History

HistoryFounded in 1936, the Los Angeles Mission is a non-profit, privately supported, faith-based organization that serves the immediate and long-term needs of homeless and disadvantaged men, women and children. The Mission is among the nation’s largest service providers to the homeless.

Reverend I.L. Eldridge founded the original Mission in 1936. During its early years, the Los Angeles Mission was located at three different addresses, and moved to 443 South Los Angeles Street in 1949, where it operated until January 1992. The current 156,000-square-foot facility, located at 303 East 5th Street, opened on January 21, 1992. A deeper history of our neighborhood can be found in this article from the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce.

The Mission has been successful through the efforts of great leaders who have dedicated their lives to the pursuit of helping the homeless. Such leaders have been Dick Willis (First Chairman of the Board, 1977-1996), Reverend Mark Holsinger (Executive Director, 1977-1995), Reverend Mike Edwards (Executive Director, 1996-2000), Ron Gonzales (President, 2000-2001) and Marshall McNott (President, 2001-2006). Currently the vision of the Los Angeles Mission is upheld and led by Herbert Smith, President/CEO. Because of the guidance and direction of both current and past leaders, the Mission is fulfilling its mandate to reach those who are destitute and alone.