Albert H. Fulcher | Contributing Editor
A stunning transfiguration of the Museum of Man in Balboa Park turned a benefit for Urban Street Angels into a spectacular haunted museum on Oct. 26. With two floors open, the backdrop of the exhibits brought an astonishing blend of history and Halloween mania, with frightening moments waiting around every corner. And all for a great cause.
Now in its third year, “Sinners & Saints: a Halloween Extravaganza,” raised much needed funds for Urban Street Angels, an organization dedicated to helping a nearly forgotten demographic of homeless young adults.
Urban Street Angels Founder and Executive Director Eric Lovett said he was very excited about this year’s annual fundraiser and extremely happy with the large turnout of the supporters donned in everything Halloween, from horror to fantasy.
“Urban Street Angels works with the homeless population in San Diego,” Lovett said. “We cater to 18 to 25-year-olds, an unrepresented demographic. There are about 1,000 to 1,500
of these youth on the streets of San Diego on any given day.”
Urban Street Angels started in 2012 as a way to provide emergency supplies for homeless youth in the streets and has grown into a vibrant organization determined to end youth homelessness.
“We provide three things,” Lovett said. “Emergency shelter for those needing a place for the night or a place to take a shower. We provide transitional housing, which gets them off the streets, gives them jobs and jobs training. We try to be full-service in trying to get these young people off of the streets. It’s all about giving them hope for a better future.”
To address the immediate needs of the transitional-age homeless youth, the organization offers an emergency overnight shelter program every Tuesday evening at the Missiongathering Christian Church in North Park. Visitors receive a good meal, access to showers and laundry facilities, medical care, and a safe place for a full night’s sleep.
Lovett said providing hope and opportunity is Urban Street Angels’ primary mission. One innovative program— 8 West — is a training program where homeless youth work to handcraft and market a premium line of shower, bath and spa products. Its purpose is to help them develop useful skills, and to give them a sense of responsibility, accountability and a strong work ethic. The end goal — giving them the tools to be employable and restoring them as viable citizens of the community.
Its independent-living facilities provides visitors not only with a home to stay in, with people in common to learn with, but also gives them guidance from experienced individuals in the organization and community to help them succeed. By getting them off the streets and providing them with a hands up experience, Urban Street Angels utilizes all of its programs and assets in giving this special demographic of homeless a chance to leave the streets behind and a new beginning.
To find out more information about Urban Street Angels, or how to donate, volunteer and support its mission, visit urbanstreetangels.org.
[Editor’s Note: All photos taken by Albert H. Fulcher.]
—Albert can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.