I was a single mom with four young kids, and I desperately needed a job. But I had been a drug addict for more than 10 years. I had been arrested several times for shoplifting. And I had just left prison. I wanted a second chance, but who would hire me?
It was my fault. Since the age of 18, I’d been on my own and I wanted to party, drink, and smoke weed. But I wasn’t irresponsible. I held good jobs. But then someone introduced me to “primos” — weed mixed with crack cocaine. It was love at first cough. Nothing else mattered.
Before long, I was smoking every day, all day. It got so bad, I couldn’t hold on to a job, so I started shoplifting. I hated myself for it, but I just couldn’t stop smoking. By the time I was 30, I had four kids and I knew they deserved better.
So when I went to prison in August 2004 for shoplifting, I turned my life over to God and determined that I would change my life. When I got out in May of 2005, I knew I needed a job to support my kids. But what hope did I have?
That’s when God led me to Union Rescue Mission. URM was more than just a shelter. They taught me how to write a resume, how to interview, and how to dress appropriately. They made me believe in second chances and even helped connect me to potential employers willing to give people like me a new start.
But little did I know it would be Union Rescue Mission who would hire me, and I’ve been here ever since! Today, I work in our Gifts in Kind department, helping the Mission secure everything we need — cleaning supplies, hygiene products, food and kitchen utensils, clothing, baby products, blankets, gym equipment, and so much more. And now I’m also helping find everything we need to stock URM’s new thrift store in Covina, which I know will help even more people like me.
Union Rescue Mission gave me confidence when I didn’t have any left. They gave me a second chance when I didn’t deserve one. They believed in me, supported me, and equipped me to live a brand-new life. And that means everything.
A Thrifty New Venture
by Jeri Little, Vice President, Micro Enterprise
Caring people like you have been transforming the lives of hurting people at Union Rescue Mission for more than 120 years. But most of our guests today need more than a transformed life to escape homelessness — they also need a job.
With that in mind, URM is opening a new thrift store in Covina, which promises to provide jobs for some of our guests, and offer many other benefits, as well. Beyond this new thrift store, however, your gifts enable us to do much more to equip our guests to find employment. Thanks to you, our guests learn how to write resumes, get connected to job training opportunities, learn how to present themselves in interviews, and are even able to connect with valuable mentors and potential employers.
For more information about URM’s new thrift store in Covina, please contact Troy West at 626-915-3417.
The streets of Skid Row are harsh any time of year. But when temperatures rise above 90 degrees, life here becomes even more cruel. Right now, outside our doors, people are already suffering from life-threatening, heat-related illnesses. They desperately need your help.
Yet every summer, donations to Union Rescue Mission drop way off, and right now this lack of funding, coupled with increasing food costs, is threatening our ability to meet the needs of precious souls who need our help this summer.
You can make a huge difference right now. Your gift today will provide not just water, but also cool shelter, nutritious meals, and another day of hope — in Jesus’ name — to these precious people who need your help the most this summer. So please send the most generous gift you can today. Thank you!
Notes from Andy
The Way Home Is Through a Job
Everything we do at Union Rescue Mission is designed to enable people experiencing
homelessness to leave here prepared to live a successful life. And a key part of
that mission involves preparing people for a job. You can transform someone’s life
and find them a place to live, but if they can’t pay for it, they’ll end up right back
on the streets.
That’s one of the reasons we’re opening a new thrift store in Covina, which I hope
is just the first of many we open all over LA County. Other nonprofit organizations
like ours, nationwide, have proven time and again how thrift stores can provide
valuable work skills, jobs, and a sustainable income for people once
considered largely unemployable.
And that’s where you come in. Your financial gifts to URM do far more than provide meals and shelter. Your gifts help transform lives and help prepare men and women experiencing homelessness with job-preparedness training, work skills, and even job opportunities with employers all over Los Angeles.
A life transformed, followed by a job, followed by a home. That’s our strategy. But you’re the one who makes it happen. You are the Mission.