Salesians helping homeless in East Los Angeles

By: Johnny Martinez & J.C Montenegro


For the last year, the Salesian Family Youth Center has been the place where once a month, homeless meet and share God’s love. Johnny Martinez, the group leader, started this group to serve God among the less fortunate. The meetings begin at 7 PM with a welcoming and opening prayer, then they read the Bible with a sharing process among each other, and the meeting ends with a closing prayer. What is fantastic is that together with Johnny, you can find a group of young adults supporting this effort.

We had a Christmas and New Years celebration, all of our guests were so excited to be there. The volunteers prepared a delicious Asian kitchen, and after reflecting on the Bible and the season, all participants shared the table. This young lady saw these cookies, she tasted them with so much joy that makes that it made us think about the things hat we take for granted. Yes, in this Christmas season, how many things we take by given? In the sharing, another homeless who had a hand swelled shared that he was able to get better because he had three things in life that he keep it. 1.- to have a positive mind, 2.- not to take things for granted and 3.- to be humble.

I (Jc) have never thought that a homeless person can have these thoughts. None the less, this experience has helped us to understand that every human being has a family; every human being is loved by someone… It has challenged us to keep treating people with love and respect no matter who they are and where they are coming from. We all are God’s children with less or more problems, but we all are God’s children. May the reflection help us to humanize the people that society dehumanizes. Jesus came for the poor and the needy, and we have many people who are poor and needy close to us!


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