Chris' Story

"I learned a tough man isn't the guy with a gun or a knife. A tough guy is a man with compassion."

Extend the opportunity for life-change to more people like Chris this Easter!

Please step into the room where Chris is sharing from his heart…

For almost 30 years, staying high on crack was the only way I could deal with the memories of the life I once lived as a gangbanger.

Memories of friends who’d died...of people I’d hurt...of people I’d killed. I couldn’t live with myself anymore. I needed help.

Living Dangerously

I grew up in Echo Park and started running with gangbangers at 14. They became my family. From that point on, everything went berserk.

Gang life was violent. Period. I was shot in the chest at 15, shot in the face at 16, and I have scars from police dogs that attacked me. When I was 18, a rival gang killed my girlfriend. After that, I got really vicious.

Rival gangs ambushed us; we ambushed them. They killed us; we killed them. All the friends I grew up with were dead by 21. 

I always wondered when it would be my turn.

Reach Someone Like Chris This Easter

It all begins with a meal! Your support gives the hope and tools others like Chris need to succeed when they would otherwise hit a dead-end.


Burying the Memories

Throughout my teens and twenties, violence was my life. But I couldn’t handle it. Getting high on crack was the only way I could live with myself, the only way I could bury the guilt and memories of what I’d done.

By 29, I tired of it all and left gang life for six years. However, I kept smoking crack and even went back to the gang.

Then one night in 2010, I got ambushed. I should have died right there in the street. But they missed.

That’s when God got my attention.

I left gang life for good and tried to get clean, but I still couldn’t live with myself sober. I finally said, enough is enough. It was get sober or die.

I came to Union Rescue Mission—not just to quit drugs, but to deal with me.

A New Calling

Over the next year and a half, I got into God’s Word and met my Lord, who died for everything I’d ever done. Through His love and forgiveness, and the love I experienced from the people here, I started to change.

Then God began opening my eyes to all the other hurt men and women inside these walls. God filled my heart with so much empathy for them, and He started using me to help transform their lives.

Little by little, I learned that a tough man isn’t the guy with a gun or a knife. A tough guy is a man with compassion.

I spent my life hurting so many people. I have so much regret. But now...

"God is calling me to spend the rest of my life helping people."

Hope Starts With a $2.54 Easter Meal!

Give generously and reach more people like Chris with meals and hope for new life!


Somewhere safe to find healing

Many of the individuals and families who come to Union Rescue Mission need help beyond the immediate basics of food, shelter, and clothing.

Inside, they are broken, damaged souls. They need a place to feel safe. To find comfort. To be part of a community where they can relate with others who share their suffering, and then begin to find healing through the power of God's love.

Union Rescue Mission is here to help

Union Rescue Mission, located in the very heart of Skid Row, welcomes anyone who needs help—men, women, children, and families. Those who enter into our programs experience the love of God at work in tangible ways.

Easter is the perfect time to share God's love with those who have been devastated by homelessness and who are trying to get back on their feet at Union Rescue Mission.

Providing a meal may seem like a simple thing. But it can be the first step in someone's journey to a brand-new life.

Will you give a generous gift to provide Easter meals today? You'll transform lives with every $2.54 meal you help provide. Thank you, and God bless you!

Reach those devastated by homelessness through your Easter gift

With every $2.54 you give, you'll provide an Easter meal that helps someone start on the road to a new life!