Skid Row Ministry

During one of the days at our IRIS training we went to Skid Row in Los Angeles.  Our friends from India who were also there said they couldn’t believe this existed in America.  Neither could we.  It’s about 50 blocks of the worst homelessness imaginable where thousands live.  American laws don’t apply at Skid Row.  Tents line the streets. CPS doesn’t monitor children there.  Police don’t monitor drugs.  Outhouses are stocked with clean needles that probably aren’t used anyway.  Drug dealers sit in their nice cars in broad daylight across from the police station, and sell drugs from their windows.  People bathe from a leaky fire hydrant, if they bathe at all.  Men in expensive cars stop in the middle of the street to pick up prostitutes. And we met some of the kindest, gentlest, most interesting people there.  Some shared their stories and testimonies with us.  Some hugged us. Some cried.  A woman named Lisa was crying because her tent with all her clothes in it had been stolen.  She said she felt worthless.  She also said that Jesus is her only friend.  Calvin ended up at Skid Row after being released from prison.  He credits Jesus for protecting his health all this time, even after a serious diagnosis 35 years ago that he still has no symptoms of.  He cried for 30 minutes because he “felt the Lord there” and thanked us for talking to him. 

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