The frail little woman walked up to me on the sidewalk outside the Fred Jordan Mission here on Skid Row, and said, “Mrs. Jordan, I don’t know if you remember me, but my three children and I met you and the wonderful people from Fred Jordan Mission several years ago when we lived in Tent City.”
When you see hundreds of needy people each day, you might forget a face, but not this woman’s face. The pain in her eyes showed the pain that flooded her heart after she was abandoned by the man who promised to love her, to protect her, and to care for her. He was the father of her children. How could I ever forget Mona? Her story was so tragic, and the memories were still so vivid that they seemed to be etched in my mind.
And Mona’s mention of tent city brought back a flood of memories. That was the time in Los Angeles when our City Council, in attempting to grapple with the increasing problem of homelessness, forced homeless Americans on the streets of Los Angeles to move to Tent City, which the Council called an “urban campground.” Tent City was a twelve-acre field alongside the railroad tracks east of downtown, near the river. Families and children, drunks and drug addicts, prostitutes and sexual perverts living side-by-side, making it easy for these predators to select their prey.
When I heard about Tent City, I went immediately, and the living conditions that I found were even more horrible than many that I had found in Third World countries where I had built orphanages - - too disgusting to describe to Americans.
I knew immediately that we had to do something to help the children and their mothers. We began by leasing big charter buses to drive into this awful place every morning, and literally rescue the children and their mothers and bring them to the Mission, where everything was clean, and welcoming. They loved it. They took long showers to wash away the filth of living in the dirt, the children ate all their little tummies could hold, and we told them about a loving Heavenly Father.
It was in this filthy place called Tent City, where I first met Mona and her children. And when we met again, she said, “My whole family was homeless, and you took such good care of us. We wouldn’t have survived without your Mission’s love and care.”
Fred Jordan Mission is a place where needy children find God’s love, and it’s also a place where men and women who have lived their entire lives without God are welcomed. This is a place where your gift can make a difference, a place where lives are changed.
We all need God’s love and forgiveness, regardless of our age, and I need your help to share this Good News! Please use a credit card when you donate online, fjm.org, or when you phone our toll free number, 1-844-FJM-FOOD. If it is more convenient, please make your check payable to Fred Jordan Mission, and mail it to me, Willie Jordan, PO BOX 12345, Covina, CA 91722. Tomorrow, more of Mona’s tragic life story.
Willie Jordan (Mrs. Fred Jordan)