Union Station Homeless Services

Rating: 4.9 stars   41 reviews

Issues: Homeless & Housing, Human Services

Location: 825 E Orange Grove Blvd Pasadena CA 91104 USA

Mission: The mission of Union Station Homeless Services is to help men, women and children rebuild their lives and end homelessness in our community. We offer people the housing, employment and life skills programs they need to become productive, stable and self-supporting.
Results: OUR RECORD OF SUCCESS! INTAKE: 1,500 people each year receive help in finding shelter, benefits, health care, mental health services, substance abuse and addiction recovery at Passageways, our one-stop multi-service intake center. SHELTER: About 300 men, women and children receive safe, long-term emergency shelter at Union Station each year. TRANSITIONAL AND PERMANENT HOUSING: Euclid Villa Apartments offer 14 units of affordable housing for low-income formerly homeless families. Centennial Place offers 144 units of affordable housing for very low income singles. SUPPORTIVE SERVICES: Client receive the comprehensive services they need to end the cycle of homelessness. Each year, approximately 60% of single adults and 90% of families successfully exit our programs with stable housing. MEALS: We serve 175,000 meals each year, including daily meals for our residents and hungry community members, as well as holiday meals on Thanksgiving and Christmas. SUSTAINABILITY: Union Station has a diverse range of support from individuals, foundations, corporations, and government funding sources. 75% of our $4 million dollar budget is received from private sources; 25% is received from public and government agencies. COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: 125 organizations and 1,600 individuals volunteer almost 20,000 hours of service each year. Union Station receives in-kind donations valued at more than $400,000 annually.
Target demographics: We serve homeless and very-low income individuals and families of all ages.
Direct beneficiaries per year: Union Station provides a comprehensive range of services to help more than 2,000 homeless individuals and families each year achieve self-sufficiency. Services include: • Outreach, intake and assessment • Medical and mental health services • Educational and enrichment activities for children • Emergency shelter • Transitional housing • Benefits advocacy • Life skills classes in money management, parenting, and nutrition • Permanent supportive housing • Substance abuse recovery support • Meal service for residents and community members • Career counseling/job search assistance • Homeless prevention and rapid rehousing • Showers and personal hygiene • Services tailored to women and families • Case management and referrals • Housing placement resources
Programs: Passageways( 1020 Arroyo Parkway) Passageways is a multi-agency collaborative that serves as the gateway to Pasadena’s homeless services network. In partnership with Pacific Clinics, AIDS Service Center, and the Pasadena Public Health Department, Passageways provides intake, assessment, medical and mental health services for more than 1,200 homeless people annually. Adult Center (412 S. Raymond Ave.) The Adult Center is a 56-bed shelter for single adults. The new Women’s Dorm provides 20 beds for homeless women and doubles the number of women served by the Adult Center annually. Each year, more than 150 adults receive shelter and services at the Adult Center designed to help them rebuild their lives. The average length of stay is three months. Family Center The Family Center is a nurturing home-like environment that offers safe-haven for up to 50 parents and children each night, and approximately 125 individuals in more than 50 families per year. The average stay is three to six months. Supportive services are offered onsite to promote physical, emotional, and financial wellbeing for parents and their children. Euclid Villa Euclid Villa Transitional Housing offers affordable apartments for up to 14 homeless, very low-income families. Residents pay 30% of their income towards rent and may stay for up to two years. Case management and supportive services are provided on-site. Euclid Villa is owned and operated by Union Station and the Pacific Housing Alliance. Sources (825 E. Orange Grove Blvd) Sources is a career development program designed to meet the needs of homeless and very low-income job seekers. Workshops, individualized job search, and one-on-one career counseling help 125 work-ready homeless adults find employment each year. Centennial Place (235 E. Holly Street) Union Station provides case management and onsite supportive services at Centennial Place, a permanent supportive housing facility offering 144 single room occupancy (SRO) apartments for low-income adults.

2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

I had been donating to Union Station for several years before I signed up to volunteer there. What decided me was not only what a difference they make in the lives of the homeless (and in preventing people from becoming homeless in the first place), but also how well they interact with past donors: some organizations bombard you with letters, emails or even phone calls that only ask for money, while Union Station shares stories about people who have been helped, and basically lets you know how your money was used. Since becoming a volunteer there I've met so many wonderful, kind and dedicated people who work or volunteer for the Station, and I'm really impressed by their commitment to what they do.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I can't think of anything that I would change!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Some

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I have volunteered with USHS for over 15 years, when I was laid off in 2008, I dedicated more time volunteering with them because its always been my passion to help others less fortunate. I felt so welcomed and wanted to help and support my community . Union Station Homeless Services is a great organization to volunteer for.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Nothing

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I have volunteered in the kitchen every Monday for the last 7 years. Believe it or not, I am the newbie of the group that I volunteer with! Some of them have been volunteering for 25-30 years! I have seen such caring and respect from the people who I have met through Union Station Homeless Services. This organization tackles the whole problem of homelessness. They feed them, take them into their program and then transition them from temporary housing to jobs and the ability to stand on their own. Like many charitable organizations, they just don't have enough funds to help all that need it.
But what I especially like about working in the kitchen is that anyone who is hungry is fed a warm breakfast and lunch. No questions asked and they do not have to be part of the housing program. There are many more homeless than beds at the shelter...it makes me feel better that at least they have a place to come eat two meals a day. Union Station does have a budget to purchase some of the food we use, but the rest is donated along with all the volunteer hands to prepare, serve and clean up after each meal.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I wish there were more people to help collect food from the community (ie grocery stores, restaurants, etc) So much is thrown away that could be used for those in need.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Union Sataion is a place where people's dignity is kept and they help people with a high level of care , concern and also professionalism. The staff there are warm hearted human beings that if you are willing to help yourself , they will give you a helping hand. If not for them countless homeless people would be without meals , showers , beds, services such as medicial care all for free and given with human kindness. Thank god for union station and there should be much much more organizations like them. For more than 35 years they have helped the less fortunate of society...and are a role model for how people should be willing to help thier fellow man.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

i wouldnt change a things except to give them even more resources which t help others with

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I have started volunteering with the Union Station Homeless Services about three years ago for their annual Thanksgiving Diner-in-the Park. The first year I signed-up to volunteer was for the day of the event where I helped serve the multitude of fine food that the heart felt volunteers had baked and cooked in their lovely homes. It was very uplifting to see how happy the homeless people were when they got their morsel of food that satisfied their rumbling tummies. To see each and every one of their faces brighten up as they pass by while you offer them a spoonful of delicious food is priceless. The last two times I volunteered as the kitchen helper the night before the Thanksgiving Dinner-in-the-Park where preparation for the big event took place at the kitchen of their adult center. What an amazing experience! I never seen so much people taking time out of their evening to come help prepare all the food that will be served the following day. Wow! Everyone there was bright and cheery and there so much warmth felt in that room I could almost cry. Thank you Union Station Homeless Services for making my volunteer experience at your organization a worth while one. I am so happy to volunteer my time in assisting you to end homelessness in the community.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I have been a volunteer with Union Station since 1984. It is an amazing blessing to all involved. It has grown tremendously over the years to meet the needs of the men, women, and children who benefit from their services. Among the services are housing, meals, job preparation, showers, etc.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

I have been volunteering with Union Station since 1984. Union Station started out as a soup kitchen, then a shelter for homeless men, then we added a shelter for women, and next families. Services are continually being added as they are needed. The staff, board, and volunteers give their all to make Union Station first rate. It is not only the client's lives that are transformed, but volunteering with Union Station is also a transforming experience. As a former Board Member I can personally attest to the fiscal responsibility of the organization and the planning and oversite that makes Union Station what it is today. The strength of the organization is its volunteers, its staff, its "heart."

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

seeing lives transformed.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

want everyone to know what a worthwhile, responsible, caring, EFFECTIVE organization Union Station is.

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

At the age of 24, my precious son had come to the end of six years of disasterous drinking. A promising singer and songwriter, he'd dropped out of UCLA and spent those six years on what he called "the couch tour," going from friend to friend and relative to relative until everyone had had enough. My mother, a Quaker, asked a fellow Friend for help on his behalf and he was referred to Passages, one of the branches of Union Station. The very next day he was sent to Warm Springs Rehabilitation Center where he stayed for three months. He has now been sober for over four years, has gone back to school, is singing, writing music and performing and is everything I could wish for in a son. I subsequently volunteered at Union Station, figuring I owed them much more than I could ever repay. The work that is done by this organization is a blessing, not only to those who benefit by its services but to all of us. The compassion they show and the sincerity with which they do their work gives me hope for a world that sometimes seems to have run off its tracks. It's hard to feel jaded in the face of the good work done by these committed folk. I heartily recommend them for any and all honors.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

I have worked at Union Station Homeless Services for almost six years, and I am constantly inspired by the work that they do. The staff sees the potential in people, and reignites their hope for a better future. Just yesterday, I met a group of adults who were once homeless and are now living in their own apartments. One man said, "Union Station encourages the potential within us to be united or reunited with mainstream society - successful, productive lives are here among us."

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

I have worked with Union Station as a volunteer and donor for 30 years. I like giving my money to a place that puts it back 100% to the people. People are having their long-term needs met as well as getting the "right now" needed food and shelter.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Often Graduates of the program speak to the supporters and give us their success stories. Also, the individual happy faces when they get dinner.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would want to be able to donate more money and more time.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?

all good

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

Some organizational skills, and interpersonal skills with other volunteers

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

Fine, grateful. Kind of "Well of course I am going down to help, that is how i was raised"

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Rating: 5 stars  

USHS is simply invaluable. They change lives. They save lives. They make a community better every hour of every day. Their continuum of care is the ideal solution for terminating the terrifying cycle of poverty and homelessness. And their legacy of lasting success is simply second to none here in the dramatically over-burdened social service arena of L.A. County. Without this group of immensely compassionate and capable people, the greater San Gabriel Valley would see moms and dads, sons and daughters wither on the vine. And we must never see that as truth.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

volunteering at large scale events and participating in monthly meetings and initiatives.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

enlarge their budget a hundred fold. I would also like to see them supported in affordable housing initiatives.

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Review from Guidestar