This month, half of our Sunday Offering will go to the Westside Coalition, an alliance of 75 organizations, public agencies, and faith communities committed to working collaboratively on issues of housing, hunger, and health through service coordination, public education, and advocacy.
The Westside Coalition is a non-profit volunteer organization that currently operates under the fiscal sponsorship of Mount Olive Lutheran Church. The coalition was founded in 1982 to serve the Westside of Los Angeles County and is reportedly the oldest coalition in the county working on behalf of the poor and homeless. Since that time the Westside Coalition (formerly the Westside Shelter & Hunger Coalition) merged with the Westside Health Coalition. Throughout its history, the Westside Coalition has proven to be an effective tool in providing collaborative, high-quality programs and services for those in need in our community.
The Coalition asserts the importance of making clear statements that define the basic beliefs, values, and parameters by which its leadership body will operate. An organization’s operating principles describe what members of a community should be able to expect from one another. Westside Coalition’s operating principles are:
- Human Dignity: We affirm the dignity and worth of all members of our community.
- Equal Access: We believe all people have a right to equal access to resources that provide for a decent standard of living (e.g., housing, food, medical care, mental health treatment, etc.).
- Integrity: We are committed to operating ethically, honestly, and transparently.
- Empowerment: We believe in the empowerment of those we serve.
- Compassion: We treat each other and those we serve with compassion.
- Shared Responsibility: We recognize that homelessness and hunger are systemic issues and that it takes a community to combat their effects.
- Advocacy: We are committed to helping people break the cycle of poverty by changing the systems that perpetuate their poverty.
- Common Ground: We value diversity of perspective while uniting around a common purpose.
Although individual agencies have the ability to provide separate services for people in need, the efforts of the Westside Coalition help coordinate all services on the Westside in order to provide a true continuum of service care for the community. Members work together to provide services that include initial intake and service referrals; showers, food, and clothing; on-going case management; emergency, transitional, and permanent housing; medical care; mental health treatment; HIV medical and social services; job training and placement; and substance abuse treatment. The coalition has been instrumental in advocating for low income and homeless people at the local, state, and national levels.
Our practice here at UUSM is to dedicate half of our non-pledge Sunday offerings to organizations doing work in the world that advances our Unitarian Universalist principles; the other 50% of the offering is used to support the life of our church.
UUSM’s Generous Congregation program supports our church community. And together, we uplift the reach and impact of vital organizations doing work we could not do on our own. This month, half of our Sunday offerings will go to the Westside Coalition. Your donations will help them continue to work collaboratively on issues of housing, hunger, and health through service coordination, public education, and advocacy.
Please consider supporting the mission of our church and the Westside Coalition. To give right now, text “$10 GCC” to 844-982-0209. (One-time-only credit card registration required.) Or visit Make a Donation at uusm.org and reference Generous Congregation. Thank you.