Critical News Regarding Hope Gardens

Dear Friends, 

Thank you for taking time to read what I promise is a once-in-a-lifetime letter from me. Our last board meeting was the most grueling meeting I have experienced in my 32 years of ministry and nonprofit work. Everyone was kind and supportive, but the circumstances are alarming and battered my soul. 

We have increased our services by 45% over the past two years in a valiant attempt to step up amidst the continuing economic crisis to meet the needs around us. To make matters worse, this fiscal year our giving is down 21%. This is a devastating combination! We have cut expenses in every area, including pay reductions and the layoff of eight faithful staff members. We have also developed a sustainability plan that will strengthen us in the long run, but it will not fill the immediate gap in our funding and get us through the next few months.

I must share with you that unless we raise $2,800,000 by June 30, we will be forced to close the doors of our Hope Gardens Family Center — a proven life-changing and life-giving environment for women and children. 

This would be crushing news for the 24 additional families we are preparing to move from Skid Row to Hope Gardens. And it would be devastating to the 34 moms and 74 children and each of the 23 senior ladies who have escaped homelessness and are living a life of hope.

Closing Hope Gardens would be my worst nightmare…I am not sure my heart could take watching the precious women and children gathering up their belongings and moving out of the oasis of peace, safety, opportunity and hope we have fought so hard to provide.

If you would join with the tens of thousands who will receive this mailing and give a gift of $100, $50 or any amount you can spare, we can avert this crisis. Please help us keep these precious women and children from returning to Skid Row. Thank you for prayerfully considering this life-giving gift. 

Your co-worker in Christ,


Andy Bales

5 thoughts on “Critical News Regarding Hope Gardens

  1. Hilary Reed on

    Hi Andy-
    I can’t stop thinking about this crisis and am trying to think creatively about ways to help (beyond what we can personally give). I just emailed a message to some LA radio hosts who have a large audience. Perhaps we can organize to try to get a lot of media attention and for the wider audience. I am praying hard for you all!

    Hilary Reed

  2. Thank you, Hillary. I am available at all times. 626-260-4761. Bless you!

  3. I sort of wish I had that problem…I am sorry you are struggling I have a self reliant foundation and give about 50grand per year to our local charities..
    Looking for ways to expand at any cost..
    Perhaps there is a way we could partner with each other to help each other the main thing i need is encouragement I have never accepted any donations…
    I know certain large charities bought 9mil worth of home for executive housing and pay there CEO 200g per year…How can they say they do the most good..
    I give all I have daily and if i dont have it then i can still give of myself…
    I receive no money just a handshake and Gods blessing..

  4. David,

    I have spent a bit of time at Union Rescue Mission and have made a few direct observations.

    Andy Bales, the CEO drives a Honda. He was not wear four fugure suits. I know some of his executive staff and many of them take the bus to work each day. They feed between 3,000 and 5,000 folks per day at an economic cost which stretches every dollar. In spite of the number of meals they can serve for each dollar they have to spend the meals are large, tasty and healthy. I would go as far to say that the meals exceed the taste of the meals created by most of my ex-wives.

    Seriously, there is no waste in the allocation of the funds URM receives that I can see. Their programs have been proven, they work, and URM has a track record of success.

    On the subject of you not accepting donations – I feel this is counter productive. If somebody donates a dollar that allows you to feed three people a meal it seems that there is some logic that you may need to rethink. The dollar was willing to be given by an individual, there are people who desire to eat and if you can turn that dollar into a few meals it is almost a crime to turn your back on this cycle of helping.

    Best luck in your quest to help others. It is a wonderful thing to do. One last word of advice rather than encourgement from me …. take the dollar that is offered, make somebodies life a little better if even for an hour with the dollar.


  5. Eva Kennedy on

    I Eva Kennedy resides at Hope Gardens, me and my son DaKeis Mendoza, we been living there since June 15, 2009, and to see me and my son return to Skid Row that will be devastiting for us.

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