ReEmployAbility’s diverse not-for-profit network consists of over 40,000 nonprofit partners across the United States. Each month, a nonprofit partner is chosen to be featured in our Not-For Profit Spotlight campaign in support and appreciation for the outstanding, collaborative participation in our Transition2Work® program. This month, we spotlight Los Angeles Mission and the organizations fight to break the cycle of homelessness and poverty through the safe and spiritual environment provided to those in need.
Now more than ever in the history of Los Angeles, the poverty crisis is at an all time high. Los Angeles Mission is on the front lines providing necessities and other life-giving support to the less fortunate. Since 1936, the faith-based organization has served the immediate and long-term needs of homeless and disadvantaged men, women and children, becoming one of the nation’s largest service providers to the homeless population. Through the efforts of it’s great leaders, who have dedicated their lives to the pursuit of helping the homeless, the Mission continues to fulfill its purpose throughout almost a century of service.
The Crossroads of Hope
To better understand the goals and accomplishments of Los Angeles Mission, ReEmployAbility collaborated with Volunteer Department Manager Cynthia Castro for a first hand perspective of all that they do for the communities they serve.
With the rapid increase of homelessness in the Los Angeles community, services that Los Angeles Mission provide are in high demand. Even more so than just a few years ago. In this current time of need, Los Angeles Mission has seen an increasing demand to be a “Mission without walls”. Cynthia explains that the organization has developed a “multi-sector approach to addressing the root causes of homelessness by meeting people where they are at.” An approach that will ensure their reach spreads to a population as large as their resources can provide. When asked what the current goals are for their volunteers, Cynthia stated, “Our goal for volunteers is to be placed where people can amplify their good and share in that vision of hope by co-creating change and impact for a community that needs them.”
With the devotion of the Los Angeles Mission volunteers, staff members, and donors, the organization has met many great accomplishments recently. In 2021, the Los Angeles Mission launched the Race to Feed Campaign in response to “rising costs of inflation, and groceries.” Within the first three months, they were able to exceed their initial goal of distributing 600,000 meals. But the work wasn’t done, there were many more mouths to feed. Encouraged by this goal, Los Angeles Mission’s has created a new goal of 1 million meals by the end of 2022. Cynthia has provided us with an update on the progress of their new goal, stating, “at this point we have exceeded 600,000 which is an amazing accomplishment that would not have been done without the support of volunteers like those that come from ReEmployAbility’s Transition2Work.”
Lending a Helping Hand Through Transition2Work
ReEmployAbility’s Transition2Work Program has assisted many nonprofits through the injured workers who have participated. Those who have been assigned to Los Angeles Mission have provided a reliable and dedicated source of volunteer support that has helped the organization complete important work in their community. Cynthia has described them as a part of the “family”. She goes on to express her gratitude for those Transition2Work participants with appreciation for their “contribution, dedication, and support”. Los Angeles Mission continues to be inspired by the Transition2Work participants who “show up at one of their most vulnerable times” and give it their all to combat homelessness in the community.
In the midst of the challenges an injured worker faces everyday, both physically and mentally, the benefits of service has shown remarkable affects in recovery. The compassion and hard work by our programs assigned participants, has allowed Los Angeles Mission to expand their capacity to provide help, support, and transformation to the people they work with every day. Transition2Work presents an injured worker with a new sense of purpose and the opportunity to build on their skills, that when presented with the right platform, can have the potential to change someone’s life. Cynthia explains that “in our specific role as faith-based organization, volunteers have an active opportunity to engage a holistic model of volunteering that invites them to be spiritually fed through serving our community”. As an organization that actively works with people of “all abilities” and understands the importance of an “open and affirming environment”, Los Angeles Mission has proven to have the appropriate resources and tools for empowering individuals through service.
A Mission With A Message
The Los Angeles Mission’s message for readers is to express that they are “more than just a shelter – we are a partner in community and personal restoration by providing a whole range of services from transitional housing, connection to resources, legal services, college and workforce development, essential emergency outreach services including clothing and food”. Most importantly, the organization wants readers to know that they are a “spiritually grounded and vibrant community”, supporting the development of a person’s potential as soon as they walk through their doors.
With the holiday season approaching, the nonprofit’s schedule is filled with exciting opportunities, such as, their Thanksgiving and Christmas events, Race to Feed events and so much more! They invite volunteers to present new ideas for projects as “thought partners” in developing unique opportunities to better serve with giving. Volunteers are encouraged to visit the Los Angeles Mission volunteer portal at lamission.volunteerhub.com for information on upcoming events and volunteer opportunities!
If you or someone you know would like to learn more about Los Angeles Mission and all they do for those in need visit www.losangelesmission.org