• Dora, ‘The Lady With The Smile,’ Takes Care Of Her Family With Pantry’s Help

    La Voz Sylmar Pantry (LVSP) is open every Thursday. We have wonderful energy and that is something that has allowed us to attract amazing community members such as Dora. This lady is so sweet and such a hard worker. We admire her tremendously. She always shows up with a wonderful smile and is a pleasure…

  • Volunteering to Make a Difference

    With all the holiday activities, a host of corporations, civic organizations, schools and places of worship made time to lend a hand and run the many food drives conducted during the end of the year. The food resources could not be processed if not for the energetic volunteers. “I wanted to thank you for allowing…

  • It’s A Win-Win!

    Kenny, the receiving manager at Albertsons, is committed to his food rescue partners, including the Valley Food Bank. When you walk into your grocery store, you will find stocked shelves and bins full of fruits, vegetables, meat, dairy and bakery goods. Have you wondered what happens to those items once their best-use-by date nears? Rather…

  • Stories From Those Touched By The Valley Food Bank And Its Partners

    We talk to people all over the San Fernando Valley who are in need of some food assistance. Their stories are all different, and we are grateful to be able to help however we can. Here, the pastor at Power of God Church shares some testimonies from some neighbors he’s met recently: We met Fuensanta…

  • From the Director

    When people think of the Ventura County Rescue Mission, they usually think of the men in our shelter. But the reality is we care for hundreds of women and children at the Mission and Lighthouse all throughout the year. This picture is an example of the precious children who are in need of the basic…

  • 11-Year-Old Lighthouse Resident Speaks At Mom’s Graduation

    Junior, 11, has been named an honorary graduate of the Lighthouse, and is the first child to speak at one of the missions’ graduations. “I wanted to see how it felt to be on stage and talking in front of people and I wanted all of them to hear how it feels from a kid’s…

  • From the Director – March 2020

    Our Mission statement begins with a promise: With the support of our community, we offer Refuge; Food, shelter and clothing for those in need. Here is just one picture of the hundreds of volunteers who are active at the Mission and Lighthouse to serve our guests who are less fortunate. We have Malachi Men and…

  • Viviana Finds Peace At Lighthouse Shelter With Her Daughter, Grandkids

    Viviana, who just turned 74, grew up in a small town in Mexico. In fact, the town was so small, there was no doctor. Viviana birthed 12 children, but only five are still alive. After her husband passed away three years ago, Viviana struggled to make ends meet. She stayed in her small town for…

  • Esteban Looks Forward To Being A Positive Influence To Others

    Esteban remembers what he calls his first experience with Jesus Christ. He was struggling with anxiety and depression, and went to the hospital. “I was having these intense panic attacks, like really, really bad,” he said. “I kept going to the hospital. And the last time I was there, the pastor at New Life Church,…

  • After Years Of Pushing People Away, Michael Accepts Help, Embraces Change

    Michael was born in San Luis Obispo. He was active in the church in Nipomo as a child. “Church was more my parents idea,” he said. “I was just going through the motions.” Michael was baptized at a young age, but he said “it really didn’t stick. Life grabbed me and pulled me in the…

  • Volunteer Marion Discovers Her Mission In Life

    Marion came from a well-to-do family and was given a lot, but it was never enough. “I found myself searching for other things,” she said. “Through that process I came to know Jesus and my life changed.” That was about 30 years ago. When Marion was in college she was broke so she carpooled with…

  • Jesse Is Lifting His Hands In Praise Once Again

    Jesse grew up with his mom and sister near Monterey. “My dad was in my life, but my parents got divorced when I was 1,” he said. “My mom and I have a close relationship. My dad was very hard, emotionally and verbally. He has seven other kids and I was the last one. He…

  • Eugene Revels In His Newfound Feeling Of Contentment

    Almost two years since entering the mission’s Life Recovery Program, Eugene has continued to make great strides. After graduating in February 2019, Eugene moved across the street into the transitional living house. He had a few temporary jobs before landing a job at Hardy Diagnostics, a medical device manufacturer, in Santa Maria. He’s been employed…

  • Tony Begins Recovery After Early Start With Drugs

    Drugs took hold of Tony early. In middle school, he was already using and felt out of control. He asked for help from a teacher and entered a rehabilitation facility in Orange County. “I couldn’t control myself anymore,” Tony said. “I couldn’t handle it. I was 12 or 13 years old.” Tony was born in…

  • Justin Leaves Unstable Life Behind, Looks Ahead To A Happy Future

    Justin’s goals for his future aren’t elaborate. He wants stability. He wants a steady life free of surprises. He never wants to worry about having a roof over his head again. A year and a half after graduating from the mission’s Life Recovery Program, Justin is reaching his goals. “I’m doing the best I can…

  • Brenda Rebounds From Her ‘Lowest’ After Seeking Help From The Mission

    Brenda has been through some tough times in her life. But in the middle of 2019, she hit rock bottom. Brenda worked as a server for 35 years, the last 17 primarily in the San Fernando Valley. She was working six days a week to provide for her 13-year-old son and 21-year-old pregnant daughter. Things…

  • Debbye Finally Comes To The Mission After God Guides Her Time And Time Again

    Debbye grew up in South Central L.A. “I feel like the moral values I grew up with were different than what the other kids had. My mom was strict about things. We lived pretty comfortable. We didn’t have much. It was all my mom could afford,” Debbye recalls. Her dad was never involved in her…

  • Geraldine And Her 2-Year-Old Daughter Feel Safe, Comfortable, Welcome

    Geraldine was born in the United States, but grew up in Mexico. “I went there when I was a couple months old,” she said. “I always wanted to come back to this country and finally I had the opportunity when I was 17. That was 10 years ago.” Geraldine stayed with her grandparents for a…

  • Tammy Says The Mission ‘Caught Me Before I Fell’

    Tammy spent most of her life in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, but the desire for warmer weather and to be closer to her oldest daughter, inspired her to make a big move. But once in California, Tammy’s plans hit a snag. Tammy has three children: two daughters, 23 and 14, and a 3-year-old son. When Tammy and…

  • Joe Follows In His Little Brother’s Footsteps, Gets The Help He Needs

    When Joe felt like he had nowhere to turn, he reached out to his younger brother, Bert. Bert was getting help with his addiction, and had a place to stay. He encouraged Joe to join him, and that’s how he ended up at the Victor Valley Rescue Mission. “I told my brother I needed to…

  • Angel Overcomes Addiction, Finds True Happiness In God

    At just 22, Angel has already experienced homelessness, addiction, and hunger. He became hooked on fentanyl quickly. He started stealing to support his habit, and ended up on the streets, once going four days without food. “It wasn’t the life I wanted,” Angel said. “That’s what made me even worse on the drugs. I was…

  • No Need To Worry

    The food pantry is a place where many different people come together for a few hours each week. Gladys is one such interesting community member that attends our food pantry. Gladys is 77 years old and widowed for 47 of those years. She is an amazing, selfless soul who chooses to see the beauty in…

  • Dear Friends and Heroes

    Happy New Year! The Valley Food Bank accomplished much in 2019. While the challenges associated with hunger and food insecurity remains, we were able to process more than $12,000,000 worth of food resources, which we could not have done without you. 2020 is looking to be a year of growth and realignment as we strive…

  • Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

    ‘Tis the season with much happening in our city. Having just celebrated Thanksgiving with a great sigh of relief and reflecting on the many blessings we each enjoy, is a great way to usher in the New Year. Humberto Barba, our Warehouse Manager, recalls a phone call he received from a very sweet 93-year-old woman…

  • Compassion for Others

    Founded in 1958, Anthony International is a manufacturer and solutions provider of glass refrigerator and freezer doors, lighting systems, and display equipment for use in commercial refrigeration systems worldwide. Anthony’s products are designed to enhance merchandising, ensure food safety, and protect the environment. Anthony is a member of the Dover Corporation’s Refrigeration and Food Equipment…

  • Just Like Santa – You Never See Him

    During this holiday season we hear seasonal music, see all the incredible lights and decorations, and make plans to visit family and friends as the year draws to a close. Just like the many stories of Santa and his reindeer that come in the still of the night, so is our camera shy volunteer, Adan….

  • From the Director – December

    It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Unless of course, you are homeless and alone on the streets of Ventura County, then Christmas becomes another sad reminder of what could have been. My wife Becki and I are eternally grateful for your prayers and support for the homeless men, women and children we serve….

  • Candise Finds ‘Peace And Joy’ At The Lighthouse

    Candise is the oldest of seven, raised by a single mom, with her father in and out of prison. The family grew up mostly in the Colonia area of Oxnard. Candise said, “Both of my parents were drug addicts, and both were in the (Colonia) gang. “I started hanging out with the wrong crowd. I…

  • What a year, what a tremendous year!

    The Ventura County Rescue Mission and Lighthouse wishes to thank you all in Ventura County, who gave of your time, resources, and gifts to make 2019 one of our best years ever! 4 Newborns started life at the Lighthouse. 55 men and women have graduated from our 10-month Life Recovery Program. 102 have found employment…

  • Ernie Finds His Calling At The Mission

    You might remember Ernie. He was on his third stay at the mission and nearing graduation when we shared his story in March of last year. He not only graduated the Life Recovery Program, but he also completed the mission’s transitional living program and is currently serving as the house manager at the mission. Ernie…

  • Dui Arrest Was The Wakeup Call Peter Needed To Get Help

    Peter was born and raised in Pennsylvania. He moved out to California where he has been doing consulting work for the past 30 years. He was married for a while and has a daughter who is 25 now. Peter had a drinking problem that started in his late teenage years. He struggled with it off…

  • Looking Back On 2019

    It feels like just yesterday when I was pondering what God would do in, around, and through the Central Coast Rescue Mission in 2019. I was trusting Ephesians 3:20-21 “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or even imagine, according to His power at work within us, to…

  • Years After Graduation, Billy Keeps On Trucking

    Billy was born in Ohio and moved to California when he was 6 months old, where he has lived ever since. Billy describes his upbringing as “kind of rocky. My dad was a truck driver. He was never home. He was there, but he wasn’t. It was just me, my mom and three sisters.” Billy…

  • Brian Will Be Home For Christmas

    You might remember Brian. He spent his first Christmas at the mission last year. This Christmas, he has a job, a place to call home and a renewed purpose. Brian’s story began when he and his future wife moved up to Oregon after high school. He went to culinary school; they got married, bought a…

  • The new decade is here… 2020!

    The mission has accomplished so much. In this last year we celebrated 20 years of service to the Victor Valley community, and the number of lives that have been changed in that time is amazing. All of this work has been made possible by the grace of God and the partnership of our donors. After…

  • Ryan Couldn’t Hide It Any Longer

    Ryan grew up playing sports. “I played baseball in college at CSUN. I graduated with a speech and communications degree. I’ve had 16 knee surgeries since then,” recalls Ryan. “I was partying and taking pain medications for years. I grew up in the church. I kind of knew how to say the right things, do…

  • Fear And Abuse Are Replaced By Peace And Caring

    Nicole was living in Las Vegas with her two young daughters, Kenzie and Kayla, while working at a daycare as the lead teacher for the 18 month to 2-year-old class. She had broken up with her daughter’s father before she was born, ending what she would describe as a “toxic relationship.” In February of this…

  • Maria’s Family Forced to Leave Cramped Apartment, Can Finally Stretch Their Legs

    Maria grew up in a small town in Honduras. “My mother gave me up to my grandmother and my grandmother raised me.” Maria moved to the U.S. when she was 27 years old and has been living here for the past 13 years. She was getting by working as a dishwasher and preparing food at…

  • Life Is Better, Not Just At The Mission…But Beyond!

    In 2019, 67 families transitioned through our shelter. The change made in their lives lasts well beyond their time with us. Victoria had been abandoned by her husband and was left with two small children, no money, no home. She is now doing great, has kept in touch, and was the speaker at our volunteer…

  • Creating New Hope At Renewed Hope

    Homeless. Drug Dealer. Addict. Gang Leader. These are a few of the monikers that have been attached to our guests. Each man has come to us with a past. Each man has come to us at a critical turning point. Each man has come to us in need of a renewed hope. This is what…

  • 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…