Articles in homelessness
Last week my colleague Kevin White called with an incredible story. He works at The Salvation Army in Orange County, California and was able to witness a small miracle come together. Here’s what he told me.
It gets dangerously hot during the summer months in the Phoenix area. So hot that people without a cool home or office to go to are at significant risk of exposure and dehydration. That’s why our staff in the aptly-named Valley of the Sun work with Safeway stores and Arizona Family’s 3TV to collect bottles of water to distribute throughout the season at our local cooling stations.
Earlier this month my 90 year-old colleague – and car-pooling buddy – retired from her position at The Salvation Army. When we cleaned out her desk we found a treasure trove of goodies. Our favorite was a 1969 advertising supplement from the New York Times featuring artistic interpretations of Salvation Army ministries created by students at Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles.
“A long time ago, my mom told me about how important it is to help the homeless,” said Matthew Johnson. “She asked me if I wanted to do something and I said yes.” So Matthew – 8 years old at the time – got busy and created a campaign called “Socks from the Heart to the Homeless” and began collecting socks to give homeless people. In the first three years, he received about 5,000 pairs.
The Los Angeles Clippers are making an impact in Los Angeles and not just on the basketball court! They recently spruced up the library / computer room at The Salvation Army’s Westwood Transitional Village with 11 computers, 10 computer chairs, 10 pairs of headphones, 1 printer, 20 mini iPads, 1 Macbook Pro and one iPad cart that will be used to store and charge the Minis.
Saira’s story is not unusual. Fleeing a relationship that left her hurting and infected with HIV, she needed to start over somewhere safe. She came to Los Angeles with her kids and found Alegria. She’s received support from the caring and loving staff in an environment where her diagnosis is well-understood.
Real estate powerhouse CBRE has a sweet program – called Birthday Cakes and More for Homeless Children – as part of its corporate responsibility plan. We’re thrilled that they chose The Salvation Army’s Zahn Memorial Center, the only emergency family shelter in downtown, to launch their Los Angeles effort.
With the arrival of Spring, The Salvation Army in Yuba Sutter, Calif. has begun taking their coffee cart outside so they can greet people who are lining up for social services with a hot cup of joe or a bottle of water in Jesus’ name.
Guy Lee lost his business in 2008. That, on top of his addiction helped plunge Lee and his wife into homelessness until they got some help. As a Vietnam-era veteran, Lee qualified for assistance from the Veterans Administration who hooked him up with The Salvation Army Veterans and Family Center in Portland, Oregon.
A year ago Mike Slaughter was in prison for drug possession, serving a 12-month sentence. He knew job opportunities that would allow him to make a living would be few and far between, so he started washing his friend’s cars to make ends meet. Now he washes cars “from the inside out” by appointment all over Los Angeles.
Supplying perishable staples like milk and fresh produce has always been a challenge for The Salvation Army‘s food pantry in Long Beach, Calif. But thanks to SPUD – a local service which provides online grocery shopping for home delivery of fresh produce and local organic foods – organic milk and produce are now plentiful.
The Salvation Army has a year-long discipleship program in Honolulu called Revolution Hawaii, or RevHI. Participants must be totally committed to the Army’s mission of winning souls, equipping saints, and serving suffering humanity. John Sacson is a recent participant in RevHI and gave an account of his experience to Jason Leighton in this short video.