Friday, December 14, 2007


Orphans photo

There was an ice storm and massive power outage last weekend, but it's over and our servers are back up. Sorry for being offline for so long.

On Saturday I took my kids and their friends for the second time to volunteer at Hope Gardens, a residence for homeless women and children. It is the partner of the rougher Union Rescue Mission downtown. Hope Gardens is is nestled in the hills, surrounded by trees, flowers and babbling brooks. Bel Air Presbyterian Church has adopted it as a partner, and my kids, who are in middle school, help out and earn community service points. I met two senior citizen women who had been homeless and found themselves living now in paradise. They were so beautiful, maybe in their late 70's or 80's -- but so full of gratitude. You could tell they had suffered major life losses. Maybe the loss of a spouse, a child or job? To be a woman alone with no possibility of making a living, and no family -- is such a tragedy. Women are less employable because an old woman is simply a throw-away. Our society, with its obsessive emphasis on youth, has no use for elderly women or men for that matter. What a world we live in. I pray for the homeless souls on the streets of cities covered in ice and snow this winter. How are people surviving with these power outages?

It is of vital importance that we support comprehensive programs like the Union Rescue Mission’s women and children program in Sylmar. These programs are saving lives....”

–Jan Perry, 9th District Los Angeles Councilwoman

"We won't have to worry about our kids--what they have to see on the street."
-Cheryl, a homeless mother of two

On over 70-acres of land next to the National Forest, Hope Gardens Family Center is a supportive housing
facility where 225 abandoned women and children will get away from the streets of Skid Row.

Families will learn to succeed financially, emotionally, physically, and academically in our 12-36 month program.