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The Union Rescue Mission (URM) is a private Christian homeless shelter in downtown Los Angeles's Skid Row. It is the largest private homeless shelter in the United States.[1] Founded in 1891, it provides emergency and long-term services including food, shelter, clothing, medical and dental care, recovery programs, transitional housing, legal assistance, education, counseling, and job training.[2] Union Rescue Mission is part of the Association of Gospel Rescue Missions.[3]



The URM was founded by Lyman Stewart, founder of the Union Oil Company and Biola University, as a Christian missionary outreach. It was initially called the Pacific Gospel Union, and it sponsored revival meetings in tents. Only in 1903 did the organization purchase a permanent home. In 1926, the City of Los Angeles purchased their property in order to build the Los Angeles City Hall, so the URM moved to a new building which came to be called "the Mission on Main Street".[4] In the 1940s it was managed by George Hummel.

In 1955, Helga Bender Henry, [5] wife of Carl F.H. Henry, wrote a centennial history of the nation's largest rescue mission. Henry reported that the URM had served 328,822 meals in 1953. In the preceding 20 years, the Mission had served over 5 million meals. At that time, Clinton Goodwin, who had a well-known story, was house manager. Another counselor of note was FW Demara, the Great Imposter.[6]

In 1994, the URM moved to a new $29 million, 5 story, 225,000-square-foot (20,900 m2) facility. The new shelter includes a computer-based learning center, a library, children's play and study areas, and a gymnasium. The new facility is located at 545 S. San Pedro Street, Los Angeles, 90013. [4] Today the Mission feeds thousands of meals a day to the needy and the homeless in downtown. The guest chapel offers a place to rest. The new building has a Main Chapel with church service and Sunday service at 1:00 PM.

In 2007, Union Rescue Mission opened Hope Gardens, a facility outside of Skid Row which is exclusively for women and children.[7]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ USC's geography entry Archived September 10, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ URM About Us
  3. ^ "AGRM". Association of Gospel Missions. Association Catalyst. Retrieved 8 August 2015.
  4. ^ a b URM History
  5. ^ Henry HB Mission on Main Street Archived January 6, 2009, at the Wayback Machine (out of print -- 55-6704, W.A. Wilde Company)
  6. ^ Great Imposter
  7. ^ Hope Gardens Family Center

External linksEdit