Mother’s Day doesn’t mean much when you’re living under a bridge in Pacoima, doing drugs every day. I survived violence and torture but was an addict for almost 15 years and lived under a bridge for 3.
Drugs took everything from me, including my four children who were adopted by my mother. Because of my drug addiction, I rarely saw my precious little ones. The only thing drugs gave back to me was the chance to forget for a while every tragic sin, mistake, and choice I ever made.
On the morning of June 30, 2019, I was at my usual spot under the bridge. I was 28 and pregnant with my fifth child. In a flash, everything changed.
I was under the bridge cooking breakfast on a gas stove when it exploded in my face. I knew it was bad. I don’t know why, but in those first few seconds I relived my life—through all the rebellion, drug use, fights, and lost children. I survived six years of violence and torture with the father of my children and another four years of living in a drug haze on the streets.
Before the ambulance came, I prayed, “I’m sorry, God, for everything I’ve done. If you give me an opportunity to survive this and keep my unborn child safe, I promise you that I am going to do different to make better decisions for us both.”
"God gave me this second chance, and I owe Him my life."—Janet
I kept my word. After I recovered from my burns and left the hospital, I gave birth to my son, and I went through a program to get clean and sober. I knew, however, that I was going to need a lot more help if I was going to live a productive, healthy life—for myself and for my son. So I came to Union Rescue Mission, and today I’m rebuilding my life at Hope Gardens. Thank you!
I’ve only just begun this journey and I know I have a long way to go, but I’m not going anywhere without my Lord and Savior. At Hope Gardens I’m building a more solid relationship with Him because I know that without God, I wouldn’t be here today. God gave me this second chance, and I owe Him my life. Now, I’m committed to devoting the rest of my life to Him.
This Mother’s Day will be my first with my son, but there will be many more to follow. Thank you for giving me this chance to be a real mom at last.
Help transform the lives of more neighbors devastated by homelessness!
Your support saves mothers and children devastated by homelessness.
Imagine a mother and three small children huddled in a car at night because they have no home. Or picture them in a small tent under a bridge, terrified of what the night might bring.
No child should be raised on the dangerous, unforgiving streets of Los Angeles. Yet women and children now make up 40% of all people experiencing homelessness.
Thankfully, your support provides a peaceful haven for moms and kids at Union Rescue Mission and Hope Gardens. Here are just a few of the ways moms and kids express their appreciation for what you provide.
“The scariest thing about being homeless is getting assaulted. But I’m most worried about my son. He was premature and is going blind in both eyes. He needs surgery. I want him to grow up healthy. I love that URM has great resources, and the staff are really good and make you feel welcome. I’m thankful that URM gives us safe shelter and three meals a day.”—Julianna
“My greatest fear is losing my children. The scariest thing about being homeless is losing everything. Losing your family, your faith, hope … being weak. I want my kids to know that even though they will have setbacks in life, they have to just keep pushing and don’t stop. My favorite thing about URM is the staff. They talk to you like a friend, and I can trust them. I know that I’m safe here.”—Jacqueline
”My mother means a lot to me because she made me who I am. I liked that I was by nature at Hope Gardens and there were a lot of kids there that I could play with. I want to be a singer when I grow up.”— Leilani
Your prayers and financial gifts are helping break the cycle of poverty for families devastated by homelessness in Los Angeles. Thank you for your compassion and generosity.
Ready to love like a hero?
People devastated by homelessness need a hero … they need you! Join Union Fellowship and commit to give monthly to walk alongside neighbors in need and help them experience spiritual awakening and new life.
What can I expect?
Regular updates on an individual’s progress
Access to participate in public reading of Scripture, Chapel Tuesday, and graduation events
Monthly prayer with a chaplain and special devotionals
The joy of being part of spiritual transformation
A free copy of Love Like a Hero, our new comic book about how an ordinary person can be a superhero in the fight against homelessness
See the impact your gifts have had on our guests and staff—like Kinna who works with our moms. Visit urm.org/stories.
Mother’s Day can be a tough time for a mom trying to turn her life around.
You can encourage her by letting her know that she’s not alone and that you care. You can give her hope.
This Mother’s Day, your generous gift of $25, $35, $100, or more will help provide safe shelter, hot meals, and a second chance at life for more mothers, fathers, sons, and daughters who deserve more than abandonment on the streets.
Help rescue hurting neighbors by joining our fourth annual 5K Walk to Fight Homelessness. This year it’s virtual, meaning you can save lives from your neighborhood, your house … anywhere!
NOTES FROM ANDY
A True Hero
A deadly pandemic … a massive loss of jobs and wages … an unimaginable human disaster of men, women, and children falling into homelessness—the past 14 months have been the most precarious, horrendous time in the history of Union Rescue Mission. It often feels like we’re on the front lines of World War III.
More precious souls are living on the streets of Los Angeles than ever before—and there are fewer resources to help them than there have ever been. Most tragic are the mothers and children devastated by homelessness, and I fear the worst is still to come.
I’ve always promised that Union Rescue Mission will never turn away a mom and her children who need our help. Yet I’ve never felt more challenged to keep that commitment. Honestly, it’s only through the grace of God and faithful supporters like you that we are able to continue making that promise.
In fact, thanks to extraordinary people like you, this fall Union Rescue Mission will open our newest family bridge housing (Angeles House) for up to 86 more families experiencing homelessness. If we really are living in the midst of a kind of World War III, you are one of the true heroes. Thank you for your courageous support.