About Us
The Los Angeles Mission is a non-profit homeless shelter serving the hungry and homeless of Downtown's Hope Central (historically referred to as Skid Row) for over 70 years.

Archive for July 2007

In this editorial, the LA Times asks some very pertinent questions:

“How smart is it to bring a person in for treatment, then send him back to the street until his next appointment?

In a rare fit of common sense, Sacramento launched a pilot program in 1999 to make tax dollars smarter by allowing them to be used for real people grappling with more than one problem at a time.”

This article points up with poignant accuracy the fallacy of “boutique" or single-purpose social services that result from special interest taxation and budgeting. Many homeless persons have multiple presenting issues, not the least of which is lack of shelter. While many of us have the flexibility to come and go to appointments and events we are able to do so from a home base. Home base for homelessness is the streets or someone else’s couch.

Integrated services provide a much needed interaction of care, shelter and services. If we cannot find a way to use specifically designated dollars for a broad approach to assistance then maybe we can a least strengthen, may I suggest mandate, the interaction of government funded agencies currently funded for boutique problems to provide an integrated safety net for homeless services.

–Herb Smith, President

There has been a recent nationwide increase in attacks on homeless persons by teenage youth. Los Angeles, Orlando, Statesville they all have seen recent incidents.

As summer heat increases and tensions flare, we see this increase of frustrations being taken out on others. What is not new is bullying. The roots of all bullying are much the same, lack of personal validation, the need for conquest and power where the bully feels powerless. What is frightening is that this type of behavior has moved out of the playgrounds and on to the streets of our cities. Gang violence, targeted attacks on homeless men, women and children are all becoming frequent parts of society enhanced by cell phones with cameras and U-tube postings to prove their supposed superiority. Homeless persons are viewed as non-persons — just something to kick around like an old can or a rock in the street.

What is ironic about this situation is that many of these same juvenile offenders will become repeat offenders and thus the parolees of future decades. And they will be statistically more prone to homelessness. I wonder if these attacks, which seem to be currently focused on gaining control over ones current powerless or disenfranchised life, might actually be premonitions of their prospects. Attempting to gain power over the likelihood of finding themselves homeless in the future.

The Los Angeles Mission continues to provide answers of hope to all in need. We believe that the cycle of violence can be broken but only with the help of God and the support of positive relationships throughout a person’s lifetime. In the mean time, we support the efforts of our police department to protect all our citizens housed and homeless alike.

–Herb Smith, President

The recent article by Susan Abram in the Daily News makes us grateful for the wonderful volunteers we are privileged to work with on a daily basis.

We at the Los Angeles Mission are grateful to the over 4,200 volunteers who provided over 14,000 hours of service to the community through the mission’s work. We know first hand the desire of many Angelinos who want to help but who can do so only on a limited basis due to economic issues. But, what is more amazing to us is that even those living in skid row with little or no income still volunteer! Our Anne Douglas Center has several ladies who come in and help out on a regular basis, these ladies occasionally need our help but they want to give back by serving others. The spirit of helping others is not dead in LA.

–Herb Smith, President