Three Hours in the Life of Skid Row LA

Devin, Mary, Victor, Jason and me…sorry I cut Robert out
Jason, Jimmy and me

I had just posted on Facebook that for the first time, I had enough volunteers for the homeless ministry. On Saturday, the day we distribute the meals, one by one the text messages came in;  first Jane, then John and finally Gary canceling due to illness and personal matters that needed immediate attention. I told Mike, and he panicked, saying, “What are you going to do? You better figure it! Who is going with you?” I make one phone call to Sarah because she employs severals millennials, and I explained my desperation. In the meantime I knew that Mary was on her way, but this was her first experience with Skid Row. I called Robert, and he confirmed that he would meet us there. Sarah texted me several phone numbers, but after many attempts of calling, no response. Through Sarah’s suggestion I called Devin, and he agreed to go with us. Devin has been to Skid Row on several occasions, and for years in his youth he helped with making sandwiches. Devin is waiting to get an acceptance letter into medical school, and I am praying that it will be Loma Linda University.  Sarah texted me again and she said that she would also be going with us. As soon as I read the text , the Lord revealed to me that it was her husband Jason that would be going and not her. This would be Jason’s first time as well.

As Jason drove, I read from a prayer book and we prayed the Rosary. I also gave Mary and Jason a quick briefing on what to expect. I told them, “While praying, do not touch anyone without asking permission, and do not close your eyes. If they ask for two lunches, give them the meals, but most of all operate in the love of Jesus.”

I was about 9:30 A.M. by the time we arrived, too early for the demons to be aroused. As soon as we parked we were surrounded by the citizens of this despairing community. Right away some wanted two sandwiches, I have no problem with this, but sometimes they come back for more. One man in particular had already received two and when I reminded him of it, he said,”How can you tell, we all look alike.”  My response was “But you are the only one wearing that shirt.” He politely smiled and left. The displaced are entrepreneurs, and if they can get money for these meals, they will sell them.

Both Mary and Jason were the greatest of help, and it came natural for them to understand the plight of these persons,  and as their love poured out, it was reciprocated with beautiful smiles. Devin and Robert were a team, and I watched from a distance as Robert lovingly prayed for a young lady addicted to crack. I know that one day Devin will become an extraordinary doctor partly because of these experiences.


It had been several years since Devin had been to Skid Row, and he was shocked at the conditions and the growth of the population. I am always amazed with the pet population. The homeless pets are very precious and peaceful, and they truly are man’s best friend. These pets offer three things: a reason for them to live and a sense of responsibility, and unconditional love.

Yolanda with pictures of her deceased husband, and Angel, one of her five cats
Robert and his dog

Yolanda resides on San Pedro St. and  she has 5 cats. As Mary and I were praying for her, Yolanda could not hold back her tears. Her husband had recently died in their tent, and she has no money to collect his ashes from the morgue. Yolanda does not want to leave because she believes that she would be leaving him. Mary explained to Yolanda that her husband was in her heart and that he would always be with her. Our hearts ached with hers.

Robert prayed for Victor, a precious young man that wanted to know who his father was. Victor said that he was raised by a stepdad but wanted to find his real father. We told him that God is his Father, and that he is to look to Him for real love. This is the major part of the the homeless problem, the breakdown of the family, and many who end up on Skid Row have no father. They are not equipped to move ahead in life because of poverty.  This is where the Devil come in to seal the deal with them, constantly reminding them that no one loves them.

We left with heavy hearts, saying goodbye to a sweet young man named Jimmy, and parolee James. James has been out of prison for thirty days only to fall into this prison of hopelessness. Where James will end up is anyone’s guess, because he will most likely go back to a regular prison, where he has a daily meals and thin mattress to sleep on, keeping him away from the demons that prey and torment when night falls. I pray that he and Jimmy rest their heads on the heart of Jesus, and that in some miracle they can get into a program to help them transition into their callings.

Thank you, Robert, for always being the rock of this small ministry.  Jason, Mary, and Devin, it was your loving hands that brought a sign of hope for these beautiful forgotten souls, so I thank you for saying yes.

Psalm 82:3-4 New King James Version (NKJV)

Defend the poor and fatherless; Do justice to the afflicted and needy.Deliver the poor and needy; Free them from the hand of the wicked.

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