We were thrilled when Los Angeles recognized the State of Emergency of Skid Row and prioritized the issue of homelessness. It is absolutely an epidemic right now. The time is past due to allocate resources to the problem.
Unfortunately, the money just hasn’t shown up. I know it makes us feel great that we’re talking about a plan, or proposing a budget, but that doesn’t help the people dying on the street tonight. This emergency was declared six months ago and we’re still talking about what we’re going to do next year or over the next five years.
We’ve gone from 44,000 people experiencing homelessness to 47,000 people, an increase of almost 6%. Of that 3,000 more people, 40% are single women. Now, more than ever, we need to find a place to shelter these vulnerable people, yet more and more shelters are closing their doors. We lost over 2,000 shelter and transitional beds county-wide.
Since last year, the numbers on the streets have increased and over 40% of that growth is single women. We are going backwards.
At Union Rescue Mission, women and children outnumber men for the first time ever and we’re sheltering over 1,000 people each night. Since 2013, there has been a 55% increase in women experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles. We need more options now so women are not stuck on mean streets of Skid Row or anywhere in our city. My heart won’t rest as long as women and children are on the streets. We, Union Rescue Mission, will not rest as long as women and children are on the streets. With your help, while others talk we will continue to step up.
Please consider giving a gift during our Matching Gift Challenge and make an impact on the lives of those experiencing homelessness that have come to Union Rescue Mission. Any gift you give will be matched 100% by our anonymous donors.
As we wrap up the Easter Season, I find myself reflecting back on our celebration of Easter, better known as Resurrection Sunday, at Union Rescue Mission. On March 27th I was asked once again to deliver the annual message at our Sunrise service on the Union Rescue Mission rooftop. The message-He is Risen-He is Risen indeed.
It was quite an honor to celebrate Christ’s resurrection on our rooftop, but to tell you the truth, we celebrate the power of the resurrection every day at Union Rescue Mission. It is celebrated through scripture on our walls, through songs and messages in our chapels and bible studies. Most importantly, we celebrate the power of resurrection through the transformed lives of our precious guests.
I eagerly get out of bed every morning and battle Los Angeles traffic to get to Union Rescue Mission as quickly as I can in order to participate in and see the life saving and life changing work that occurs inside the walls of this amazing place. I feel I have the best job in town.
Little ones saved from hunger and the streets break into the biggest smiles and hand me Hearts of Love they have drawn and colored in.
Join us today and help more people experience the power of resurrection, escape poverty and find their way home again.
God bless you,
Rev. Andy Bales