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A woman stands outside and smiles at the camera as she holds a little girl. Behind them are playground equipment and toys.
Christina Kerrigan and her daughter have found a fresh start at Hope Gardens Family Center.

Helping families from homelessness to independence

Wells Fargo team members donated time and money to renovate Hope Gardens Family Center, a program out of Union Rescue Mission that helps women and children devastated by homelessness.

For more than 127 years, Union Rescue Mission has been helping people devastated by homelessness on Skid Row in downtown Los Angeles with food, shelter, education, counseling, and long-term recovery programs. As the number of women experiencing homelessness began increasing, the nonprofit responded by opening Hope Gardens Family Center, a transitional housing campus for single women and children in Sylmar, California. There, women can receive help transitioning from homelessness to independence within 12 to 36 months through programs and services.

Christina Kerrigan credits Union Rescue Mission’s Hope Gardens with saving her and her daughter from homelessness. (2:55)

The program currently serves more than 70 families and 150 children, but it will be able to serve even more when it opens a new building, expected by the end of the year, said Andy Bales, CEO of Union Rescue Mission. Team members recently helped renovate rooms at Hope Gardens and presented a donation of $155,000 from the Wells Fargo Foundation to the nonprofit. As a result, Union Rescue Mission will be able to move an additional 15 families from its Skid Row location to Hope Gardens.

The exterior of a building with a gate in front of it and trees around it.
A fence has a sign that says: Hope Gardens Family Center, Union Rescue Mission, The Way Home, 12249 North Lopez Canyon Road, Gate 3.
Two men with red shirts with Wells Fargo’s logo on them stand and look down at a work table.
A woman in a red shirt pains the corner of a ceiling and wall with white paint.
A group of eight people in red shirts stand and smile at the camera. Some have their arms raised, and some hold paintbrushes and containers.
Hope Gardens Family Center is located in Sylmar, California.
Union Rescue Mission’s Hope Gardens Family Center is a transitional housing campus for single women and children.
Wells Fargo team members Sean Dabirpanah and Farbod Farzad volunteer at Hope Gardens Family Center.
Wells Fargo team member Irma Amarillas paints a room at Hope Gardens Family Center.
Wells Fargo team members Johanna Ayala-Molina, Oliver Austria, Carmi Gomez, Sharis Arikian, Veronica Omar, Irma Amarillas, Elfrida Kanzler, and Angela So volunteer at Hope Gardens Family Center.
“Wells Fargo is making a significant difference and moving people all the way from the streets into homes."

— Andy Bales

“Wells Fargo is making a significant difference and moving people all the way from the streets into homes,” Bales said.

In June 2019, Wells Fargo announced that it is evolving its philanthropic strategy to help solve three pressing issues affecting individuals, families, and underserved communities across the U.S.: housing affordability, financial health, and small business growth. The company has committed $1 billion in philanthropy through 2025 to address challenges related to the U.S. housing affordability crisis — including homelessness, available and affordable rentals, transitional housing, and homeownership.

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