As you know this week we have talked about the amazing history of Skid Row and the Union Rescue Mission, as well as the inspiring story of Reverend Andy Bales. As the CEO of the URM, he has made eradicating homelessness his life’s mission.
How do you take on a problem like ending homelessness? It seems enormous, especially since Los Angeles County is the homeless capital of America with 74,000 men, women and children living on the streets every night. Well, the URM has had tremendous success with their program of getting people off the streets and back on their feet.
They do so much more than provide 1.2 million meals each year. URM begins with reaching out offering food, clothing and emergency services like housing. Women and children are sent to a facility called Hope Gardens where they are safe and far from Skid Row. The next step is the transformation phase where the Mission offers medical, dental and legal support. There is a full-time program that provides counseling, job training, volunteering and recovery from addiction….all with a 66% success rate.
The final phase is the restoration, take a look.
My experience at the Union Rescue Mission was truly inspiring. I began this journey unsure, nervous and not clear what to expect. I left Union Rescue Mission with a renewed faith in compassion, dignity and the power of one. The face of homelessness will never look the same again, there is hope on Skid Row.
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