Step 1

Change the way we think and talk about people experiencing homelessness.

Too often we describe or label people as “the homeless” or “addicts” or “transients.” These are precious people, made in the image of God, who are currently experiencing homelessness.

People should never be defined or labeled exclusively by their current condition. They are mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, sons, and daughters. When we label people, we don’t see their potential and the possibilities within them. When we look the other way and ignore people, we dehumanize them and diminish their value. We need to look into our own hearts, change our thinking, and learn to recognize that “there, but for the grace of God, go I,” then ask, “What can I do?” Only then can we make a¬†difference.

Action Steps

  • Watch the “Stories from Skid Row” video series. These powerful videos profile some of the men and women experiencing homelessness on the streets of Skid Row and those who are transforming their lives at Union Rescue Mission. Share your thoughts about these videos on our website and invite your friends to watch them, as well.
  • Schedule a tour of Union Rescue Mission and learn more about the complex issues surrounding the problem of homelessness, as well as potential solutions that could help end homelessness. To schedule your tour, please contact volunteer@urm.org with “TOUR” in the subject line.
  • Read books like Same Kind of Different As Me, A Heart for the City, and When Helping Hurts. Books like these will open your eyes and heart to the needs of people experiencing homelessness.
  • Take time to meet, talk to, and get to know men, women, and children who are experiencing homelessness. Hear their stories, understand their struggles, and put a human face on this issue.
  • Subscribe to Union Rescue Mission’s free monthly newsletter, The Mission.

Join the movement to end systemic homelessness in Los Angeles in 10 years.