Making A Difference That Matters

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With her mom from Puerto Rico and her dad from Mexico, Luz is proud to be a first-generation American. Although her parents separated shortly after she was born, her dad, who won full custody, was a wonderful parent to Luz. “I was very close to my dad,” Luz said. “I was never scared to talk…

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Frank has good memories from his childhood, growing up in Oxnard with his parents and two siblings, spending time in the kitchen. “I remember watching my mom cook and helping out when the family got together.” This is when his love for cooking was born. In his 30s, Frank started drinking, and it became so…

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Even though Andrew knew his father, the two did not have a relationship, leaving Andrew’s mother as his No. 1 supporter. They had a great relationship “My mom is my best friend,” he said. “She never gave up on me.” When Andrew was 12, he reached out to his father in an effort to have…

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Victoria grew up in a Christian home in Kampala, Uganda with her single mom and sister. “I had a happy childhood and God-fearing mom,” Victoria said. “She wanted us to fear God and respect God more than her.” In 2005 after her mom passed away from cancer, Victoria started to think about furthering her education…

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Jennifer will ‘use this experience and grow from it’

Jennifer and her two siblings were raised in the Valley by a single mom who cleaned houses for a living. “My mom was verbally abusive to me and my siblings growing up,” Jennifer said. “We knew she loved us. She learned to be like that growing up with her family in El Salvador. She just…

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After detox, Robert finds the Mission: ‘I knew I needed more’

Robert grew up mostly in the San Fernando Valley, the second oldest of five siblings. His family was close. “We were a normal functioning family, doing everything together,” said Robert. “We went to church on Sundays.” Unfortunately, when Robert was 13 the family changed. “Everything in our family was good until my early teen years,”…

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Quinceañera honors special resident on her 15th birthday

A quinceañera is considered a rite of passage for some Hispanic families and as Amber’s 15th birthday was approaching I asked her if she had a wish for that day. She stated that she would love to have a quinceañera, but that she knew that couldn’t happen given their situation. Her family has experienced homeless-ness…

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Recent graduate moves on after welcoming, supportive stay

 Juanita struggles to reflect on her childhood. “It was so full of trauma that it’s even hard to talk about as an adult,” she said. Originally from Fort Wayne, Indiana, Juanita was brought up by a single mother when she was young. But in her later childhood years, she started getting shuffled around. “I didn’t…

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Jim takes unexpected journey to restoration

Seven months ago, a 65-year-old man named Jim came to the Mission’s shower program for the first time. He was kind and unassuming, always carrying a small suitcase and keeping to himself. Jim began to come daily, and staff began to connect with Him. He shared that he had lost his job as a tour…

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Peace is restored to a family after two brothers’ healing

George and Sonny grew up in a large and loving home in Northridge, California. They were two of five children to parents that cared for them and made family a priority. They shared weekly family dinners together and enjoyed playing soccer with their older brother Juan Carlos. As children, they saw the effects of alcohol…

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Mission celebrates new campus opening in northridge

The San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission is growing to accommodate Los Angeles’ great need for more effective services for those experiencing homelessness, addiction and poverty. On the evening of April 21, more than 200 local government officials, community members, business owners, and supporters came together to celebrate the opening of the San Fernando Valley Rescue…

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Jose restores his connection with god after life in gangs, drugs

A turning point came after an altercation at home. Jose was high, and his brother didn’t acknowledge something Jose had said to him. “I thought it was disrespectful that he didn’t (respond) to me,” he said. “We got into an argument-he’d had it with me. I’ve been such a disappointment to him-and I just grabbed…

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