Letter from Our CEO, Janet

February 11, 2023

THERE’S MUCH TO LOVE about our City, Los Angeles. The weather, food, hiking trails, and ocean are unmatched. The creative energy alone is incredible! But the city also, sadly, has earned itself notoriety with rising homelessness, surging rents, and high cost of living. The dichotomy between comfort and struggle plays out every day. As an example, food prices have gone up 13% over last year. For some this does not make a big difference. But for many of our neighbors who are struggling and vulnerable, such an increase has a profound effect on their ability to afford the essentials we all may take for granted. As one of our clients shared recently: “There’s nothing left to cut back on.” But here’s the good news. Your generosity towards those who are struggling in our community is making a difference. MEND cannot be all things to all people, but with your help, we can continue to be a place where those who fall through the social safety net can find help. A significant percent of the people we serve are homeless or near homeless, and 35% do not qualify for public benefits because of their immigration status. Because the poor spend a bigger share of their budgets on necessities such as food and rent, inflation is devastating to their ability to care for themselves and their families. For people losing their hope in the current economic crisis, your kindness is a godsend. You’ll read in this newsletter about Rosa and Anthony and others whose lives are made better by your generosity. Your compassion ensures people who find themselves struggling and overwhelmed, receive the support they need. It’s in every nourishing meal, every compassionate encounter, and every sigh of relief. Thank you for being the reason why a homeless man or woman finds support when they need it, a mother is able to feed her children, and a senior citizen can go to bed without worry.

-Janet Marinaccio President & CEO