It’s hard to believe that Grace Resources is in its 27th year of serving the homeless, near homeless and impoverished in the Antelope Valley. For those of you who don’t know, Grace Resouces, Inc is a faith-based, 501(c)3 non-profit organization that is committed to meeting the needs of the homeless and poor with a touch of grace. Be sure to check out our Available Resources link under the Contact tab to see what services we offer but through meeting needs, providing educational opportunities and restoring families we seek to make our community a better place.
Have you ever seen a homeless person pushing a shopping cart down the street, overloaded with his or her belongings? Or have you seen someone sleeping on the sidewalk, against a building, or at the bus stop? Perhaps you saw someone standing on a street corner or in front of a store asking for money. I would bet you have seen the number of homeless increase and increase significantly over the last 10 years, In fact, homelessness in the Antelope Vally has grown by 145% in the last 10 years (1,245 to 3,038) and many of us believe those numbers are conservative. If you’re on our webpage you are probably someoe who wished you could do something to help!
This situation is by no means hopeless and I want you to know that their are many actions you can take to help. The first step is to sign-up for our newsletter and become a prayer and financial supporter of Grace Resources, trusting my staff and volunteers to reach out, lend a hand, provide a meal and clothing for children, or a bed at our shelter. Thank you!
We have another year nearly in the books, and your support has made this the best year ever. You have supported us through your finances, prayer, and your giving has touched thousands of lives, meeting real needs with a touch of Grace.
Twenty-six years ago Grace Resources began as a food bank. Over the years God has enabled us to grow into much more, and He has trusted us with great responsibility. Our mission is to empower people to thrive with dignity, not just survive, through training, education, food, clothing, shelter, medical care and spiritual investment.
As the homeless crisis has grown in the Antelope Valley, so has our budget! Six years ago our annual budget was $650,000. This year’s budget was 1,812,000! Next year we’re looking at a budget of very close to, if not over two million dollars! I have to constantly remind myself of the Psalmist’s words in Psalm 46:1: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” On our own there is no way to meet the demands put upon us daily. But with Him all things are possible! One thing the last 26 years have taught me is that Grace Resources can’t do this alone. The homeless and poverty crisis that currently exists takes Grace Resources partnering with the churches,
businesses and families of the Antelope Valley to make a difference! It’s important to note that we receive just of $500,000 in government assistance from the City of Lancaster and County of Los Angeles but that leaves us $1,300,000 to raise annually, by no means impossible but we need your help!
Keep up with us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and here on the web and see how God is daily touching lives through our combined efforts.
I want to thank all of you who stood with us this past year, and invite you to step up this year as well! We need volunteers to help serve those in need, prayer warriors to cover us and those we serve in prayer, and financial partners who respond to God’s leading in giving with a joyful heart! Together we will see amazing results.
Here’s an interesting idea: if everyone in the Antelope Valley gave Grace Resources three dollars a month, we could fill every bed at the shelter, provide every meal, and all the supportive services that are necessary for lasting lifestyle changes.
Now back to my original thought in this message. YOU are the ones who allow us to be the hands and feet of Jesus, in the trenches, face to face in hand to hand ministry.
We, at Grace Resources, are grateful for each of the churches, businesses and individuals who have made what we do possible. You are making a difference in the Antelope Valley! Although none of us knows what God has in store for us this coming year, we know that with you supporting us, and working together with us to bring hope to the hopeless, He will provide everything we need.
Let me leave you with some of the most recent homeless facts for the Antelope Valley.
Homelessness in the Antelope Valley has increased by 145% since 2007 (1,238 to 3,038)3.
Chronic homelessness has increased 76% in Service Planning Area (SPA 1) from 2015 to 20161 (extended homelessness over 1 year) 506 individuals to 890 individuals
Total homelessness in SPA 1 increased 8% from 2015 to 2016 (2,818 to 3,038) while the rest of LA County only saw an increase of 5.7%.
During the same time the number of unsheltered homeless increased 13% (2,369 to 2,671)2. It is important to note despite the best efforts to conduct an accurate homeless count, Grace Resources and many in the community believe these number to be closer to 6,000 homeless folks in the Antelope Valley.
Veteran Homeless – Significant strides have been made in housing veterans. Veteran homelessness is down 18% in SPA 12. However, there still exists an issue of getting an accurate count of homeless vets as many are reluctant to participate in government counts and programs.
Female Homelessness – there has been a significant increase in the number of homeless, single females. From 2015 to 2016 there was an increase of 18% (851 to 1001)2. Anecdotally, we, at Grace Resources, have seen a noticeable increase in females 55 and older.
Grace Resources served 31,200 hot meals at the Resource Center in 2016, primarily to unsheltered homeless individuals.
Grace Resources distributed to 25,800 bags of emergency groceries to impoverished families and individuals in the Antelope Valley during 2016.
Grace Resources filled 34,655 cot nights in 2016 serving a total of 466 individuals and family members with an average length of stay of 74 days.
Grace Resources receives mail for over 1600 individuals. 80% of these clients are homeless (1,280).
Grace Resources, in partnership with the Antelope Valley Community Clinic and Bartz-Altadonna Community Health Center, has provided basic health and dental care to 217 individuals from July 1st, 2016 to April 1st, 2017.
Note: The 2017 LAHSA Homeless Count was conducted January 24th – 25th. Results from the count are pending.
Please never hesitate to contact me or my staff if you have any questions about all that Grace Resources does.
Yours to depend upon,
Steve Baker, Executive Director