Over 20% of the population here in Long Beach lives below the poverty level. This is certainly the case in the Mission neighborhood, where gang activity and drug sales are not uncommon. This also makes it a very challenging place for young people to grow up.
Long Beach Rescue Mission is working to effect change.
Through our partnership with neighboring Washington Middle School, the Mission’s Program Director, Chaplain Jeff Levine, has been actively involved with young people at the school through its special Male and Female Academies.
“The Academies are designed to catch kids who are at risk,” Jeff says. “Many of them have low GPAs and disciplinary issues. The Academies provide a chance for them to not only improve their grades but to learn basic life and social skills like building healthy relationships and decision making.”
Jeff conducts class every Thursday. One week, he’ll go to the school, and the next week, he brings the kids to the Mission where they take part in a service project like helping serve a meal.
“We recognize that we’re not just called to be a light to the homeless, we’re called to be a light to our community, a light to our world. That means being a good neighbor in every way we can and good partners in the work that we’re doing to make our city a better place.”
To read the rest of this issue of Rescue Review, click here.