Dave Schechter, CNN Senior National Editor, interviewed Union Rescue Mission’s CEO Andy Bales about the work being done by the mission to assist the increasing number of individuals who are homeless.
Most of the families living at the Los Angeles shelter are homeless for the first time in their lives. They’re coming from everywhere around Southern California, an epicenter of the nation’s mortgage meltdown and foreclosure crisis.
“These are not people who have been in the cycle of poverty,” Bales tells me. They are working people who have lost jobs, who juggled expenses for food, utilities, clothing, health care and housing until they no longer could keep a roof over their heads.
As a result, the number families at the shelter is up 300 percent in a year and the number of individuals up 25 percent. The number of meals served is up 40 percent — to more than 1 million in a year.