I have been involved in the downtown Los Angeles community for over 9 years now and I can say that I have seen many fluctuations in the population of people experiencing homelessness. Some years it seems like there are a lot less people and then the next year the numbers are overwhelming. But within the last couple of years it appears that the increase has been dramatic. There is no denying that the population has increased to an overwhelming amount of people.
I recently read an article in the NY Times that focused on this issue facing downtown LA. Although it does not address all the issues that lead to homelessness (i.e. domestic abuse, racism, sexism, health care system, foster care system, lack of jobs and job training, homophobia, ageism, and much more), it does address a couple of the major factors.
It is easy to simply see and/or read about what is happening in the streets of Los Angeles and become hopeless. However, here at CSM we desire to partner with organizations and people who are truly desiring to seek change and justice. We desire to be part of the transformation process of hopelessness to hope. An article like this can bring attention to the problems, but there are people who take this information as a springboard to action. The people who serve with CSM Los Angeles can have the opportunity to be a part of that process. This article quotes Alice Callaghan, a long-time partner with CSM. Alice started and runs an after-school program in Skid Row where several CSM groups have served at. Many of our groups have been extremely blessed by the hope Alice and her organization offer to the community.
Let us become aware and then let us take action. "For with God nothing is impossible," Luke .
- Rebekah Bolin, CSM Los Angeles City Director