Sunday April 14, 2019

Today culminated another busy week.  We served 113 guests at Beacon, of which 14 were new.  About 20 volunteers helped cook at the Congregational Church kitchen and another 30 helped transport and serve meals to our guests and clean up at both facilities.  We received donations of food from Food Finders, the Westin Hotel and private donors.

Thank you to Board members Kimel Conway and Martha Duncan for helping transport food and supplies in their vehicles.  Our resilient crew of lead volunteers were joined by students from Cal State Long Beach, St. Anthony’s High School and Orange Lutheran High School (see photo). 

I met with several clients at our drop-in center.  UCO funds were given for transportation, as well as rent assistance for a mother with five children.  This family has lived in their apartment at Cabrillo Villages for five months and needed help with April’s rent due to unexpected expenses. The Long Beach Community Foundation donation has been critical in our efforts to prevent homelessness.

High points of the past week are that two of our clients moved into their apartments.  One was a single mom and her 19-year-old son who is a sophomore at Long Beach State. With our partners Lutheran Social Services, we were able to work with a local property manager to secure an apartment for this family (see photo). The son now has a safe and stable place to go when the university library is closed and will be able to focus better on his studies.

A 13-year-old boy whose mother had been a client of ours was recently reunited with family and is currently living with his aunt.  We gave him a used bike today to help with his commute to school.  This remarkable boy has lived in and out of homelessness and been in foster care, yet he maintains a happy demeanor, has been tested as gifted, and makes good choices.   Without complaints, he just started at his fourth school of this school year.  At all his schools, his teachers have commended him on his excellent work.  This boy is an inspiration to all who know him.

Much gratitude to all our supporters for helping us move people forward and bringing compassion and stability to their lives.

Please consider attending our upcoming BBQ dinner benefit on April 27th when we will honor Temple Israel and Brenda Caloca of Supervisor Janice Hahn’s office.  There will be live entertainment by local band Second Wind, as well as a silent auction.  Anyone who has items to donate for the silent auction should contact our event chair Cheryl Doorbar at cdoorbar@gmail.com.  To RSVP or donate, please visit our website www.ucodic.org

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