It really is going to be a happy new year! (Thanks to you!)
Facing a happy, new future
Lydia endured a lifetime of pain, suffering, abandonment, and violence. But thanks to you, she has the chance to build a new life and a happier future in 2018!
“I’m a fighter. I’ve been angry most of my life, and it’s gotten me into a lot of trouble. But I wish people could see it’s because of all the hurt I’ve been through.
“In third grade, one of my brothers was murdered. Three years later, one of my other brothers started molesting me for four years.
“And when I finally spoke up, I got taken from my family and placed in foster care.”
“I wanted a fairy tale life. But that wasn’t my reality.”
“By then, I was so angry, and I fought against everyone. I felt abandoned. Like no one cared. Sometimes I even cut myself just to get attention. Then, when I was 18, I moved in with my boyfriend. Eventually he became the father of my four kids.
“But our relationship was often violent, and that’s when I turned to drugs to escape — especially meth and ecstasy. I wanted a fairy tale life. But that wasn’t my reality.”
“My biggest wish”
“Later, I lost all my kids because of domestic violence, and I ended up homeless, panhandling for drug money, living in parks or under bridges, or riding buses all night. But a year ago, I was finally ready to change. I got clean and sober and came to Union Rescue Mission to build a new life for myself and my newborn son. Here, I found the loving support and attention I needed. They held me accountable and made sure I did everything I was supposed to do. I’ve also learned to control my temper, and, thanks to the people here, it looks like I may get all my children back in 2018 — and as we head into the new year, that is my biggest wish!
“I just moved into my own apartment, and I’m on my own for the first time in my life. I’ve also started school to become a drug and alcohol counselor for women like me. It’s not easy, but for the first time, I love myself and my new life. Thanks to you, I’m really going to have a happy new year!”
This past year was a challenging one for precious people experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles. According to official estimates, homelessness was up a tragic 23% from 2016 — and the largest increases were among single women and families!
As a result, 2017 was one of the hardest years in Union Rescue Mission’s history, as we continued our tradition of being the only Mission in Los Angeles to provide shelter for single men, single women, single mothers with children, single fathers with children, and even intact families. Yet because of your faithful partnership, 2017 will be remembered as a year of accomplishments and highlights.
Here are just a few:
2017 Accomplishments and Highlights
Thanks to your support, URM has served more people experiencing homelessness than ever before. Every day, you help provide more than 2,500 meals and shelter to more than 1,240 men, women, and children.
YOU helped serve more people in need than ever
This year, the number of volunteers who have come to serve our guests at Union Rescue Mission has risen 75% — which means your support goes that much further!
Volunteer engagement at an all-time high!
Your gifts have helped a record number of families get the food, shelter, and critical services they need to get back on their feet. In 2010, the height of the Great Recession, URM helped a total of 450 families. This year, we’ve already helped an extraordinary 1,100 families!
Your generosity has reached record crowds
We’ve already raised one-third of the money necessary to build a new site in South Los Angeles that will provide shelter and services for up to 81 additional families.
More people in need will be reached in 2018, thanks to you
2018 Challenges to Come
Homelessness will continue to rise…
Homelessness is rising dramatically in Los Angeles and we expect that trend to continue in the new year, threatening our ability to meet the growing need and the influx of men, women, and children seeking our help.
Desperate times call for desperate measures
We hope to build a semipermanent structure in our rear parking lot to provide emergency shelter for up to 200 more single women experiencing homelessness. We also hope to build 15 more units for single mothers and children at Hope Gardens.
In this season of giving, there’s no better way to transform the life of someone experiencing homelessness than to give a gift that offers real help and hope at a time when they need it the most. Your generosity can get one man, one woman, or one family off the streets for good — and on to a brand-new life!
Feed a hungry person, and start them on their journey toward a transformed life!
Provide Emergency Response Kits
Provide individuals in emergency situations with a cot, hygiene essentials, and emergency services.
Give a safe haven
Give families a place where they can feel safe away from the streets.
Notes from Andy
Finding God in people like you
I reached out to you with an absolute, desperate plea in September — if we did not reach our budgeted revenue for July, August, and September, we would have to cut back and no longer have emergency cots on our 1st floor for up to 250 precious souls. We would also have to limit the number of families we could serve. I shared that our hearts wouldn’t let us do that — and your overwhelming, unbelievably generous response allowed us to continue welcoming every single woman and family who has come to our doors!!
Instead of a desperate plea, I want to tell you all of the good we will accomplish together this month and next if we make our budgeted revenue for December — $4 Million by December 31st!!
We will be able to:
Put up and keep up a heated tent-like structure to room 200 women in our back parking lot, complete with eight restrooms and eight showers.
Add a wing for families on our 5th floor so we will be able to continue to welcome all families who come to our door.
Add 15 units of permanent supportive housing at URM’s Hope Gardens for families.
Continue moving ahead with plans to break ground next spring and build a satellite emergency shelter for 81 families in Compton.
All of this while still continuing to shelter and serve over 850 women and children, and 550 men 24/7/365.
This is a big mountain to climb and a lot to ask of you, our partners, but we cannot step back from this FEMA-like/Red Cross-like disaster.
Let’s continue together to be The Mission that steps up when others step back and steps up to the need even when it seems impossible.