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by Christin Weir — May 26, 2016

PRESS RELEASE – For Immediate Release


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                                                       


LOS ANGELES CALIF. (May, 2016) --- Union Rescue Mission was recently awarded a $25,000 dollar grant to support its Jobs and Workforce Development Program! This Program provides practical help to men and women experiencing homelessness prepare for, find, secure and keep employment. Its goal is to help people experiencing homelessness achieve economic stability and independence through employment by eliminating barriers that keep them trapped in poverty, unemployment and homelessness!

“At URM we strive to help our guests experience a life transformed, followed by a job, followed by a home. Thanks to Wal*Mart for playing a crucial role in this effort. Nothing ends homelessness like a job” said Reverend Andy Bales CEO of Union Rescue Mission.

Media Photo Opportunities: At Check Presentation!           

About Union Rescue Mission

Union Rescue Mission is a non-profit organization dedicated to serving people experiencing homelessness. Established in 1891, URM is one of the largest rescue missions of its kind in the United States and is the oldest in Los Angeles.  It provides a comprehensive array of emergency and long-term services, including food, shelter, clothing; medical and dental care; Christian recovery programs, transitional housing, legal assistance, education, counseling, and job training to needy men, women, children and families.  For more information, please visit

Twitter: @URM


Instagram: @UnionRescueMission


Skid Row’s State of Emergency

by Rev. Andy — May 23, 2016

We were thrilled when Los Angeles recognized the State of Emergency of Skid Row and prioritized the issue of homelessness. It is absolutely an epidemic right now. The time is past due to allocate resources to the problem.

Unfortunately, the money just hasn’t shown up. I know it makes us feel great that we’re talking about a plan, or proposing a budget, but that doesn’t help the people dying on the street tonight. This emergency was declared six months ago and we're still talking about what we're going to do next year or over the next five years.

We’ve gone from 44,000 people experiencing homelessness to 47,000 people, an increase of almost 6%. Of that 3,000 more people, 40% are single women. Now, more than ever, we need to find a place to shelter these vulnerable people, yet more and more shelters are closing their doors. We lost over 2,000 shelter and transitional beds county-wide.

Since last year, the numbers on the streets have increased and over 40% of that growth is single women. We are going backwards.

At Union Rescue Mission, women and children outnumber men for the first time ever and we’re sheltering over 1,000 people each night. Since 2013, there has been a 55% increase in women experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles. We need more options now so women are not stuck on mean streets of Skid Row or anywhere in our city. My heart won’t rest as long as women and children are on the streets. We, Union Rescue Mission, will not rest as long as women and children are on the streets. With your help, while others talk we will continue to step up.

Please consider giving a gift during our Matching Gift Challenge and make an impact on the lives of those experiencing homelessness that have come to Union Rescue Mission. Any gift you give will be matched 100% by our anonymous donors.

The Mission – June 2016

by Shawna Sopp — May 20, 2016

My parents loved me and raised me right. I was on a good path — until I got lost after my father died when I was 16. Without his guidance, I started hanging out with the wrong crowd, drinking, smoking marijuana, and eventually smoking crack. Before long, I lost everything and ended up on a path that eventually took me all the way to Skid Row.

On Skid Row, I could smoke all the dope I wanted. I spent my days on a sidewalk, and slept in the different missions here at night. I smoked crack all day, every day, so I didn’t have to face all my disappointments and failures. And I smoked crack so I could endure the horrors of Skid Row — a filthy, drug paradise controlled by the devil. A place that drives many people here to near madness.

I saw women get beat up and raped. I saw a man get his throat cut open. I saw people die out there every month. But the worst part? You get used to it.

In 2014, though, I couldn’t do it anymore. I came to Union Rescue Mission to get help. I give the chaplains and all the other guys here a lot of credit for helping me get sober. But what really changed my life was the day I looked at how bad my life had become and realized I had no one else to blame but me. I had to forgive myself and realize I could still live right, the way I was raised.

So I invited God into my life and let Him heal me and take control. God became personal to me. And when that happened, everything changed.

Now I want to get involved and be part of the solution for others. I’ve already gone back into the streets and persuaded three other people to get help like I did. And now I’m planning on going back to college to get a degree in drug and alcohol counseling, so I can help others get to where I am.


Union Rescue Mission offers much more than food and shelter — we resurrect the lives of men like Paul. Watch his story at




A Streets-Eye View of Skid Row

Everywhere there’s smoke, cigarettes, pee, and trash. It’s dirty everywhere. Nowhere is sanitary. When it gets hot, the smell becomes overpowering. — Marquesha, 15

The streets are horrible. There ain’t no respect for life. You can get someone killed out here for $5. — Tom, unknown age

Sometimes I lived in a tent on the sidewalk, other times I lived in a storage unit. In the winter, I can’t tell you how many times I went to bed wet and freezing. And I reeked because I rarely bathed.
— Guillermo, 41

Where’s Jesus on Skid Row?

by Dan Anderson, Director of Strategic Relationships

Some people say hell is wherever God is absent. It’s hard to look at Skid Row and not think that’s true. As a pastor, I spent much of my life in the suburbs.But last winter, I started working here at Union Rescue Mission and Skid Row. I’ve never seen anything like the pain and suffering I see on Skid Row. The sidewalks are crowded, elbow to elbow. Trash piles up everywhere. It smells like urine, and you have to be careful you don’t step in human waste. But for many, these sidewalks are their home. Even their bed. No human being should have to live like this.

Skid Row — The Final Stop
Every day, I walk these streets, praying for people. The heaviness of spiritual oppression overwhelms me. Many people I meet are filled with so much sadness and hopelessness. Their lives have been one giant fall through the cracks until they land here, the final stop, the end of their rope, where too often they give up on life, because they feel like life gave up on them.But God made these men and women. They’re God’s special masterpieces, made in His image. When Jesus walked the earth, these are the people He befriended — and healed. People the world labeled as prostitutes, thieves, outcasts, drunkards, sinners, people with broken bodies and wounded souls, the weak and powerless. The people here on Skid Row need Jesus’ healing touch today — but where is He?

See For Yourself
He’s right here. He never left. He’s out there on the sidewalks, and He’s inside the walls of Union Rescue Mission, transforming lives through people like you and me. He’s in every gift you send and every prayer you pray. I know, because I see it every day. In fact, I invite you to come see for yourself. Take a tour, meet the men and women whose lives YOU have helped transform in the name of Jesus, helping people who cannot give anything back in return. You and I, working together, have an extraordinary opportunity to make a difference on Skid Row. And through the power of Jesus Christ, we’re transforming lives. Thank you for being Jesus on these streets.

Going Strong for 125 Years Because of You:
A Testimony From 1996

“Please help me! I’ve never been to Skid Row,” said Jennifer, a young mother with three children, ages 3, 5, and 10. “I don’t know what to do. Someone told me Union Rescue Mission could help.” It’s hard to imagine the fear and despair she must have felt walking her kids through these streets. She could barely speak between her sobs of hurt, as her children cowered behind her. Delowesia, a URM staff member,tenderly put her arm around the young mother’s shoulder and held her hand. “It’s okay, you’re safe here.” Later that evening, as Jennifer stroked the heads of her sleeping children, she began to sob, “This may sound strange,” she said, “but my tears are really ones of joy. I can’t tell you the last time I went to bed with sounds of love ringing in my ears instead of hateful threats. This is a wonderful place.”

Notes from Andy:
There is Hope

On the surface, Skid Row is an overcrowded, post-apocalyptic world of chaos, violence, and lawlessness. The sidewalks are clogged with tents and makeshift shelters sitting on concrete stained with human waste. The people who call these streets home could be predators or prey. They’re hungry, desperate, and many are beaten, raped, and robbed over a dollar or a watch. That’s what some people see on the surface of Skid Row. But it’s not what I see. I see precious individuals, made in the image of God, who have been dumped into this vacuum of despair and left to die. I see hurting men and women who have a better future, if only they could see it and receive help. It would be easy to lose hope out here. But I don’t. That’s because every day I see lives transformed here, I see people who have escaped these streets and are now filled with joy and hope. And those lives change for one reason: people like YOU who care and who are willing to do something about it. This is God’s work. And as long as you and I continue working together here, there is hope.


It’s shocking. Tragically, as many as 4,000 people now call the filthy, dangerous sidewalks and back alleys of Skid Row “home”— and more come every day. Some are mentally ill and many are struggling with addictions, but all of them are precious men and women made in the image of God. No one deserves this kind of life. And for the past 125 years, thanks to thousands of caring people just like you, Union Rescue Mission has transformed the lives of countless hurting souls on these streets, leading them back to health and wholeness — and home.

Often, it doesn’t take a lot to help a hurting man or womanget back on their feet and escape Skid Row. But today, thanks to an extraordinary matching grant, your generous gift of $25, $35, or more will help provide TWICE the food, and shelter, and a fresh start at life for people experiencing homelessness. So please send the most generous gift you can today. Thank you! For more information or to put your gift to work even faster, go to

Recent Headlines  


by Christin Weir — May 26, 2016

Skid Row’s State of Emergency

by Rev. Andy — May 23, 2016

Andy’s End of Month Update – April

by Kristopher Goodlow — April 29, 2016

The Mission – May 2016

by Shawna Sopp — April 25, 2016