We have 500 more precious souls under our roofs at Union Rescue Mission than we did last year at this time. Incredibly, almost all of that increase has been single women and women with children.
For the first time in our 125 year history, women and children outnumber men in our building by more than 200! There are twice as many single women at Union Rescue Mission as last year. We have more families than during the Great Recession when our resources were pushed to the limit.
We made a choice long ago to never turn away a family from our doors nor ever leave a woman on the mean streets of Skid Row. Homelessness devastates children. What happens to women on the streets is horrendous. My heart won’t let me. Our hearts won’t let us.
Union Rescue Mission is now the only Mission that welcomes families with children.
Not only are we the only downtown shelter for families with children, we are also the only shelter for single women. Because of this commitment to families, community and government agencies from throughout Los Angeles County are referring them here. Union Rescue Mission has become Los Angeles’ emergency response to homelessness.
Our commitment to embrace all with the compassion of Christ has called us to welcome 1,300 guests under our roofs each night. Tonight, more than 260 children will go to sleep at Union Rescue Mission.
We are now at capacity as a Mission.
To properly care for 1,300 men, women and children, we need to add $580,000 to our budget. This would allow us to increase our staff and expand our resources. Without these additional funds, we will need to exit our guest men to make room for the women and children.
I do not want that to happen. I know you don’t want that to happen, either.