Thank you!

Thank you!

Everyone at Union Rescue Mission felt so blessed to have had so much help over the holidays! We couldn’t have done it without your donations of time and treasure! You each have a special place in our hearts even if we didn’t have the space to thank you individually here.

We all want to acknowledge some those that specifically helped with our Christmas Store. Because of these wonderful volunteers and donors, hundreds of families were able to experience the joy of Christmas shopping that otherwise might not have been possible.

  • KASE Real Estate Thank you!
  • Stateside Agency
  • El Segundo Post office
  • CSI Financial Planning
  • Assembly Member Miguel Santiago
  • USB America
  • Brian Adams and Sovereign Media
  • Salem Media Group
  • San Fernando American Legion
  • Trinity Church
  • Crenshaw Christian Center
  • This is Refuge
  • Sunland Neighborhood ChurchThank you! 1
  • Hollywood United Methodist Church
  • School on Wheels
  • Bel Air Presbyterian Church
  • St. James Church
  • Pasadena Cyclery
  • All Nations Church
  • Shepherd of the Hills
  • Sherman Oaks United Methodist Church
  • Salvation Army

Thank you for your generosity and kindness.


PRE- PRESS RELEASE – For Immediate Release






Kitty Davis-Walker                                      or                    Alexandra Monsibaez

(213) 673-4585 or (213) 507-5562                           (213)673-4882 or (213)200-1758

VP of Public Relations                                                        PR Coordinator                                                        




LOS ANGELES CALIFORNIA (JULY 2016), Single women experiencing homelessness is at an absolute crisis point on Skid Row in Los Angeles. The recent LAHSA count showed a 55% increase in women experiencing homelessness on the streets since 3 years ago. Of the 4000 more people on the streets this year compared to last, 40% are single women.


Rev. Andy Bales, CEO of Union Rescue Mission states “our number of guests is up 400 over last year at this time, the biggest increase by far is in the number of single women in the Mission since last month.  We are searching our own building for more space and increasing our capacity for cots, and reaching out to our neighboring partners to see if they have space we can share to handle the emergency.”




URM is truly the only place to turn to for sheltering single women, moms, Dads, and two parent families. Currently 633 women and moms with children stay at URM’s two facilities, along with 500 men.


“This is the first time in our 125 year history that women and children served out numbers men. We have a policy of never turning away a woman or a family with children.  Our hearts won’t let us.  Where would they go.”  Bales added.



About URM

URM is one of the largest missions of its kind in America — bringing help and hope to men, women, and children experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles. URM provides comprehensive emergency and long-term recovery services to our guests to help them escape the dangerous streets of Skid Row and transition from homelessness to independent living.


About URM’s Hope Gardens Family Center

Nestled in the foothills of the AngelesNational Forest, HGFC offers a peaceful setting and transitional living to moms, children, a number of single women and permanent supportive housing to senior women.  In addition to food and shelter, HGFC offers the real help women need to escape homelessness forever, long-term rehabilitation programs, job training, counseling, training and encouragement.


Twitter: @URM


Instagram: @UnionRescueMission


URM Alumni Association


Calling all graduates of Union Rescue Mission!

Are you a graduate of URM? If so, we would love for you to stay connected by joining our URM ALUMNI ASSOCIATION! Come join us for community, volunteer opportunities, events and updates on Union Rescue Mission! Get reconnected with old friends and reminisce. If interested, please visit our Facebook page.

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The Mission – April 2016

April Cover

In 2014, Tiffani got caught in a perfect storm of misfortune. The year started well. “I learned I was pregnant with my youngest daughter. I had just graduated from Everest College. I was working two jobs. I had two cars.

I was living with my grandmother and was doing good for myself and my kids,” she recalls.
But in April, she first lost one job and then the other. Unable to pay rent, her grandmother asked her to leave in June.

“I didn’t have any other family who would take us in,” she says. “So me and my children lived in a truck, until that was repossessed. Then we lived in a motel. I lost everything.”
But in September, her fortunes changed when she learned about Hope Gardens, a safe haven for single mothers and children experiencing homelessness.

“I knew it was the right choice for my children,” she says. “They’d have their own beds, showers, and three meals a day. But I needed it, too. I was a mess. I needed support. And I needed hope.”

Tiffani found that and more. Over the next 16 months, the staff at Hope Gardens taught her better parenting skills, how to save money, and they even helped her improve her relationship with her fiancé. And “they helped me figure out who I am: a strong, independent black woman,” she says.

She also credits the support she received from the other mothers. “The women here, we’re all the same. We all have things we’re going through and we all need help. I needed a sisterhood, or a family, to help me get where I needed to go. I got that here,” she explains.
But best of all, Tiffani says she found a new faith in God. “Before, God was always on the back burner,” she explains. “But He’s the one who got me through all this. Now He’s number one in everything.

“They call this place a garden,” Tiffani says. “Well, God used Hope Gardens to plant a seed inside of me. Then they watered it every day to keep that seed alive and grow.” And today, Tiffani is a grown, mature woman, ready to blossom in the world away from Hope Gardens.

“I did not deserve to be homeless,” she says. “But God does everything for a reason. He used this to open my eyes and show me what’s really important.”



No one deserves to experience homelessness — but everyone who IS experiencing homelessness deserves your compassion and help. Your gifts to Union Rescue Mission provide them with:

• Meals • Spiritual Guidance • Safe Shelter • Recovery from Addiction • Health and Dental Care • Love and Friendship • Educational and Job Opportunities • Counseling • A Way Home


Because of YOU for 125 years: Colin’s Story

IMG_1640_CMYKFor almost 15 years, Colin, originally from Uganda, lived the American dream — until the spring of 2008, when his coffee-importing business collapsed and his home went into foreclosure. Suddenly Colin, his wife, and his 3-year-old daughter found themselves walking the streets of Skid Row to Union Rescue Mission.
“It just shows how quickly things can unravel,” says Colin. “When we came to Skid Row, all I could think was, ‘What am I doing here? This isn’t my story.’ But I quickly realized anyone can suddenly find himself here. Whether you’re a CEO of a Fortune 500 company or a beggar on the street, things outside your control can quickly change.”
Today, thanks to caring friends like you and the help he received at Union Rescue Mission, Colin and his family have returned to Africa, where they founded and run the International Hospitality Academy of Rwanda.

Homelessness in LA

Attention Golfers: 9th Annual Spring Golf Classic

If you or someone you know enjoys golfing, please consider joining us for our 9th Annual Spring Golf Classic on May 16, 2016. This event, held at Mountaingate Country Club, will help Union Rescue Mission provide hope and healing to men, women, and children experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles.
For more information, please call Karmen Herring at (213) 347-6311 or


Notes from Andy
No One Deserves This

Homelessness is exploding, not just on Skid Row, but all over Los Angeles. It’s skyrocketing rents. The breaking down of families. Mental health issues. Broken prison and foster-care systems. Child and spousal abuse. Unemployment. And, yes, drug and alcohol addictions.

And it’s not just men anymore. For the first time in Union Rescue Mission’s history, we’re sheltering more women and children than men. But no matter who we’re talking about, no one deserves to get left behind, to experience homelessness. Children don’t make that choice. Tiffani didn’t make that choice. The mentally ill don’t make that choice. Not even those who are losing the war to their addictions deserve to die on a sidewalk.

They need help, not judgment. And who will give them that help? “Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter” (Proverbs 24:11). Caring people like you and me. We are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers. We are responsible.

And that’s why I’m so grateful for you. Your compassionate support provides shelter, meals, and the real, tangible help that leads many from homelessness back to home again. Thank you for all you do.






Thousands of hurting people like Tiffani are struggling with homelessness in Los Angeles today. Many suffer from fear, loneliness, physical abuse, addictions, neglect, illness, job losses, home foreclosures, and more. No one deserves that.

You can help restore the broken lives of precious men, women, and children who deserve a second chance today by supporting Union Rescue Mission. Your generous gift of $25, $35, or more will help provide them with safe shelter, hot meals, and the real, long-term help they need to find their way home.

So please give the most generous gift you can today. Thank you!

The Mission – July 2015

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To anyone else, it was just a silly child’s necklace, a worthless souvenir from Disneyland.

But for William, it was the last remaining memento of his 12-year-old son, whom he hadn’t seen in eight years. After a lifetime of broken relationships and abandonment, William felt alone and hopeless. First it was his mother, a troubled alcoholic who preferred the streets over her children. His grandmother was in and out of his life. He never knew his father, and after he married the woman of his dreams, she tragically died less than a year later.

“I was so depressed, I went into a tailspin and started drinking more and more. I really struggled,” William recalls. “Then I got married again, way too soon. I never dealt with my grief. And because of my drinking, I burned that relationship out in five years. But a wonderful thing came out of that marriage. My son, Judah.”

But two years after the marriage ended, William’s ex-wife disappeared with his son. “I lost all hope,” William says. “I started drinking all day, every day, and I ended up homeless. Over the next four years, I lost everything, all the reminders of my son.”

Everything but a necklace. William knew he needed help.

So in January 2013, he came to Union Rescue Mission. Over the next year, he poured himself into weekly counseling sessions with Chaplain Mike McIntire, 12-step classes, Bible studies, and prayer. As he got closer to God and his burdens slowly lifted, William began to see the same hurt he had felt in the eyes of the other men at the Mission. So he began loving and ministering to them. Before long, he no longer felt alone.

Yet he never stopped praying to see his son again. “Then one day, out of the blue, my son found me on Facebook,” William says. “I finally got my son back.”

In fact, on Easter Sunday 2015, Judah, now 12, visited William at Union Rescue Mission. At the sunrise service, as they celebrated Christ’s resurrection and new life in Him, William turned to Judah and gave him the necklace he’d carried for eight years.

“This necklace means the world to me, son,” he said. “This is what kept me going, even in the midst of my addiction and all my running away from God, from all my relationships, and even from myself. It’s all I had left of you. Take care of this for the rest of your life.”

It was just a child’s necklace. But it saved a father’s life.

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I love William’s story. As a chaplain at Union Rescue Mission, I see men like him everyday — men wounded from broken relationships with friends, family, and with God. Sometimes those wounds are consequences of bad choices they’ve made. Other times, the broken relationships are suffered from no fault of their own.

But one thing is clear: People don’t end up on Skid Row because of drugs and alcohol. They end up here because of some kind of relationship trauma they’ve never recovered from. In fact, the single biggest common denominator I see among addicted and homeless men and women is the overwhelming grief they feel at being completely alone.

But you and I know they’re NOT alone. They’re not alone because there’s a God who loves them. They’re not alone because we surround them with unconditional love and friendship. They’re not alone because compassionate people like YOU care.

If men and women come here wounded by broken relationships, they heal through loving ones. And thanks to your giving hearts, hurting and broken people who come to Union Rescue Mission have the time and space they need to build new relationships and reconcile old ones — especially in families.

Everyone who comes here is someone’s father, mother, brother, sister, son, or daughter. So every time you invest in someone here, you do far more than help to restore a life. You help heal and restore entire families — healing that will offer hope for generations to come.


Notes From Andy

Loved and Accepted

I bet if you were to survey 100 people here on the streets of Skid Row about what led them here, 93% would say a broken relationship. Whether that relational trauma led to some kind of mental health issues or led to their addiction issues, they’ve never healed from the grief and pain. So by the time they come to Union Rescue Mission, they have nowhere left to go and no one else to turn to.

But that’s where you come in. With your support, we encourage them to trust again and risk building new relationships. We teach them how to overcome grief and loss, how to overcome anger, how to overcome addiction, and how to turn to the Lord for help. And that’s most important, because when they have a relationship with their Lord, they are embraced by the only perfect Father.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen people go through our program and return home to start over as healthy parents, sons or daughters, brothers or sisters. We all need to be loved and accepted. There is no greater joy than seeing that happen. But it happens here, because caring people like you make it happen.

Homeless No More…

Six years ago, we at Union Rescue Mission put together 10 Steps To Address Homelessness in LA. We hoped to start a movement called to spur our friends to action. As I read these steps today I realize they may be more timely now than ever, especially in Los Angeles.

Here is the 1st step, although today I might say & write; Change the heart of LA by changing the way we speak about people experiencing homelessness.


Step 1: Change the way we think and talk about people experiencing homelessness.

Too often we describe or label people as “the homeless” or “addicts” or “transients.” These are precious people, made in the image of God, who are currently experiencing homelessness. People should never be defined or labeled exclusively by their current condition. They are mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, sons, and daughters. When we label people, we don’t see their potential and the possibilities within them. When we look the other way and ignore people, we dehumanize them and diminish their value. We need to look into our own hearts, change our thinking, and learn to recognize that “there, but for the grace of God, go I,” then ask, “What can I do?”Only then can we make a difference.

I am so honored, we are so honored our friends at our marketing agency, Grizzard, have put this idea & words into a powerful video.

We believe this change of heart, change of words, will spur us to take action, not only in LA, but throughout our country. I’ll be revisiting the 10 steps in my next few blogs. You can check them out now at

The Mission – December 2014

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I love gardening. Every day after work, instead of grabbing a beer, I grab the hose and tend to all the plants in my garden, examining each one, admiring the veins and the complexity in each leaf — each one a gift from God. It’s so peaceful and serene. And it reminds me how far I’ve come in my life.

It was my grandmother who taught me how to garden when I was kid.

She also raised me, taught me how to cook, and gave me my values and morals. She was the center of my world and I thought she’d live forever.

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But one day in 2004, I got a call at work. When my aunt told me my grandmother had died, it’s like everything around me stopped. I didn’t know how to handle it. So I bottled up all my feelings inside — feelings of hurt, sadness, grief, and frustration. Then, as the days rolled by, all those feelings started growing into anger and rage. 

I never talked to anyone about it. Instead, I turned to alcohol. I’d start drinking after work. One drink turned into two drinks, and two drinks turned into too many drinks. And the more I drank, the angrier I got. And violent. I started getting into fights and going to jail on battery charges. I also had two DUIs, in 2006 and 2010. But I couldn’t stop drinking.

One night, however, I found myself drunk, sitting at a train stop on the Green Line. I couldn’t live like that anymore. I screamed out loud that I needed help. And that’s when I went downtown and walked into Union Rescue Mission.

I immediately started anger management classes to get that under control. Then I took 8 months of classes to deal with my last DUI and get my driver’s license back. And I went back to school and studied microenterprise at Pepperdine University.

I also opened up for the first time about my grandmother. My chaplain helped me realize that she’s in a better place and that helped me let her go. I spent three years at Union Rescue Mission. In short, I grew up and today I’m moving forward with my life. I’m working for Toyota, I have a wife, and I’ve even opened my first bank account ever. I guess if I have a New Year’s wish, it’s to establish enough credit to buy a new car in 2015.

Looking back, I see now that Union Rescue Mission, like my grandmother, taught me how to garden — the garden of my own life.


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Union Rescue Mission’s Gift Catalog

Union Rescue Mission’s Gift Catalog is a wonderful way to give someone experiencing homelessness the gift of hope this holiday. And when you purchase a gift on behalf of a loved one, you can also send them an e-card to let them know you’ve made this special gift in their honor. Please visit our online Gift Catalog today at


SignUpPageThe season of Advent and the days leading up to Christmas are a wonderful time for thoughtful reflection and joyful anticipation as we celebrate the birth of our Savior. This holiday season, please sign up to receive Rev. Andy’s Advent series of daily devotional emails. Each day from November 20 until December 25, you’ll receive scripture and messages focused on the joy of the season. To sign up for these special email devotionals, please visit


Notes From Andy

Instruments of God’s Love

In her excellent book ‘Pursuing God’s Will Together’, Ruth Haley Barton writes, “One of the first lessons we learn about discernment — from Jesus, anyway — is that it will always tend toward concrete expressions of love with real people rather than theoretical conversations about theology and philosophy. Such conversations are valuable only if they eventually lead us to more concrete expressions of love for the real people who are in need around us.”

To me, that’s what caring people like you and your support of Union Rescue Mission — are all about. You don’t just talk about homelessness, you take concrete steps to do something about it. And in 2014, your faithful support led to a number of concrete expressions of love for those in need on Skid Row. You helped us expand Hope Gardens to house even more moms and kids.

To expand our jobs program and start a thrift store to help more men and women find employment. To open space to provide older men on Skid Row with permanent
shelter and care. And to improve our Learning Center to help more men and women achieve their academic goals. Working together, taking concrete steps, we’ll continue to make a real difference for people experiencing homelessness in 2015.



The Mission – October 2014

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When I was a kid, Thanksgivings were never a big deal. There was never that much to be thankful for. We were so poor, our Thanksgiving dinners were made only from whatever food other people gave us.

But it wasn’t just Thanksgivings that were hard. We had so little money, we rarely lived in the same place for more than a year. We often moved from homeless shelter to homeless shelter. The few clothes we owned, we had to wash in the shower because we couldn’t afford a washer. I didn’t have many friends because I dressed so poorly.

I also grew up around a lot of violence. I often watched my mom’s boyfriends beat her. Sometimes they threatened to kill me. And a lot of other kids teased me for being fat.

I grew up embarrassed and angry, and I took it out on the world. I got in fights, I threatened teachers, and I robbed people for money. The only things that made me feel better were weed and meth. I was completely hooked by the age of 15 — and my only ambition was finding my next high. By the time I was 20, I was so angry and lost, I lived like a dog.

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But then I ended up in a different shelter — Union Rescue Mission.

That decision saved my life. It saved me from drugs. It reconnected me to God and faith in Jesus Christ. It gave me structure to do something with my life. And the program helped me face all the pain of my childhood and all the ways I’d messed up. Talking about that stuff really hurt. But I had to do it. And when I did, I felt all my old anger slip away. And I experienced joy for the first time.  First, Rosie Perez, who works at the Mission, befriended me at a time I thought I had nobody. Then Alex Cornejo, their Volunteer Manager, became my friend. I immediately saw something in Alex I wanted — joy. He was the one who persuaded me to join their Christian Life Discipleship Program.

I spent last Thanksgiving at the Mission, and I helped cook several hundred turkeys for all the guests who came here that day. It was one of the most amazing days of my life. I saw thousands of people sitting at tables, eating good food and enjoying one another. And I learned something. Thanksgiving wasn’t about me and what I didn’t have. It was about giving joy to someone else.

So this Thanksgiving, that’s what I’m thankful for.

Click here to watch Alejandro’s story in our latest “Stories From Skid Row” Video!


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All year-round at Union Rescue Mission, your gifts offer hurting souls safe shelter, nutritious meals, long-term care — and even the help they need to find their way home. Thank you!

But right now, our busiest time of year, we’re experiencing an unprecedented food crisis, due to California’s ongoing drought and a rapid decline in food donations. We need your help!

Your gift of $28.92 will provide 12 holiday meals!

It still costs just $2.41 to provide a holiday meal to a hungry man, woman, or child. This season, we expect to serve more than 170,000 meals. Your gift of $28.92 will help feed 12 people, $57.84 will help feed 24 people, or any amount you can send will help.

So please give generously. Thank you! To put your gift to work even faster, go to


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Notes From Andy

An Honored Place at the Table

Alejandro has been through a lot in his short life — far too much. When he came to Union Rescue Mission, he was angry, lost, and desperate for some place to belong. But then some of our folks took him under their wings, loved him, and adopted him as “family.” Now, he’s the most likable young man you’ll ever meet.

I think his description of what happened last Thanksgiving says it all. For the first time, he experienced a real “family” Thanksgiving. And he learned the joy of giving. That’s what our Thanksgiving celebrations are all about here at Union Rescue Mission. We welcome thousands of people from Skid Row into our “home” and treat them like honored guests. We feed them good food, love them, and cherish them — just like we do with our own families at home. Just like you treat your family.

In fact, it’s what we strive for every day — thanks to generous family like you. Just as there’s an honored place at our table for the precious folks on Skid Row, there’s a special place for you, too. Thank you!



Washing The Feet Of Skid Row – Thanksgiving Outreach 2013


“Wait till you see my feet… you won’t be smiling no more!” the man chuckled with his lips curling into a smile.

The wrinkles on his face betrayed his young age. The volunteer laughed warmly as she started to remove his discolored, worn-down sneakers — if you could call them shoes. Beyond broken in, the darkly crusted laces puffed out a cloud of dust as she began to untie them.

She pulls off his grey socks — once white — and she carefully places his feet into the washing bin. He flinches, unused to the touch of clean water swell around his toes, but finally begins to relax — restfully placing his interlocked fingers onto his belly.


Armed with gloves, soap, and a lot of love, she gently washes away weeks — maybe even months — of grime and grit. There isn’t any hesitation in her motions as she calmly continues to pour pitchers of water over the crooks and crannies of his feet. Focused, her eyes gleam with grace the stranger in front of her is probably not used to. Grace on Skid Row is always at a premium.


They continue to engage in conversation as she dries his feet off with a fresh towel. This was her first time volunteering at the Mission and he has been around Skid Row for one too many nights. If you had removed the wash bin, you would have thought they’d been friends for ages — the authentic tone in their voices erased the reality of the circumstances.

“Can I pray for you?” she asks.

He shyly mumbles some words I couldn’t overhear, and it was probably for the best — sacred moment are better left untainted. She lifts up some words of prayer and stands to retrieve one of the UCLA podiatrists on call. Equally as friendly as the volunteer, the physician and the supporting medical students begin to ask questions to ascertain the overall health of the man’s feet.


While running through a battery of different tests, the medical students offer the man useful tips on how he can maintain better foot health. With each piece of advice, his furrowed brow lifts with more and more understanding. They offer fresh new socks — a luxury — and direct him to the section where he would be given new shoes.


Many of these unique stations were trickled around our parking lot, as our Thanksgiving Outreach tries to give those living on the dangerous streets of Skid Row a comprehensive list of items necessary to get through another day. To the left of the foot washing station, other volunteers were handing out toiletries — shampoo, toothpaste, and the like, much to the delight of those in line.


For those needing legal counsel, a group from Loyola Marymount University set up a booth to hear the struggles of the homeless with so little hope left in their pockets. The lawyers-turned-listeners each carried a packet of tissues, as tears would frequently roll down the faces of those airing out their troubles. The lawyers repay those tears with hope and many left those tables with a definite change in their countenance. Someone had heard their story, and they were equipped with the knowledge to do something about it.


A Persian group from Palos Verdes was eager to serve Skid Row’s denizens a filling meal of chicken, salad, and fruit. Like clockwork, this group would take the meal ticket provided to each person in line and produced a box filled to the brim with food, sending a few back inside to reload when needed.

Today was not the day people would go hungry.


As the event was coming to a close, I couldn’t help but notice the booth at the center of our parking lot. Sitting behind the table sat two men, twirling pencils in their hands. In front of them were stacks of blank papers accompanied with the sign — Cartoons.

They had spent the whole morning volunteering their time drawing caricatures of anyone who would want one. Young and old would line up, and each would seek me out to take their picture — to capture a screenshot of their joy. Sometimes it isn’t enough to just give people “necessities”, but giving them something as superfluous as a caricature goes a long way.


Something about offering your gifts, whether if it’s legal advice, medical work, cartooning, or even just giving up your Saturday morning, made me contemplate the true meaning of being thankful. And much of that was present — thankfulness was present in the servants and the served.

None of this work would be possible without the good work and donations that people like you cheerfully give to Union Rescue Mission. This day was just one of 365 days that helps make the Mission a light in the darkness.

The Mission Newsletter – July 2013


All my life, I felt alone, isolated, like I never really fit anywhere. Even in my own family. Instead of connecting with friends, I retreated into a world of art and fantasy. From the age of 3 or 4, I would spend hours, or even days, drawing characters, making up stories, living in a world that existed only in my head and in my art.

My parents didn’t understand and tried many different ways to change me. So as a teenager, I rebelled — dabbling with LSD, mescaline, mushrooms, whatever I could get my hands on. Hallucinogens brought my art to life. And I loved it. Before long, I was eating 50 to 100 hits a day.

Then I found crystal meth. And that was it. Meth enabled me to focus on my art at a whole new level. Not only that, I could draw for three days straight, until my body would collapse from exhaustion. But I craved it.

Somehow, in all that insanity, I got married in my early 20s. My wife even gave birth to two sons. But both were born with serious health problems. My first son was born with DiGeorge Syndrome, kind of a cross between autism and Down Syndrome. My second son was born with an incurable heart condition and I had to make the heart-breaking decision to take him off life support. When he died, so did my marriage.

The Loneliness of Homelessness

After that, everything fell apart. My wife fell into prostitution and heroin addiction. My surviving son ended up with my wife’s aunt. And I ended up living on the streets for the next seven years, isolated and alone, disconnected from everyone but my drug dealers.

But as I grew lonelier and more exhausted, I wanted to change. That’s when I came to Union Rescue Mission. I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into, but when I walked inside the building, the compassion and love I felt brought me to tears. I felt known, like everyone here could see me — the real me. I wasn’t alone anymore. And something about that made me want to be the best man I could be.

The Real Me

I gave my life to Jesus that first day and I have never craved drugs since. I took advantage of every service the Mission offered, from health and dental care, to counseling and spiritual care. They met every need I had. And I have never felt so alive physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I’ve rebuilt relationships with my family, and even my son. And, I returned to school, and I’m now working full-time as a graphic artist.

I never knew this kind of life was possible, and I never would have experienced it apart from Union Rescue Mission. Because the people here were willing to show me compassion and love me, I am a real person now. URM didn’t give me my life back. The truth is, I never had a life. What I can say is, thanks to URM, I now have a life.


13URM07NL URM July 13 NL_Pkg.inddMen and women trapped in homelessness often have significant barriers to overcome before they can return to a productive life. Agencies like Union Rescue Mission offer structured, long-term recovery programs that have helped thousands of individuals and families address and overcome their obstacles and return to the community as productive citizens.

To learn more about our 10-Step plan please click here


Andy eNL

Notes from Andy

Healing the Past — Building for the Future

Brian, who tells his story in this issue of The Mission, is one of those guys who’s so sharp and “with it,” it’s hard to imagine why he lived the life he did. But in many ways, he reminds me of my son Isaac.

Like Brian, Isaac struggled through adolescence. It wasn’t easy for him to be my son, and for many years he walked a different path than I would have. Honestly, I spent those years parenting from my knees — praying. But like Brian, Isaac found his way. And today, Brian and Isaac are both fine young men.

Transforming lives like Brian’s is what Union Rescue Mission is all about. We embrace people experiencing homelessness with the compassion of Christ, offering them hope and healing, and helping them find their way home. We help them heal the physical, emotional, and spiritual wounds that led them here in the first place, through counseling, legal aid, medical and dental care, and spiritual nurturing. But then we also offer them building blocks, like education and job training, to help them construct brand new lives.

Body. Mind. Soul. Spirit. It’s what our Mission is all about. But it’s not just our Mission. It’s yours, too. You are the Mission. And nothing happens here apart from you. Thank you.



Rev. Andy Bales