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Angeles County | Community News File / Van Nuys

Rescue Mission to Hold Opening for New Facilities

October 01, 1998

The San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission will play host to the grand opening of its new Van Nuys outreach office and donation warehouse at an afternoon barbecue today.

George Oja, director of the mission, said poverty and homelessness have worsened in the Valley in the past 20 years, while at the same time city social services have failed to address the growing problem.

"For a long time, people focused on the homeless on skid row," said Oja, a minister at a nondenominational Christian church in Northridge. "We have to realize the Valley has its own problems. At the mission, we're interested in trying to solve the problem. Not just moving people from place to place and making them disappear."

Once a week, Oja and a handful of volunteers drive to area parks, feeding the Valley's needy and homeless. Saturday at noon, the mission will bring its services to North Hollywood Park.

The San Fernando Valley Mission, a nonprofit, privately funded Christian organization, is an offshoot of the Oxnard-based Ventura County Rescue Mission. Founded in 1972, the Ventura mission operates a shelter, drug and alcohol recovery unit, and job-training center for the homeless.

Anyone interested in being a volunteer or making donations of food or clothing can visit the Valley Rescue Mission headquarters at 6859 Valjean Ave. or call (818) 785-4476.

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