Story from the Los Angeles Times which talks a bit about a film:
Take a look at some of the images in this slide show. Would you want your children to be in this environment?
The homeless situation is not improving in Los Angeles or in other cities in the country. It is getting worse due to many factors such as the economy. The figures I show below are a few months old in some cases. I cannot keep up with the changes. As one example I talk about the folks at http://www.urm.org/ and how they serve "over 3,000 meals per day". This is a bit of a generalization. In 2011 I watched the number of meals they serve, 365 days per year, grow from 3,000 to 3,300 and this month the count is now over 3,600 per day and increasing each month. Donations are down and required services are up. The number of families seeking help at Union Rescue Mission has risen 131% since 2008. The number if individuals seeking shelter has doubled.
I will quote a few lines from Andy Bales, the CEO of Union Rescue Mission: Over the past three years, we've watched Los Angeles implode. Growing evictions, rising foreclosures, devastating job losses. Many say it is the biggest economic crisis since the Great Depression.
Worse, the unemployment rate is not going down, the number of men and women who have given up is rising. I expect another surge of families seeking our help.
Union Rescue Mission is running out of space - and out of money. Due to huge cuts in county funding and flat donations we are a staggering $1.4 million short of meeting our budget this summer. Every summer donation falls up to 50%. We have done everything we can to cut costs. We have cut wages across the board twice. We have cut employee benefits and positions. We have cut $2.5 million from our budget. It is not enough.
Before I start on the main part of the subject of this post I will ask folks reading this if they would consider helping. There are many ways you can help. One fast and easy way is shown below. There are many other options on the Union Rescue Mission website at http://urm.org/
If you have a spare moment and can spare a few dollars, take a few seconds to feed five people a complete hot meal for $10.
Donate $10 to Union Rescue Mission. Text the letters URM to 85944. You will receive a confirmation text message. Reply with the word YES to complete the transaction. You will feed 5 people for $10 in less than 30 seconds. Your donation is tax deductible. http://www.urm.org/ serves over 3,600 meals each day, three meals a day, 365 days per year and could not do this without help from people like you.
Moving on .... I will be posting the figures for April from my friends at Union Rescue Mission later this month. Once I have the data I will update this post with the data.
Some of this piece is a piece of mine from the past. I thought I would repost some of the piece as things are not getting better regardless of what the media tries to force us to believe in regard to the homeless situation.
The figures are difficult to manage yet alone comprehend. The population of homeless in Los Angeles exceeds the population of Santa Barbara. There are between 80,000 and over 100,000 homeless people in Los Angeles.
You can help. You can spread the word. You can donate - even a few dollars helps. You can become directly involved.
Total Health Center Visits 627 / 675
Total Meals Served 98,675 / 137,806
Total Nights of Shelter (per individual) 26,914 / 44,876
Total Nights of Shelter (per family) 2,016 / 2,468
URM served an average of 1448 people per night at URM, Hope Gardens , and the four Winter Shelter sites, with 150 of those being children. Included is an average of 80 families per night. There was an average number of 898 people sleeping at URM Downtown each night.
After this blog was published I received a bit of an update from Andy Bales, the CEO of Union Rescue Mission. I am adding this information now 0n 3/10/11: Thanks, Myles! The #'s reported are actually a bit lower than they actually were. We had an additional 9 families + kids and served approximately 2650 more meals during the month or nearly 100 more meals per day. I discovered it today. Blessings
People who have lost their home. People living in cars and vans on the street. People living in cheap motels who had a home their entire life. Many of these people are just like you and me. On Sunday night March 6, 2011 the show 60 Minutes aired this story which is one of many stories which illustrate the point:
Homeless children: the hard times generation
The broadcast can be seen from this link as long as it is an active link
Yes, services are at an all time high. Donations are at an all time low. Organizations such as Union Rescue Mission are the lifeline to many people in these troubled times.
The double-dip threat returns - http://bit.ly/jp27nJ The numbers on the street will surely increase.
6/8/11 - Homeless vets sue VA, claim housing and treatment inadequate at West L.A. campus http://lat.ms/kZwjzm
Please give the folks at URM a hand. You can help. It only takes moments to help and make a change in a life.