With 215 guests (of whom 14 were new), our drop-in center was bustling yesterday. The previous Sunday, we had 177 guests (including 17 new ones). Thank you to the over 90 volunteers who helped us cook, serve and clean during the last two Sundays. Our volunteers are typically a diverse group and yesterday was no exception.
We were honored by the presence of individuals on the extreme ends of life’s journey – a first-time volunteer who is 93 years young and a returning group of middle-school boys and their parents from Westminster and our dedicated Palos Verdes High School student. Honestly, their enthusiasm and energy levels were not dissimilar.
In addition to the two warm meals and some take-away groceries, our guests were given donated clothing yesterday. Marty Johnson who started Marty’s Closet at Long Beach Memorial Hospital donated gently used women’s blouses that were much appreciated by our guests. We are also grateful to several First Congregational Church members who regularly donate clothing for our guests.
Thank you to long-time supporter Andrea Friedenthal for connecting us to Emmanuel Presbyterian Church in Belmont Heights and We Care in Los Alamitos – both these organizations donated food from their food banks, which allowed us to offer guests canned protein, peanut butter and other desired foods. With these new donations and our additional Food Finders donations, our pantry shelves are no longer bare.
Long Beach Community Foundation awarded UCO a grant in October 2018 to be used for emergency/interim housing and rent assistance. We are happy to report that we completed this grant this week when we helped a pregnant woman and her two children. They are currently staying at a motel, as we work with other service providers to help secure shelter for them. We are grateful to LBCF for their help in touching the lives of overly 75 adults and children in need.
We are currently working with other service provider to help several older individuals and couples to secure permanent housing. During the past week, we were able to give a housed family a new bed and another individual a dresser utilizing our gift donation from Bob’s Furniture.
Thank you to all supporters for participating in our Long Beach Gives campaign! We surpassed our goal and were touched and humbled by the enthusiastic on-line and US mail support we received. Your donations allow us to work with our partners to help reduce homelessness in our community and change people’s lives. If you missed our LB Gives campaign, please feel free to donate on our website www.ucodic.org.
You are always welcome to visit us at our drop-in center on Sundays between 1:30 pm and 4:30 pm.
Thank you to all our volunteers and supporters!