In a million years, Amanda couldn’t have imagined her life would end up this way.
Even though she grew up in a broken home, she shined at everything she tried. She played soccer, sang in the choir, and excelled academically — graduating from high school a year early.
Then she began dating an older guy who introduced her to drugs and alcohol, and her life hit a wall. Here’s how she remembers it...
“I was sleeping in tents with people I didn’t know,” she says. “To this day, I still can’t remember their names.”
75% of people experiencing homelessness in LA can’t find shelter and are living on the streets.
There are now 215 women and children living at the Hope Gardens, making it the largest transitional living facility in Los Angeles County.
Women now make up 1 out of every 3 people experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles.
What she does remember is the shocking news of finding out she was pregnant and the gut-wrenching fear that suddenly overwhelmed her. How would she care for this baby without a roof over their heads? What would they eat? Where would they sleep? And how long before the authorities found out and took her baby away?
“I was sleeping in tents with people I didn’t know”
At the depth of her despair Amanda found out about our Hope Gardens Family Center, and jumped at the chance to live in a place that was safe and nurturing . . . a place where she could be the mom she had always dreamed she could be.
Turns out Union Rescue Mission’s comprehensive recovery program for women and children offered her more. A whole lot more.
From the day she first stepped foot on our 77-acre Sylmar campus, Amanda says she’s been treated without judgement. She’s finally made the kind of friends she can “actually trust.” And little by little, she’s begun to see her life transformed as she puts more trust in God — and less in herself.
“I think I’m now a better version of myself than before I became homeless. I have Jesus and I have this great staff at Hope Gardens who support me.”
“donors underestimate the impact they’ve had on changing lives like mine”
Although Amanda’s done a lot of hard work to turn her life around, she is quick to credit God, Union Rescue Mission, and donors who “underestimate the impact they’ve had on changing lives like mine” for the better. “I appreciate them,” she says.
Amanda is proof that your giving changes the lives of people going through the most difficult times imaginable. Please continue to support Union Rescue Mission, both prayerfully and financially. Thank you!
“Thanks to Hope Gardens, my faith was restored.”
“I am forever grateful that God brought me here.”
Women and children now make up 40% of all people experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles County. That’s why we created Hope Gardens. Single moms call it an oasis of hope.
We call it a safe haven for families in dire need. Designed to move people beyond the trauma in their past, Hope Gardens features:
Thanks to you, Jazzmine got the help she needed to make a new start.
Watch Jazzmine's video to see how your gift helped transform her life.Watch more stories
The number of women and children on Skid Row has exploded in the last year.
Up 35% for women; and a shocking 109% for children.
If ever there was a time where Los Angeles needed your compassion, it’s NOW!
Without you, these families would be trapped in an endless cycle of misery and despair. Won’t you look deep inside your heart and help stop their suffering?
Only God’s grace — and your kindness — can keep these families from losing hope entirely. That’s why your continued support is so very important right now.
Thank you for putting your compassion into action to help our neighbors in dire need.
The streets of Skid Row are already one of the most dangerous places in Los Angeles County for a woman.
Now imagine that same woman being all alone... and pregnant!
I don’t have to imagine it. Here was a woman so immersed in her addiction it seemed nothing could lift her out of the mess her life had become. Not rehab. Not jail time. I met such a woman not long ago: Amanda, who is featured in our cover story this month.
But when Amanda found herself pregnant and on the streets, it jolted her into making a life-changing decision. I won’t spoil the rest of her story. Let’s just say, you’ll be surprised.
The need among women and children on Skid Row has become so big it cannot be ignored. That’s why we’re putting so much effort into expanding our Hope Gardens Family Center — and why I pray you’ll continue to support this life-changing ministry.
Nothing happens at Union Rescue Mission without God’s leading — and your generosity. Thank you for continuing to support this ministry, prayerfully and financially. It’s changing lives!