiving season. The meals we serve can open the door to a lifetime of change.

 

5. YOU ARE THE MISSION
None of this is possible without YOU!
Give someone a real reason to offer
thanks to God in 2016!



 




 



 

Please give today so more people like Lorraine can receive the meals and family love they need at Union Rescue Mission.
See how your gifts helped transform Lorraine’s life! www.urm.org/Stories




GOING STRONG FOR 125 YEARS BECAUSE OF YOU!




Union Rescue Mission is proud
to celebrate its 125th Anniversary
on October 24, 2016 at 5:30 p.m.
at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in
Beverly Hills, CA. Please contact
Karmen Herring at 213.347.6311
or kherring@urm.org for further
details.





URGENT CRISIS ON SKID ROW!
WE NEED YOUR HELP . . .
Help Serve a Thanksgiving Dinner — and a Side of Love


This Thanksgiving season, Union Rescue Mission will serve
more than 135,000 meals! And that number continues to climb,
due to a growing crisis of women and children experiencing
homelessness in Los Angeles. This year, each Thanksgiving meal
we serve costs only $2.41. Your gift today will provide precious
men, women, and children on Skid Row with hot meals, safe
shelter, hope — and even love.
Thanksgiving is still more than two months away, but it takes
months of planning and preparation to serve a Thanksgiving
dinner for thousands of men, women, and children on this
special day.
Your gift will help provide holiday meals — just $2.41 each!
So please give someone a real reason to give thanks this holiday
season. Send the most generous gift you can today. Thank you!

For more information, or to put your gift to work even faster, go to www.urm.org/thanksgivingfeast




Notes from Andy



The one word that describes Skid Row right now is “extreme”: extreme numbers, extreme violence, extreme desperation, extreme heat, and extreme danger. And
no one is more at risk than the growing number of women and children we’re seeing here. As many as 4,000 people now call these dangerous streets of Skid Row “home.” It’s tragic to see anyone trying to survive here. But it’s the women and children who break my heart most. Fortunately, many of them are now seeking shelter inside of Union Rescue Mission. In fact, for the first time ever, more than half of our 1,163 guests are women and kids. The sheer numbers and need are challenging all our resources — financial, food, space, beds, increased security, and clean-up costs. And the months ahead only promise more desperate straits. But Thanksgiving is around the corner, and despite our many challenges, we still have much to be thankful for. And I’m especially thankful for the faithful generosity of people like you. You’ve stepped up in unprecedented ways to help struggling people in the past. And I know you will again, as we seek to ensure that every man, woman, and child who comes to Union Rescue Mission finds their way
home again.

Blessings,

The Mission – August 2016

by Union Rescue Mission — August 10, 2016



“I never wanted nothin’ to do with God,” says Donald, a 60-year-old guest at Union Rescue Mission. “Growing up in South Central, my parents made me go to church, whether I wanted to go or not. But away from church, my stepdad would beat me with whatever he could get his hands on. I kept thinking, if God’s so loving, why do I got all these welts on my back?”

So Donald rebelled — stealing, “drugging,” and determined to do whatever he wanted to do, no matter who got hurt. And people did get hurt. When he was 19, he and some friends tried to “jack a dope house.” When a young girl startled him, he shot and killed her before he knew what was happening. He went to prison for almost 10 years.


Hopeless on Skid Row


“After I got out,” Donald recalls, “I went right back to dope and drinking. I robbed homes and even churches to support my drug habit. I was in and out of prison for the next 30 years.”

When he wasn’t in prison, he called an alley near Skid Row home. “You don’t want to know what life is like out there,” he says. “Skid Row is where you go when you got no more hope. This is where folks come when they give up. Then these streets put you in the grave. People get killed all the time here. Just yesterday, I saw a dude get stabbed four times in the chest.

“Now that I’m sober, it hurts seeing all this stuff. Man, there’s gotta be a better life.”

“I Can’t Do This Anymore”


Donald finally decided to pursue that “better life” in April 2015. “I was straight-out tired,” he explains. “My cousin invited me to go to Union Rescue Mission. When I got here, I told God, ‘I can’t do this anymore. Help me.’ It was God’s way or no way.”

The change was drastic. “All the fighting, cussing, and stealing, I gave it up and let God do what He does. He died for me. He forgave me. I felt like the whole world lifted off me.”

Today, Donald works in URM’s hygiene area, where people come off the streets to take a shower and get cleaned up. “It feels good to help people who are just like I was,” he says. “But it’s not easy. One guy spit in my face. There was a time I would have killed him. And I wanted to. But I looked him in the eye and I said, ‘God loves you, man.’”

 




 

Please Help Suffering People on Skid Row This Summer


 

Summer heat, rising crime, and hopelessness are creating unimaginable suffering for men and women experiencing homelessness on Skid Row. They desperately need help. But every summer, much-needed donations to Union Rescue Mission drop way off, threatening our ability to meet their needs.

 

Your gift today will provide cold water, cool shelter, nutritious meals, and hope to precious people who need your help the most this summer. So please give the most generous gift you can today.

 



 




Lives Change Here Because of YOU!


by L.A.P.D. Officer Deon Joseph

A few years ago as I was patrolling Skid Row, I found a man rummaging through a trash can. His skin was covered with scabies, and his hair was matted and filled with lice. He was wanted, and when I arrested him, he cursed me and called me every horrible name imaginable.

As a police officer, I wasn’t supposed to do this: I gave him a poem called “You Are Not a Failure” and another one called “A Supernatural Life.” I later learned that, after he left jail, he got into a program like Union Rescue Mission’s and completely transformed his life. Today, he’s got a successful career and family.

The Inhumanity of Skid Row


I didn’t always believe that lives could change on Skid Row. And when you look at these streets today, it’s still hard to be optimistic. Skid Row is now the largest homeless encampment in America. Gangsters, loan sharks, hustlers, and predators prey on the people here, especially women, who now make up almost 45% of the population. In some parts of Skid Row, rapes have increased almost 200%. But everyone’s life is in danger. Aggravated assaults and street robberies are rapidly increasing. Life is worse than I’ve ever seen here — it’s tragic and inhumane to let it continue.

You Really Do Make a Difference


That’s why I’m so grateful for places like Union Rescue Mission and people like you who support them. As I said, I once didn’t believe that lives could change. But the first time I toured Union Rescue Mission, I saw dozens of people I had arrested, now clean, sober, filled with new life, and completely transformed. I determined that day I would do everything I can to support places like Union Rescue Mission, and to encourage everyone in  Los Angeles to support them, too.

Not everyone’s life will change here. But many will. We just can’t give up. As people of faith, who believe in a caring God, we must keep trying. I never want to see another rape victim in a tent or dead man on the sidewalk. With your support of Union Rescue Mission, maybe I won’t have to.




 







 

BECAUSE OF YOU FOR 125 YEARS


Jack’s Story, 1941

Jack was young and attractive, with a successful career and loving wife — until he lost it all because of alcohol. Ashamed, he left home, leaving his wife a note that simply said he would return when he straightened up.

“Desperate, I wandered into Union Rescue Mission one night,” he recalls. “That evening, I heard a man testify how the grace of God, through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, had transformed his life and restored his courage, hope, and self-respect. He said that if I repented, I could experience the same thing.

“That was my first ray of hope. I went forward to the altar, asked for God’s forgiveness and for His help to throw off the curse of drink and to send me back to my wife.”

God honored Jack’s prayer. In time, with newfound courage and self-respect, Jack returned to his former job, earned the respect of his employers, and went back home to his wife, who marveled at the change she saw in him.




 

Notes from Andy


Lives Change When We Work Together

The number of people experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles today is overwhelming. The latest study says almost 47,000 men, women, and children have no home — though I believe it’s far higher. The number of single women on the streets has increased 55%, and family homelessness is exploding, with thousands of them living in tents, cars, and RVs.

Yet despite the increase, thousands of shelter beds have disappeared in Los Angeles over the past few years. So now, Union Rescue Mission is sheltering a record number of 1,050 people a night — and for the first time in our history, more than half of them are women and children. But we are still determined to never turn a woman or a family away.

In the face of so much tragedy, it would be easy to get discouraged. But I’m not. And neither should you be. Why? People like Donald whose story began this newsletter. You helped transform his life. We see similar stories repeated every day. Thousands of people experiencing homelessness have new life today because of the faithfulness of folks like you. When you and I both do our parts, lives change. Thanks be to God.

Blessings,



 

 

13th ANNUAL CHRISTMAS IN JULY

by Christin Weir — July 12, 2016

Pre-PRESS RELEASE – For Immediate Release

CONTACT:

Kitty Davis-Walker                                    or                 Alexandra Monsibaez

(213) 673-4585 or (213) 507-5562                      (213)673-4882 or (213)200-1758

VP of Public Relations                                                   PR Coordinator

kwalker@urm.org                                                              amonsibaez@urm.org

-


13th ANNUAL CHRISTMAS IN JULY


JULY 13th 2016


 


LOS ANGELES CALIFORNIA (July 2016) On Wednesday July 13th 2016, Union Rescue Mission (URM) will host their 13th Annual Christmas in July thanks to their longtime partner SUBWAY® Restaurants!  Christmas in July will feature fun games, prizes, and face painting!  Over 200 kids of all ages from URM and Hope Gardens Family Center will be treated to 20 TONS OF SNOW!

 



 

“Christmas in July” is sponsored by SUBWAY® Restaurants who will cater lunch for all of the families, along with cotton candy, snow cones, popcorn, and special guest appearance from Santa Claus in Bermuda shorts because it is July after all! The fun begins at 10:00am so watch out for flying snow balls and lots of fun for hundreds of deserving children experiencing homelessness on Skidrow.




“I am not sure who has the most fun, our precious kids, their moms who jump in and become like kids again, our Union Rescue Mission staff, SUBWAY, or me? This event leaves smiles on our faces for weeks!”  says Andy Bales, Union Rescue Mission Chief Executive Officer



 

 

Media Photo Opportunities:   

  • Children playing in the Snow 10:00 a.m.

  • Santa Claus arrives at URM    11:15 am

  • SUBWAY Caters Lunch to the Children 12:00 noon


 

-

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

Facebook: www.fb.com/UnionRescueMissionLA

Instagram: @UnionRescueMission

Youtube: www.youtube.com/UnionRescueMission

Recent Headlines  

The Mission – September 2016

by Christin Weir — August 26, 2016

The Mission – August 2016

by Union Rescue Mission — August 10, 2016

Andy’s End of Month Update – July

by Kristopher Goodlow — August 1, 2016

Attention Job Seekers!

by Christin Weir — July 11, 2016

 Tweets