Skid Row – Pastor Ron

Written by Carter Theis





Enoch Magazine is attempting to bridge the gap between the homeless on Skid Row and those living in homes and suburbs around the world. Not only are we creating awareness, but we are also offering a real opportunity to help the people in our films.

Skid Row is the word used to describe the downtown homeless district in Los Angeles. Most of its residents are there due to drug addiction, mental illness and/or financial distress. This community is made up of thousands of homeless people and encompasses a 4-5 block radius.

Last April, a team of 8 individuals from different cities and states joined together for an Enoch Documentary in Skid Row Los Angeles. We walked the streets day and night, spent time with the people and distributed food and water. Our focus in filming this experience was not to show what we had done, but to show what the needs of Skid Row are and how outsiders (such as ourselves) could begin to meet some of those needs.

Half of our trip was spent wondering the streets of Skid Row without any direction or influence. We wanted to get a pure sense of the situation, and humbly inject ourselves into the madness. However, the second half of our trip was spent meeting with known figures in the community such as Pastor Ron. We learned that the first real need for Skid Row is to assist those who are already down there working everyday to make a difference in people’s lives. Most of them are under funded. Nevertheless, they have dedicated their lives to assisting the poor and the addicted, so they know what works and what doesn’t.

Pastor Ron’s storefront assembly, Set Free Church & Outreach, is located on San Julian (the main street of Skid Row, one block from the rescue mission and a half block from the Dream Center pickup). It would take many pages to completely describe what Set Free Church & Outreach does, but simply stated, they: feed and cloth people, house men and women, run a de-tox center 100 miles outside L.A., operate a daily “safe house” for people on the streets, host group meetings and events, and maintain a faith based community of constant service to the people on the street.

Pastor Ron comes from the streets of Skid Row. A former drug addict and homeless man, Pastor Ron has a heart for the people on the streets and what is needed to change their lives. Most of what his organization does is modeled after the path that took him off the streets. His organization is the only one we found running a free de-tox center, an on-site clothing ministry and other daily services which are immediately available to those in need.

While we were on the streets for 10 days we observed only two apparent clothing ministries. One was a table of used clothes, dumped out in the center of Skid Row by street evangelist Patrick Ersig. Although this act of kindness was pure in gesture, (Patrick is practically homeless himself), the outcome was highly ineffective. People had high expectations for the opportunity to get new clothes, only to find out that they had to fight over a pile of unorganized second-hand clothes. Tempers rose and a frenzy developed, resulting in the weakest and most in need being run off by the more aggressive and less in need. Also, the time it took for people to determine if random articles of clothing would fit them and their gender was too long.

Pastor Ron’s Set Free Outreach is the second ministry we found running a clothing drive. His clothing ministry room is open 4 hours everyday, and he leads a staff of rehabilitated on-site volunteers and residents to assist people needing things, such as clothes. While this venture is much more aligned with love, structure and efficiency, he barley has any clothing to offer. He explained that his ministry suffers because so few people donate clothing to Set Free Church & Outreach. “And what little clothing that is donated, is immediately distributed because there is a daily need for clothing, especially men’s clothing,” says Pastor Ron.

Since the release of our Skid Row trailer, Enoch Magazine has already been contacted by teens, college students, churches and homeless workers across the country who want to help Skid Row. The needs of Skid Row are so immediate, that it would be silly for us to spend prolonged time and money on a full-length film. Instead we offer our footage as a timely tool to meet the needs of people like Pastor Ron. We pledge to continuously return to Skid Row to help the people we’ve met and film the progress of Skid Row. Anyone reading this is welcome to contact us for information on joining us in Skid Row.

There’s a few ways you could help us!

1) You could by an Enoch t-shirt. This would help us sustain our mission! They’re not the coolest things on the planet, but they do make consistent appearances in places no one else wants to go like Skid Row. So that’s kind of unique.





2) Donate money via PAYPAL to the Pastor Ron Clothing Drive and the people of Skid Row.

3) Join us on the streets. If you are more of a “doer” than a supporter, then join us on the streets. Many have already made this decision without any solicitation from us and we look forward to meeting you all. Just hit us up at: info@enochmagazine.com

[tab:Skid Row Trailer]

Enoch Magazine went to Skid Row, downtown Los Angeles in March of 2008. We filmed a documentary with 8 guys from different cities who decided to be a part of this crazy experience. If you don’t know, Skid Row is about an 8 block radius, where over 10,000 homeless people live, either on the streets, in shelters or missions. If you watch this trailer, you will see that enoch magazine is really about loving and helping people.

Join us as we continue traveling to Skid Row to help the homeless and assist/encourage the people who are called to serve them. We are currently looking to secure discount relationships with clothing manufacturers to answer the need for a committed clothing drive! To find out more on how to get involved with the Skid Row feature film, monthly web series or just homelessness in general, drop us an email at info@enochmagazine.com.


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to “Skid Row – Pastor Ron”
  1. Mario Coldshot says:

    Great footage, editing, soundtrack integration and all ,, now im really impressed.

    With U all the way !!!!

    Mario

  2. Greetings From Skid Row Vol.2 No.3

    Hello,
    My name is Michael Hubman. I operate the charity Watercorps. I lobby on behalf of the human and civil rights of homeless people. I also lobby government concerning the right to share food and economic justice issues. The above issues are the subject of this and subsequent newsletters.

    If you are getting this newsletter for the first time, I can tell you that I got your E-mail address from the in box of my Yahoo mail account. It is likely that we share a connection with the Rainbow Family or social service work around Skid Row Los Angeles.

    I hope you will elect to remain on board. If you don’t or you are getting duplicate newsletters, let me know and I will make the adjustment.

    Four Years of Service
    Watercorps has been in continual operation since our founding on October 15, 2006. That makes four years of continuous service. We have consistently carried out our basic mission of providing bulk drinking water to the homeless people of Skid Row Los Angeles.

    Innovations
    With the help of our network partner, The World Agape Drop-in Center, we are now capable of doing water operations without a vehicle. That is right; we are now able to provide drinking water to the homeless people of Skid Row Los Angeles with a shopping cart. We keep the Catholic Worker Shopping Cart at the World Agape Drop-in Center at 5th and San Pedro Streets. World Agape also keeps the water in their cooler. Using the shopping cart enables Watercorps volunteers who don’t have cars to perform water delivery. This is also important during times when I have vehicle issues. Watercorps’ water operations without a car are a nearly zero carbon endeavor (very green).

    Watercorps now has a web site http://www.watercorps.net/. There is also a very nice article about Watercorps in the LA Activist.http://www.laactivist.com/2010/07/26/water-man-provides-oasis-for-downtown-homeless/ .

    Milestones and Progress
    Watercorps has had some significant milestones in 2010 that make us proud. Besides providing drinking water to the homeless people of Skid Row Los Angeles, we also gave away drinking water at community events. This summer, we provided drinking water to the people who were lining up at the Los Angeles Sports Arena to get free medical, dental and vision care from Remote Area Medical (RAM). We provided drinking water for the (RAM) event the year before, but this time was special. Because we had good vehicle access to the lines, we were able to give out 48 gallons of water in 16 ounce cups in less than two hours-a Watercorps record! When the Nazis came to town to demonstrate at the Los Angeles City Hall, we provided 48 gallons of water to the people at the counter-demonstration. Watercorps also provided 48 gallons of water at the Right to share food Extravaganza (picnic).
    http://www.laactivist.com/2010/10/04/defending-the-right-to-share-food-skid-row%e2%80%99s-community-picnic/
    The latter two events we did with the shopping cart.

    Adversity
    In 2009 and 2010 we have had some transportation issues. When Watercorps is hitting on all cylinders, we have two cars. When there is one car is parked at Union Station in Los Angeles, I can commute by train, and still have a vehicle to do water operations. In the summer of 2009 the Isuzu Trooper which I kept in Los Angeles died. That fall my Ford Taurus also died. I did not have the resources to buy another car. Because Watercorps is a charity, I felt justified in reaching out for help. I got out the electronic version of my rolodex and started calling my friends and friends of Watercorps. My calls for help were answered when I reached out to James Shaw of Arts District Healing Center (ADHC). ADHC has been a Watercorps network partner from the beginning. ADHC is a water filtering site for Watercorps, and also provides other charitable assistance. Just before Christmas of 2009, James provided me / Watercorps with a nice 1999 Volvo.

    Please Help
    Unfortunately the Volvo is experiencing maintenance issues and is out of commission, at least for now. I am again getting out my electronic rolodex and asking for help. If you have a vehicle which you don’t need any more, Watercorps could surely put it to good use.

    Watercorps has been operating with funds from my own account along with some generous help from my girlfriend’s custom bridal gown and alterations business http://www.lmodebridal.com/ ,and a few other benefactors. Well, funding is not what it used to be. If Watercorps were ever in need of help, now would be the time to contribute. All donations go to water operations. You can send donations to my pay pal account. Michaelcirclewider@yahoo.com.

    Watercorps Address: Watercorps 620 East First Street Los Angeles CA 90012

    Telephone 714-746-1203

    Watercorps is also looking for help from another charity or community group who would serve as an umbrella for us under their 501-C3 nonprofit corporation.

    Watercorps is looking for volunteer help with our web site, e-mail list management and publicity.

    Watercorps would especially like to meet people who are interested in giving water to homeless people on Skid Row in Los Angeles.

    Sincerely,

    Michael Hubman

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