January 3, 2016

A new year is here! It came gently with 100 backpack gifts of love and concern from Colin Greer and his fifth grade book club and an angel of a nurse caring for those who can’t care for themselves.

It brought a computer lab full of seekers and all enjoyed Chicken Enchiladas with beans and rice, vegetable soup, fruit salad, and dessert. I hear that volunteer, June, made a wonderful iced tea flavored with fresh lime. It was all so good we had many guests saying how much they enjoyed the meal and beverage.

It brought 2 families, working with us, motel shelter with our vouchers. The one family is about to move into a permanent apartment next week and one family has a way to go yet. But we won’t rest till they too are “going home.” We are working to get job training and resume for mom so she can help shoulder some of the living costs. Dad already has a full time responsible job, but just not making enough money for housing in Long Beach and their family is tired of squeezing them into their already tight quarters.

Love in the Mirror brought more socks and hygiene items and distributed them a second week.

UCO’s Alvin, who manages the demographics, Terry, Volunteer Data Base Manager, and I worked on a yearend report to be given to The Ahmanson Foundation and others. It wasn’t a big surprise to find that have grown in the services we provide, the number of volunteers and volunteer hours given, the number of community partners we work with, and for the first time we have placed people in permanent housing with case management and services! 2015 has definitely been a year of growth and good things for Long Beach people!!!

Happy New Year! I’m breathless with anticipation of what, with your help, we will be able to bring to the community in 2016!

Arlene