Merry Christmas Friends!
Have you ever seen a homeless person pushing a shopping cart overloaded with with their belongings down the street? Or someone sleeping on the sidewalk, against a building, or at the bus stop? Or someone standing on a street corner or in front of a store asking for money, and wished you could do something to help?
I want you to kow that you are helping. You have received this newsletter because you are a supporter of Grace Resources, and you have trusted my staff and volunteers to reach out, lend a hand, provide a meal and clothing for their 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.
Six years ago our yearly budget was right around $650,000 a year. This year’s budget was nearly two million dollars! Next year we’re looking at a budget of very close to 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!
Keep up with us on Facebook 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 year, and invite you to step up next 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.
There is one more thing I need to share. In 2011, when we took over the shelter, we used every bed available, and then some! It was constantly filled. We began to plead with the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) for more money to cover our costs, but they consistently refused. As a result, because the need was so great, we used up every penny of our emergency funds to keep the shelter full. This summer, we were forced to cut back to just 55 beds, and presently, we have 96 beds for the cold weather Winter Shelter. It hurts to admit that, and I hate that it is necessary, but we don’t have the funds to keep it full year round! And our reserve funds so low, it is very difficult for us each month to meet the needs that we have here at Grace Resources. Please pray for us, and if you can, help us not only raise the funds to continue our services, but to rebuild our reserve funds.
LAHSA Our main Shelter funding source, and the County of Los Angeles have helped us as much as they can, but we still need help. So we are forced to leave empty beds because there isn’t enough funding to pay more staff to allow more beds to be filled. So again, your help is necessary.
If everyone in the Antelope Valley gave Grace Resources three dollars a month, we could fill every bed, provide every meal, and all the supportive services that are necessary for lasting lifestyle changes.
During this cold weather season we are filling 96 beds this year. Last year we filled between one hundred and forty to one hundred and sixty beds! With those 96 beds we serve each guest two meals, every day, meaning we serve 192 meals a day, 1,344 meals a week, and 5,376 meals a month, just at the shelter!
Now back to my original thought in this message. YOU are the ones who allow us to be the hansds and feet of God, in the trenches, face to face in hand to hand ministry.
May you and yours have a very wonderful Christmas and a happy new year. 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.
Yours to depend upon,
Steve Baker, Executive Director