• Anne leaves behind motel living, is able to provide for son

    Anne is a single mother that was living in a motel for more than two years. She worked hard to enroll her child into daycare, and was then able to secure a full-time job. Anne was able to work herself out of the motel and into her own apartment. But being a one-income family, with…

  • Lucy gets off the streets and reconnects with God

    In the year 2018, the North Valley Caring Services outreach team encountered Lucy sleeping under a bridge in North Hills. Lucy and her mother had been homeless for several years. After several exchanges, Lucy finally agreed to attend our food pantry. She was amazed by the quality and amount of food that was available at…

  • I wish I could say all our goals have been met…

    It would be my absolute joy to give high-fives all around and celebrate the end of our campaign ‘Fighting Hunger – Feeding Hope’ because we could not find struggling families in need of food. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Families throughout our community continue to struggle to have sufficient food resources – be it…

  • Giving with the community in mind

    People throughout Van Nuys continue to struggle with hunger because they cannot provide themselves or their families with the healthy groceries and fresh meals they need. The Valley Food Bank is one place they can rely on to provide nourishment for their bodies, and souls. But “Fighting Hunger and Feeding Hope” can only happen with…

  • Son above Everything Else

    What was supposed to be a fresh start for Debra and Dwayne turned into an unexpected crisis. After Debra moved from her hometown to escape a difficult situation and to give her son Dwayne a better childhood she noticed Dwayne was not acting like other children his age. She took him to the doctor and…

  • Hector returns to the mission after post-graduation relapse

    When Hector graduated from the Mission’s program in July 2018, he was hopeful for the future. He had spent the previous 20 years in the oil industry and, as he neared graduation, Hector reached out to his former supervisor. “He was proud of me and told me to come on back,” he said. What Hector…

  • Amparo And Her Family Grateful For Free, Healthful Foods

    Meet Amparo. She, along with her husband Abraham, was a first-time participant of the House, A Church Family Food Pantry. The couple, along with 90 more families, received fruits, vegetables, bread, and more at the food distribution ministry of our church. We have been ministering in the Reseda community for more than six years now…

  • After Jail And Hospitals, Anthony Finds Peace At The Mission

    Anthony grew up with parents who were alcoholics and was not interested in following that path. “My mother was functional—she’d cook, clean, go to the gym, do laundry, and then drink. My father on the other hand, he works in the oil rigs, two weeks on, two weeks off. The two weeks off he would…

  • Bruce finds new church family, starts bicycle ministry

    Before coming to the food ministry at Leaves of Healing, Bruce would purchase his food from Dollar Tree, living off dollar dinners and frozen and canned foods. He is retired, lives alone and his income is his social security pension. Bruce’s neighbor Ron told him about the food ministry. Coming back to a church was…

  • Brian Uses His Time In ‘Darkness’ To Relate To Those Who Need Help

    When Brian was wrapping up high school at Righetti, he struggled in deciding his next step: film school or seminary? He had been inspired by his youth pastors growing up and wanted to serve, but he also had a passion for film. More than a decade later, Brian has dabbled in pastoring and video, and…

  • Nestor leaves drugs behind, looks forward to reuniting with his kids

    Nestor was born in Mexico and moved to Carpinteria with his father when he was 17. His mother stayed behind. “The relationship between me and my father is not too good,” Nestor said. “I got a job and moved out.” Nestor went to work at McDonald’s, where he met a woman. They started dating, and…

  • After a stumble, Steve gets back on track at the mission

    Steve grew up in Santa Barbara in a loving home with two parents and two younger siblings. His father, however, was an alcoholic. “A lot of family on my dad’s side has issues with alcohol,” Steve said. “A lot of them are either in recovery, in active addiction, or have died because of it. My…

  • The Mission’s annual Thanksgiving Banquet is Nov. 22

    Thanksgiving is a time of appreciation for what we have and those we love. We often take for granted the comforts and ease of driving ourselves to the grocery store, picking out a 15-pound turkey, and driving home to our well-equipped kitchen to cook a delicious meal to enjoy with our loved ones. For many…

  • Addiction hits home for mission director

    “I’ve seen how Jesus can take a life and transform it,” Jon said. “And that’s the motivation to step into the mission every day and work with the guys. And I’ve watched that with my mom, the ups and downs with the struggle with drugs and alcohol. But I’ve also seen what happens when Jesus…

  • From the Director – October

    What comes to your mind when you hear the word chaplain? Do you think of the Armed Forces or university chaplains? Take a look at this picture. Everyone in it (except me, standing in the back, dead center) is a hard working chaplain at the Ventura County Rescue Mission. We have just hired Duane Caster,…

  • Story of Thanksgiving Baskets

    Each year we have been blessed by the Deacons and members of Bel Air Presbyterian Church. Thanksgiving Baskets has been a long tradition of the Deacons. For over thirty plus years, Bel Air Church has sought to meet the needs of Los Angeles families and individuals both physically and spiritually through offering food and Bibles…

  • Estrella leaves jail, drugs behind for a new life

    Estrella grew up in Oxnard with her younger sister and parents, who separated when she was 10. Her father was deported shortly after for being in and out of jail. “I became very rebellious because I didn’t have my dad,” Estrella said. “I started using drugs when I was 11 and alcohol when I was…

  • Disabilities Put A Financial Strain On Local Family

    In speaking with Nate—a volunteer from the New Hope Church food pantry—Rafaela explains that, due to intellectual disabilities, both of her adult children have difficulty finding jobs. All three of them are unemployed. Life has been very hard for them as of late, and she and her children struggle to provide for both themselves and…

  • The mission’s annual Thanksgiving banquet is Nov. 27

    Thanksgiving is a time of appreciation for what we have and those we love. We often take for granted the comforts and ease of driving ourselves to the grocery store, picking out a 15-pound turkey, and driving home to our well-equipped kitchen to cook a delicious meal to enjoy with our loved ones. For many…

  • Carolina And Her Baby Make Ends Meet After Help From Church, Food Bank

    Carolina is a single mom of a beautiful baby daughter. She lives in Canoga Park and recently underwent a custody battle. She came to the House, A Church Family a few months back asking for some help with clothing and then came last month for food supplies. She was able to get a lot of…

  • From the Director – November

    I continue to be thrilled and humbled to work alongside the Valley Food Bank’s outstanding staff, Pantry network partners, donors and volunteers. We believe access to food and nutrition should be available to all. I am looking forward to learning from others how we can better serve those in need as we navigate a challenging…

  • Ceci Prayed For Help, And Then It Arrived

    It is not always easy to get “excited” about doing evening outreach every week, especially when you have had a very long day. God is aware of this, and for that reason he occasionally offers us exchanges meant to encourage and to energize us. This is exactly what occurred to me last month while doing…

  • Nathan remains connected nearly 1 year after graduation

    After graduating from the mission’s recovery program years ago, Nathan thought he was prepared to reenter the world. But instead, he isolated himself, and feelings of loneliness reemerged. “I fell into a secluded depression I guess they’d call it,” Nathan said. “I just snuggled up with a bottle and about killed myself. But then one…

  • Craving Stability, April Squashes Addiction And Moves Into The Mission

    April is honest about the challenges she faced growing up. “My mom was on welfare and we were in Section 8 housing,” she said. “My dad worked under the table, and my mom, I never really saw her have a job. There were drugs and alcohol within both of my parents. The situation was low…

  • The Mission’s Annual Thanksgiving Banquet is Nov. 26

    Thanksgiving is a time of appreciation for what we have and those we love. We often take for granted the comforts and ease of driving ourselves to the grocery store, picking out a 15-pound turkey, and driving home to our well-equipped kitchen to cook a delicious meal to enjoy with our loved ones. For many…

  • Mirella Gets back on her Feet at ‘Safe’ and ‘Peaceful’ Mission

    Mirella grew up in the Valley, finished high school and started community college with hopes of studying architecture. But when her dad got sick, her world changed. “Everything went downhill,” she said. “I was working and going to school full time, but after my dad passed away, I needed to work full time to help…

  • Bert tires of living on the streets, starts anew at the mission

    Bert was born in Los Angeles and raised in the San Gabriel Valley, where he spent more than 20 years. But about 25 years ago, Bert’s mom relocated to the High Desert. “I’ve been here ever since,” he said. Bert stayed with his mom and worked in a variety of fields. “I’ve done everything across…

  • Marshelle and her family begin to feel hopeful again

    Ten years ago, Marshelle and husband Doug were both working, raising their young daughter and two sons, and renting an apartment in the Valley. But when Marshelle, who has a degree in child development, started noticing her sons weren’t reaching some milestones, she became concerned. “They don’t use the ‘autistic’ label that young, but we…

  • From the Director – September

    The Ventura County Rescue Mission provides for three different groups. We provide over 740 meals a day for families, single men, single women and women with children. We also provide shelter for up to 48 men. We call these two groups of people our guests. The third group of men, those who enter our Life…

  • Letter from the Director – October

    For 21 years, the San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission has focused on sheltering and supporting single parents and intact families experiencing homelessness, along with providing outreach programs. We have been so grateful to offer survival outreach services to chronically homeless men and women through our mobile shower unit and community partners, but we have always…

  • School Supply Giveaway Event A Success Once Again

    Like most incoming freshmen, Mia is nervous to start high school. After the last few years of being an honors student in middle school, Mia is eager to earn good grades and maybe even go to college one day, as she would be the first in her family to do so. Mia is often a…

  • The Mission’s annual Thanksgiving banquet is Nov. 23

    Thanksgiving is a time of appreciation for what we have and those we love. We often take for granted the comforts and ease of driving ourselves to the grocery store, picking out a 15-pound turkey, and driving home to our well-equipped kitchen to cook a delicious meal to enjoy with our loved ones. For many…

  • Thomas Stops ‘Fighting With Himself,’ Embraces God

    Thomas grew up in South Oxnard with his mom and two sisters. “I was the only boy in the house,” he said. “I learned how to be a man from the streets. It was pretty rough. I was 12 years old and in a gang already, drinking daily, missing school. By the time I was…

  • Teresa is well acquainted with tragedy and grief, but perseveres at the mission

    Teresa was born in Mexico into a large family. Her mother struggled to raise her and her 9 siblings. Two of her siblings have since passed away. Tragedy struck Teresa at an early age. “At four years old I was raped. I can’t share who it was, but it was someone who was a part…

  • Bill’s Boots On The Ground – Where Does My Help Come From?

    The life lived in homelessness is one of struggle—but what does that mean? Simply, it is a constant pressure, like walking upstream against the current. Every step takes determination and perseverance, and at the end you really haven’t traveled very far or you slip and end up further downstream than when you started. I hope…

  • Backpack Giveaway Event A Success Yet Again

    The sky was filled with thunder clouds and intermittent patches of blue, but Impact Church, site of the 10th Annual Backpack Giveaway, was filled with sunny faces and radiant smiles. Why? Because our High Desert kids were receiving fully stocked backpacks! And that wasn’t all—they were getting haircuts and manicures, socks and shoes, and reading…

  • Ray Gets His Health And Relationship With God Restored

    Less than a year ago, Ray was wandering around Yucca Valley, awake for days and screaming at God. Now, he is stable, sober, and looking forward to the rest of his life. “Since I’ve been here at the mission, I’ve seen that the bible is true, that God is real and he loves us,” Ray…

  • Harold knew the mission was ‘a blessing’ as soon as he entered

    Harold had plenty of chances to get into trouble growing up, but his tight relationship with his mother always kept him in check. “When I almost didn’t graduate from high school, she started crying, and I told her I’d do whatever I had to do to get back in school,” Harold said. “I went to…