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 June 2010

What I am about to say may seem like fundraising suicide to some, but for those who know me know that I have never been afraid to speak my mind on something I feel strongly about. This is one of those issues!

Hope Gardens in Sylmar was conceived as an oasis away from Skid Row for women and children and for families in crisis. It is a noble and needed facility in the fabric of Los Angeles services. The Los Angeles Mission has referred clients to this facility when we could not serve the needs directly.

The Los Angeles Mission is in the process of developing a small additional facility for women and children. If I had it to do over again I would have partnered with the Union Rescue Mission to assure that the much needed units at Hope Gardens are kept in service. That is not an option. But, at the risk of sending donors to Hope Gardens over the Los Angeles Mission, so be it… Hope Gardens must be allowed to survive. Yes, some cost cutting and program redesigns may be needed. Some other revenue streams should be developed by Hope Gardens to sustain it for the long term. Right now it needs a dose of fertilizer to keep it growing strong.

Union Rescue Mission’s Andy Bales and I have talked openly about the idea of partnering on Hope Gardens. We are only planting the seeds of how we might work together more effectively right now. Those seeds require a long period of germination, watering and growth before any harvesting might occur. Way to short a growing season for a crop this year!

But, as I looked at the photos in the Los Angeles Times of June 21, 2010, I was reminded that my children have never needed a place like Hope Gardens, but I know many who do and unfortunately, I know others will. So, my request is simple. Dig deep and plow a little dirt to help Hope Gardens get rooted now. It will yield a bumper crop of goodwill and a future of hope for those in need. It will also assure that the Los Angeles Mission has a partner who can care for those in need when we can’t.

Thank you Andy and the Board of Hope Gardens for your heroic efforts raising up a garden of hope!

–Herb Smith, President

I read this article from Ocean Beach, CA and at once related to the frustration expressed by these bumper stickers. I work with the homeless every day. Yes, there are those who take advantage of others by panhandling and freeloading their way through life. But they are not those the Los Angeles Mission seeks to serve.

The homeless are not some squirrel that is overfed by visiting tourists at our National Parks. Say what? Why not pay a visit to the local homeless of your community and develop a relationship with them to encourage them off the streets and into shelter?

For the panhandlers I say move on — and let us help those really in need. For ideas on how to help the true homeless check out http://losangelesmission.org/media/videoarchive/5waystohelp.aspx for 5 ways to help.

Click here to read about Ocean Beach http://www.ktla.com/news/landing/ktla-homeless-bumper-sticker,0,5982657.story

OR, how about this for a bumper sticker? “Don’t feed the panhandlers!”

–Herb Smith, President

Sometimes a story is too good to contain. I am so proud of my team for going beyond the call of duty with a walk-a-thon. This completely optional idea sprung out of our wellness group as a way to have fun with exercise and serve a great cause.

When the staff heard we were cutting out our annual Big Bear retreat event for our students they rallied to the cause. They are walking to make up the funds lost to our recent budget cuts.

Thank you staff for not just caring about those we serve everyday by your regular workloads but by going the extra mile for something so unique and special to our students.

Check out the great fun at the finish line. We can have fun and do serious work too!

–Herb Smith, President