2019 Grants Challenge
🎉 Finalist

Every Family Off the Streets

We will connect families to housing and services and motivate Angelenos to get every family off the streets of Los Angeles. This project will connect 1,500 families experiencing homelessness to housing and services. It will empower 35,000 Angelenos to volunteer and become active participants in the fight to end homelessness. We believe that together we can transform lives and help make LA the best place to connect.


Briefly tell us a story that demonstrates how your organization turns inspiration into impact.

Union Rescue Mission's work is motivated by the greatest crisis in Los Angeles: 52,000 people experiencing homelessness - 40% being women and children. Our work is fueled and inspired by the mothers we serve, whose strength and resiliency empower us to make sure every family is off the streets.

"Me and my four children, for three weeks, were living on the streets of Los Angeles with no resources, with nowhere to go. That was the most challenging period of my life."

A few years ago, Angela was evicted from her apartment in Los Angeles due to mismanagement. For three weeks she and her four children stayed in motels, slept on buses, trains and anywhere they could find to simply stay out of the cold. "That was the biggest challenge of my life. For a mom not to be able to provide a roof over her kids' head. But I had to keep striving, and I had to be strong." One night, while sleeping at Union Station, a group of police officers offered to help. They brought her to Union Rescue Mission.

After four months of living at the downtown emergency shelter, they were transferred to Hope Gardens Family Center, "a land of hope," recalls Angela, "I found serenity here, I found my healing." Through the recovery program, Angela was able to heal from past traumas of domestic violence, financial crisis, and broken relationships. Her kids returned to school and have the chance to live in a healthy, nurturing environment that every child deserves. "When I look at my kids now, I see happiness, I see contentment," Angela says.

After graduating from the program, Angela enrolled in the apprenticeship program at Hope Gardens and has a desire to help women and children recover from domestic violence. She is currently training for full-time employment and continues to live at Hope Gardens with her children.

We hope that Angela's story inspires the citizens of Los Angeles to advocate for and support the most vulnerable women and children in our city.

Which of the CONNECT metrics will your submission impact?​​

Adults getting sufficient social & emotional support

Attendance at public/open streets gatherings

Rates of volunteerism

In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?​

County of Los Angeles

How will your project make LA the best place to CONNECT?

Union Rescue Mission wants to team up with the communities of Los Angeles to help get every family off the streets. Over the next year, we will end homelessness for 1,500 families and motivate 35,000 Angelenos to service. Our strategies for this project include:

CONNECT families to housing:

- Provide families with emergency food, shelter, and medical care for up to 90 days

- Transition families into one of our bridge housing locations for up to 2 years

- Partner with local services to help families secure affordable housing

CONNECT Angelenos to volunteerism:

- Mobilize volunteers for URM’s annual “Walk to End Homelessness” 5K to raise

awareness and over $1 million in funds

- Recruit and train a robust team of volunteers to serve at URM and throughout the city

- Inspire volunteers to become activists in their own communities by participating in

neighborhood council meetings, town halls, and community events

- Engage a team of young professionals in L.A to volunteer, raise funds and become digital

activists in the fight to end homelessness

In order to make LA the best place to CONNECT, we will track the following measurements to gauge our success:

- The number of families in URM's family program

- The number of families transitioning into permanent housing

- The number of social media impressions

- The number of subscribers on Youtube and URM's podcast

- The number of volunteers serving at URM

We want to make sure that every family is off the streets but we can't do this alone. We NEED the communities of Los Angeles to help us end family homelessness in our city. URM's priority is connecting caring citizens and local communities with opportunities for service. It gives all of us the chance to work together to transform Los Angeles into a place where everyone deserves to thrive.

In what stage of innovation is this project?​

Expand existing program (expanding and continuing ongoing successful projects)

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.​

As we work to end homelessness for 1,500 families and engage 35,000 volunteers, we will track the following measurement to gauge success:

- Serve 1,500 families with emergency and transitional housing

- Maintain an 80% success rate for transitioning families into permanent housing

- Engage over 35,000 volunteers

- Rally a team of 50 young professionals to become activists in ending homelessness

- Mobilize 2,000 volunteers for URM's "Walk to End Homelessness"

In order to boost volunteerism, we will reach:

- 7,000+ Instagram followers

- 7,000+ Twitter followers

- 23,000 Facebook users

- 9,600+ listeners on KKLA's "Stories from Skid Row"

- 4,500 Youtube subscribers