Spring couldn’t have sprung soon enough for those involved in one of the most dynamic charities in Southern California.
Union Rescue Mission, the largest private homeless shelter in the United States, has a bevy of activities scheduled for April with the hopes of lifting the organization out of the pandemic and on to the next chapter of its service.
On Thursday, April 14, URM is hosting an open house at Angeles House, a new family facility in south Los Angeles that will provide 86 bridge housing apartments with 364 beds for moms, dads and their children.
“It’s going to be amazing,” said San Marino’s Lisa Sloan, who is chairman of the board at URM. “This is privately funded and houses families. Whatever that family looks like. This will get more than 300 people off the street. Most places don’t house women and children and that is one of our missions. We don’t turn them away.”
Angeles House will also offer programming, including tutoring and job training.
On Saturday, April 16, URM will hold a fundraiser that will air on live television. “Angels of Hope” will livestream nationwide on CBS2 Los Angeles from 6:30–8 p.m. Hosted by Joel McHale, the 90-minute television special and online auction will benefit the homeless in the City of Angels. An online auction will open on April 9 and end at the close of the show.
The event includes top-notch auction opportunities, a variety of celebrity guest appearances and inspiring stories of hope from URM skid row and Hope Gardens guests and families. The program will also include news about Angeles House Family Center. Last year’s event raised more than $3 million, according to Sloan.
Sloan is joined at URM by fellow San Marino residents and URM board members Karen Preston and Dr. Eugene Tsay. Another local resident, Joy Flores, serves as vice president of programs and operations.
Sloan said that the community was generous to URM during the pandemic and that the charity worked hard to provide a safe place for the unhoused.
“We were so careful as a team,” she said. “We worked with the Los Angeles County Fire Department and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. We had very few casualties and we were also one of the few places where people could go to get the vaccine. We were so careful as a team and at one point we even our conference rooms were turned into quarantine stations. We hope that we are getting to the end.”
Sloan said that URM has many volunteer opportunities available including meal servers and tutors. Supporters can even go “Over the Edge,” with a chance to rappel off the top of the top of the Hilton Universal City in exchange for sponsorship dollars.
For more information on opportunities to support Union Rescue Mission, visit helpurm.org.