December 27, 2015

Urban Community Outreach has been in “holiday mode”, just as the rest of the community inhabitants! Course that means different things to different people. However, most of the community has been feeling loving and generous at this time of year. They are the people who have been bringing gifts of new socks, underwear, scarfs, hats, hygiene items, and sleeping bags. Also donations of gently used clothing, shoes, blankets, monetary gifts, and canned goods have rolled in to help us make the season special for our client guests. They have been so grateful! Heartfelt “Thank you” s have been received countless times these last couple weeks as they’ve received the bounty!!!

Requests for help have been sincere and attached to a promise to do the things on their “To Do” list to make 2016 a better year for themselves and their families.

I received a gift on Christmas day when I spoke with one of our clients and he shared the good news that he now has a permanent full time job and that this would be his last request for rental assistance. He is a determined young man with a beautiful wife and 2 children he wants to support with the things families need.

We have 10 families I can think of we are trying to help get on with life in a better, more secure way. Two of these are large families with 6 and 7 kids. It is very hard to find affordable appropriate permanent housing for such large families. The third, only has 2 older children and a working husband, but the income is still too low for housing in Long Beach. So we made a resume for the mother and will do all we can to help her find work to supplement their income so they can support their family. They have run out of relatives to stay with. I gave them some motel help and referred them to the MSC to seek Goodwill Job training for mom. Another family has a young Veteran as head of household and he is struggling to get full time work. Mother works full time. The rest are single parents.

While some families are celebrating Christmas in a warm home with a Christmas tree and gifts others are outside struggling to stay warm and find enough food till they can rise above their hurtles. Most have challenges because of lack of skills and parental role models and guidance to help them learn as a youth. They are the “throw away kids” no one cared about and now they are adults with all kind of needs.

Thanks for your kind support so we can try to rectify the past lack of attention given to them and to teach them what it takes to make a go of it in the world on their own.

Happy New Year to you and please join me in prayers for a happy new year for those we serve!

Arlene