In 2006, Janet Rhodes, a member of First Congregational Church Long Beach (FCCLB) realized that when the city closed the main library on Sundays, the homeless community in downtown Long Beach had no place to go.  On the Sunday after Christmas 2006, Janet, with support from Rev. Jerry Stinson and other members of FCCLB, opened the church campus to those experiencing homelessness and offered cold cereal, sandwiches and a safe place off the streets where guests could relax, socialize and use the computer lab. These simple acts of kindness were the genesis for Urban Community Outreach’s drop-in center; and in 2008 UCO officially became an independent nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization.

Since then, UCO has grown to offer a variety of health-related and social services. In 2008, nurse Ann began making regular monthly visits to the drop-in center to provide wellness screenings. In 2010, a doctor and her team of college students joined UCO once a month for private consultations to our guests.  In 2015, case managers started working at the center, helped clients apply for government ID cards, and provided referrals and funds for shelter/housing and other services.

Today, the drop-in center has an Executive Director, a chef, and volunteers to prepare 130-250 hot meals every Sunday (except in July) using primarily rescued food for 130 to 250 guests. Guests can enjoy their meal in the Patterson Hall between 1:30p and 3:00p or pick up food to go. We also offer ready-made salads and sandwiches, bread, canned goods and fruits donated by local stores.