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From Homelessness to Hope: Meet Mary

From Homelessness to Hope: Meet Mary

The LA Regional Food Bank, in partnership with the LA Mission, helps many people, including those facing homelessness.

While the majority of the Food Bank’s food goes to low-income families who do have shelter, helping those without homes is a critical part of the work too. Through a partnership with the Los Angeles Mission, the Food Bank is able to help people get a fresh start.

Mary was working and had a roof over her head. Then, due to circumstances beyond her control, she found herself out of work and homeless. But thanks to the Food Bank, she says she’s doing a lot better.


The Food Bank and LA Mission helped Mary get back on track

There are so many stories about the devastating and growing issue of homelessness in Los Angeles County. For a variety of reasons, and sometimes through little or no fault of their own, homelessness is a reality for approximately 10 percent of clients served by the Food Bank.

Mary, for example, lost her job, her home and was unable to find new work because of health issues. “I was homeless for about a year, and I learned a lot,” she says. “It was scary, but you find that most homeless people aren’t really how people present them. They’re nice. They just have situations like everyone else.”

When she lost her home, Mary found the LA Mission. “Things are getting better. A lot better.” The LA Mission provides three meals a day, as well as programs to help get people back on their feet. The majority of the food they distribute through meals and other programs comes from the Food Bank.

The LA Mission works to help people who struggle to help themselves

Once people like Mary find housing and other support, it is still difficult to keep up with the rising cost of living. The Mission packs and distributes boxes of groceries for people in low-income housing every Wednesday. Mary estimates that the boxes she receives help her save $100 to $200 per month.

Mary at the LA Mission“It’s really a great program and they’re very generous and very kind here,” says Mary. “I come every week.”

The program is designed to help those who have limited resources or who are on a fixed income supplement their diet with nutritious food, as well as provide some financial relief. Mary says that the groceries help her pay her rent and other bills. “I have housing now and I love it,” she says. “My greatest financial burden is rent. I’m just trying to survive.”

Mary is looking forward to the future

While enduring life’s obstacles, it’s easy to lose optimism. But Mary says she’s decided to take everything as a lesson. “We’re all here for a reason,” she says. “We go through burdens and trials and tribulations and learn from it. If you can learn from it, that’s a really good thing.”

Mary is looking forward to seeing her grandbabies graduate from college and says she’s grateful for everyone who helped her get to where she is today. “You’re doing the work of a higher power and I appreciate everything,” says Mary. “I’m just grateful for everything I have today and I am making the best of everything.”

We shouldn’t throw people away

The Food Bank provides food for 600+ agencies like the LA Mission throughout our community, and it is because of this work and collaboration that stories like Mary’s exist. Please consider giving the gift of hope today so we can continue to transform lives in LA County.

Just $23 per month can help provide enough food for one person for a year.

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