I have to admit, this is the 1st day in over 5 years when I was not eager to come into work at Union Rescue Mission. My eyes welled up with tears as I drove up to my parking place this morning. Tears streamed as I signed the severance checks and good-bye letters to 11 of our faithful co-workers.
As I write, there is a man on the streets of Skid Row outside, deeply troubled, and yelling at the top of his lungs about the circumstances of his world. This morning, I completely understand his anger.
This is the letter that each of our departing heroic co-workers received this morning:
It is with great sorrow that I let you know that due to necessary budget cuts; Union Rescue Mission has been forced to remove your position and end your time as an employee of Union Rescue Mission.
Our Board of Directors gave us a mandate to present a balanced budget, and after a couple of attempts, we finally did. Although I was thankful that we could save Union Rescue Mission and keep Hope Gardens open while presenting a balanced budget, I was deeply anguished over what this meant for you and other valuable members of our team.
This round of reductions is the one that hurts the very most. We had to go painfully deep in hopes that this will be the final round of lay-offs. We have to release employees who have not only done their job, but employees who have performed their duties very well. We have had to let go of cherished former graduates, grads who we are very proud of, from our very own URM program who have been doing a very good job. This really hurts, and what hurts the most is how this affects you and your family. I personally apologize that this has happened on my watch. I have spent many sleepless nights, including last night, trying to figure out another way. I am so sorry.
Thank you, for your diligent efforts. Thank you, for sharing your time and talent with our guests and staff. Thank you, for your personal sacrifice, taking the pay reductions, losing your 401K match, stepping up to help with your benefits, and still showing up every day to give your best. This decision is not about you or your performance, but is all about the economy and the difficult times.
Your sacrifice and efforts will not be forgotten. Your story and commitment will forever be written on our wall of history, part of the group that stepped up in 2007-2010 to serve even 3 times the need that URM experienced during the Great Depression. Unfortunately, this Great Recession continues to challenge us and has led us to this heart-wrenching decision today.
Union Rescue Mission and I will be praying for you and hoping for nothing but the best. You are always welcome to stop by, visit, and perhaps volunteer. We will always welcome you as an honored guest.
Friends, please keep each one of these, our precious former co-workers in your prayers. Keep URM and our guests in your prayers. One of the ways that I made it through the weekend, barely made it through the weekend, was to not only grieve this loss, but to also thank God that somehow in His grace and goodness he allowed URM and Hope Gardens to continue on, and He allowed you and I to keep our jobs during this difficult time. Know as well, that receiving this letter means that you have done a remarkable job during this difficult time and that you are absolutely essential to the ongoing operations of URM and Hope Gardens Family Center. Please take time to grieve, but take some time to give thanks as well.
We will hold a Town Hall after Chapel today to de-brief about these difficult budget decisions and how to proceed this next fiscal year.
Bless you, Andy B.