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The Jonah Project

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Community Stories

229 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I visit the Jonah Project about every few months with my church and am blown away each and every time. The heart that the JP has for the people of Skid Row is beyond inspiring. They give everything that they have into this ministry and into these people that most of the world turns a blind eye to. They are living life alongside the poor, the broken, the beaten, the tired, the unfortunate, the forgotten, the dirty, the addicted, the mistreated and the misunderstood. They offer them a place to rest, to eat, to hope and to grow. They invest in the ones that most others have stopped investing in. The JP has brought the hope of Jesus to the seemingly hopeless streets of Skid Row.

Review from Guidestar

Bob V.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

i am 17 years old and i came all the way from holland to help at the jonah project a few months ago. everyday i think about it and it was an awesome time. the work that they are doing is so amazing! they share so much love! thumbs up!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I travelled to the Jonah Project as a short term missions team from the Dream Center. It was by far the most incredible experience of my life! The team members have an obvious love for what they do, and the people of Skid Row respond to that. I look forward to returning!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am part of a team that had the joy to be apart of what the Jonah Project does. We went down there from Washington and worked with them on several occasions. They have such an impact on the streets of Skid Row and greatly need the money to increase their wonderful ministry.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Ive been blessed to have worked with the Jonah Project on multiple occasions. Mostly being a part of their "24hrs of love" where we would go and live on Skid Row for 24hrs and help where we could, talk with who would listen, and be a friend to those who are hurting. Patrick is an amazing man, a golden heart that couldnt love anymore then it already does. His wife is also an incredible role model to anyone who desires to be loving, kind, caring and sincere. I cant tell you what an impact The Jonah Project has had on me. From realizing just how depraved this world is, to being close friends with those who most of society would say is a waste. Having conversations with people down on Skid at 3 in the morning in the cold, one time even in the rain, have been some of the best life lessons and blessings ever. If you are able to donate, contribute time, I cant say enough how impactful it will be. I warn you that if you do choose to go, know that God will wreck your heart, He will open your eyes, and you WILL be changed. God bless to all!!

Review from Guidestar

Holly H.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had the incredible opportunity to go to The Jonah Project! You want to talk about people who step outside of the box, outside of any comfort zone....These people are the REAL thing! I left a part of my heart at the Jonah Project and the people of Skid Row. This is not a place for the faint of heart! It is a place for warriors who go out and love and empathize with the broken and down trodden. JP is one of the most awesome ministries around...... Providing opportunities for people to put their gifts into ACTION! When we arrived, everyone was asked "What are your gifts? We have a place for you!" JP offered people with the gift of arts/music to lead music and worship for the evening. They offered a group for evangelism to go out on the streets to evangelize. Another group went out, walked the steets and prayed against the spiritual oppression, addictions, prostitution...and so on. They provided a group for people who have the gift of organization to go in the closet and organize all the clothes that are donated! Others were cooking and serving the people. You name it...there was a place for you!! I personally went with a group that prayed! It was phenominal...I personally have never felt oppression so strongly as I did there, but what is more awesome, there was no fear to go out and minister because I have a greater power on my side, living in me. The people living on Skid Row need people to go out and love on them!!!!! Thank you Jonah Project for letting me be apart of the ministry on Skid Row...I love you all!! :o)

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I just want to thank everyone apart of the Jonah Project for showing me what it actually looks like to be selfless and empty yourself for the One true thing that matters.

The morning I volunteered on Skid Row, I felt called to sit by this elderly, asian man at the "Christ Cafe" and just start a simple conversation on how his night had been and if he was enjoying breakfast. Within 30 seconds, he asked me rather suspiciously, if I was there to witness to him- and I told him the truth, I just wanted to hang out and be a listening ear. Immediately, He asked me if I knew the Word of God and if I had a relationship with Christ and of course- I told him that I did... that God is good. John, as I quickly learned, was also a follower of Christ and he put me to the test right away. He decided we'd play a little game. For every verse I hid in my heart and committed to memory... he would have one... so the game started and I was shocked by his lightening quick, powerful verses. After a few minutes back-and-forth, I struggled a bit. He told me he had 365 verses memorized total and we joked a bit on how I needed to brush up on my skills.

It wasn't long that we started to feel really comfortable around each other, and his heart poured out to me. He shared bit of his story and asked for prayer as he was the only Christian in a family of Buddhists and how much he longed for his two adult children to know the power of Christ. He emphasized the beauty and strength of reflecting day and night of the Word, to completely embody it in every way so that we remember that He is in control and has already provided everything we need. He told me several times that he was not only content, but joyful that the Lord's plan for him was to live on the streets. He told me that it is the MOST satisfying thing to have absolutely nothing but total dependence on God, the ultimate source of love. I was not to be discouraged, because HE loved me just as much as John, the pastors, the crack addicts, the prostitutes... and all those living on Skid Row. John continued to encourage me to pick up my cross daily, to read all of the bible, and see how God is unchanging. He reminded me that we were one by the Spirit and united in Christ. He especially touched my heart when he completely stressed (almost shouting) that it is so important to come alive and put the Word into action through and in God's love (Agape)! He literally re-told me the stories of Daniel, Job, Paul, and Samuel... to remind me that anyone can be used by the Lord.

John told me that everyday is a struggle, but he is reminded that eternity is near! When people beat him up on the streets or tell him to "Go back to China", he is reminded by the scriptures that his God is so much greater! He took my hand at one point and we prayed deeply for each other. :) God is so good.

I love The Jonah Project because encounters like this happen each and every day. Patrick and Mary Beth, along with the others who are ESSENTIAL to The Jonah Project, lead by example... showing us how to be the hands and feet of our Lord Jesus Christ!

Review from Guidestar

Joshua C.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with ministries and shelters who assist the homeless for several years, but never have I worked with such an amazing ministry to the homeless as The Jonah Project. They are the most effective and holistic homeless ministry I have ever seen. Not only do they provide the homeless with food, clothing, and shelter, but they give them a comfortable place to hang out, a wonderful church to be a part of, internet access, in depth personal counseling, solid spiritual discipleship, live worship music, and much more. They have integrated into the community of Skid Row more intimately and effectively than any other group I have ever seen. I recommend The Jonah Project wholeheartedly to anyone who wants to support an effective work in L.A.'s Skid Row.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been down to skid row several times with the Jonah Project and I've been blown away every time. The people behind the Jonah Project are sincerely loving, caring and accepting of all the homeless on Skid Row that they come in contact with. They are amazing people and I'm so blessed to know them and be able to help them out when I can.

Review from Guidestar

Nick E.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had the privilege of going to Skid Row in Los Angeles and helping out an amazing ministry that has truly changed my heart towards God and towards those that are homeless. The Jonah Project does an amazing job of showing Christ's love to all that enter their door and continually strive to improve their facility and how they do their work. Top grade for these amazing, dedicated people that live to serve the homeless in Los Angeles!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

So I was on a mission trip with my school to LA. A few of the days were spent helping out at the Jonah project. Some of the most powerful moments of our trip were spent there. They have an amazing program going on there and are truly making an impact on the streets of Skid row.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I just got back from an amazing trip with 21 high school students from Washington state. We were blessed to work with the people from Jonah Project. Their hearts for the broken and hurting of Skid Row are such an amazing testimony to the body of Christ. I could not recommend them more highly - we can't wait to get back down there again next year to serve alongside them!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was on a short term mission group from Washington with my school, and the Jonah Project stood out so much in Skidrow! They had evrything they needed to thrive and help the people on the streets. I served those people, met them, and prayed for them with the Jonas team. They have a great heart for God and definetly deserve the money!!

Review from Guidestar

Ree Bell

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Last June I had the priviledge of coming to L.A. as a leader of our youth group here in Texas. We had only one evening at The Johan Project, I wish it could have been more. I met Pastor Patrick and Mary and Pastor Jedi that night. They each pour out of themselves everything they have to this ministry. As we walked the streets with Pastor Jedi he was very knowing of the area. He also was very protective of our youth as he taught them how to minister on the streets of Skid Row. We were aware but also relaxed in the situation. When are you not from that environment you have no idea how it is. It broke my heart. I held a baby being raised on Skid Row. It was life changing for myself as well as many of our teens in the group of 48 that we brought on the missions trip.
I would encourage everyone to pray daily for this ministry. The day to day struggles are endless but they keep pushing on. I have since visited The Jonah Project for a Soul Speech event. It was also amazing. People using talents they have for Christ and being free to do so. I loved being there.
For me, I gained new relationships with these Pastors and see more each day how they are selfless and let God use them to minister to hurting people.
I have been involved with many ministries and seen much. This ministry is the real deal and I love it with all my heart. God's love is being shown at The Johah Project.

Review from Guidestar

Landon S.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have spent many evenings down at The Jonah Project with my wife, and every single time we go it hits me like a new experience. We would often bring new people along with us to help out and serve the residents of skid row, and every time, every person was moved in incredible ways. The Jonah Project is a positive constant in a broken community, a light that is always shining in a dark place. Many of us come and go as volunteers, while The Jonah Project remains in the heart of the issue, constantly meeting the needs of hurting people.

I have seen many people serve in many different ways, and I in no way want this to seem like I am passing judgment, but The Jonah Project is the ministry that I will always be able to sow into, knowing with all my heart, that what I put in, will go fully to the need of the people they are serving.

Review from Guidestar

John L.

Donor

Rating: 5

I've never had the pleasure of serving with them in person, as they are in another country. However, I have no qualms about supporting this much needed ministry.

The old adage goes 'give a man a fish and feed him for a day; teach him to fish and feed him for life'. This is what the Jonah project does. It not only feeds people for a seaon but tries to implement the structures and support that will allow them to feed for life, and not just physical food but spiritual food as well.

Ministry like the Jonah Project is much needed. People are homeless, in need of help and in search of something better. Many long to be free from the bondage they are in but see no way out. The Jonah project offers ways out for people, and also offers them the potential to make lasting changes which will help not only the person but those around them.

If the work they are doing was replicated in many other places around the world, with funding from private donors and other funded methods, then much good would be done among the homeless of the world.

I 100% support this ministry and what they stand for, both socially and biblically.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I came down last summer with my youth ministry and we absolutely loved serving along side the Jonah Project. They were very organized and had something for every volunteer to help out with. It was a great experience to help the less fortunate in L.A.'s Skid Row; to be able to pray with them, feed them, build relationship with them, clean up the area, clothe them, and to grow as an individual because of the hope that the people in that area had, even though their life styles look hard and miserable to us. The Jonah Project is making a huge difference in that community day and night, providing hope, warmth, and food to a hurting people.

Review from Guidestar

Julie T.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have had the fortunate experience of volunteering my time on a couple of occasions @ the Jonah Project! The experience of seeing the joy on the faces of the homeless when I served them a cup of hot coffee and a smile was beyond description. It does something to you when you know you have touched someones heart. I admire Patrick, Mari, Jedi and all the volunteers who give their time unselfishly day after day to touch the lives of the unfortunate with the love of God! If I had the money it would be given DIRECTLY to the Jonah Project without a second thought! They are needed in the community and they are dedicated to helping get these beloved people off the streets. In other words, they walk the talk!
God bless

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Brothers and Sisters,

I have had the opportunity to connect with a friend who I have never met in person: Patrick Ersig. He was previously in Detroit working in street ministry in some of the work places of the city. Now by God's leading and direction his family and himself have founded a ministry in the heart of Skid Row also known as "crack alley". It is one of the most notorious places in America, for drugs, poverty and just hopelessness.

I have visited many countries and seen poverty abroad but it was quite shattering to see it without any gloss here but the rugged reality of broken, hopeless and shattered lives. But there is hope in the midst of such darkness and apathy. Jonah Project is situated in the middle of skid row a community of over 10,000 people. God has used this mission to share the hope of the Gospel of Jesus Christ with many and continues to be a strong light in the darkness.

As I walked last night and prayed with groups of people around skid row we witnessed some of the rugged reality of the situation and felt the oppressive spirit in the area. I could see the impact this visit not only had on the youth but also on myself and my ministry context. I whole-heartily believe this mission is doing the work of the kingdom and for the size of its operation is having a great impact. Do pray for this work! and give generously, if you want to give to something that is reaching some of the poorest in America, this is it!

What excited me most also is the testimonies of changed lives and to see these brothers serving and still living in Skid Row day after day as an example of the change the Gospel can bring!

Greg Gordon
Founder of SermonIndex.net

Review from Guidestar

Betty G.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is one awesome God inspired project!! Patrick and Jedi are really inspiring in all that they do for the Lord. I first met them last summer on a mission trip with our youth group and plan on coming back again this summer. I love how the light of Jesus shines through the Jonah Project in such a dark place in the world. There is nothing glamorous or fun about being there after hours but you feel the presence of the Lord so strongly when you are around the very people He wants all of us christians to reach out to and help. Let love lead!!!!

Review from Guidestar

Adam W.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love the Jonah Project. I met Jedi and Patrick when we first did 24 hours of love way back in the day about a year and a half ago. They are taking a different approach to helping the homeless. I mean, the people in skid rowe could get five meals a day if they wanted because there are so many different organizations, and teams that come down, especially on the weekends, to give food and minister. These people have heard the gospel and been preached at and talked to so many different times that they are probably sick of it.
So the Jonah Project takes a different approach. They really focus on building relationships and just being with the people. Their facility creates a safe place to be, hang out, talk and hear the word of God. Jedi, Patrick, Mary and the other people involved really focus on meeting the people and getting to know them on a deeper level, which is missed a lot when random churches come for a day or so.
They have become well known in the community and are donig quite well as a ministry.

Review from Guidestar

Christian S.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I went to the Jonah Project as a mission trip with my church. I still want to go back and volunteer there. It is an experience i will never forget. I wish that people would stop trying to shut it down. It is the one thing that i think that actually changes the people of Sid Row.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

I have heard lots about Jonah Project from a friend. She is constantly over there helping, doing just about anything that needs to be done. She has a HUGE heart for Skid Row. Jonah Project makes Skid Row as part of their family. They make them feel special. I'm all about making others feel special and sharing God's love with them.

Review from Guidestar

Jared C.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I recently went to the Jonah Project in Los Angeles this summer with my church on a missions trip! This group reaches Skid Row unlike any other group could! They spread love to the people that sometimes are forgotten! I believe the Jonah Project has saved many lives and impacted even more souls! God is doing something crazy and radical in Jonah Project

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

was introduced to The Jonah Project by a friend. Going into it, I had no clue what to expect and I have to admit I was a little scared. I had only read about Skid Row from books. When I entered into Skid Row, I saw first hand the brokenness and devastating sight of the homeless community. I couldn't believe the difference of day and night, with the ritzy part of Los Angeles being just a couple blocks away, with no trace of people struggling to keep alive. When I walked into the Jonah Project, I was immediately welcomed. The staff at the Jonah Project showed me so much love and appreciation. They right away introduced me to other volunteers and showed me around. I learned, based on the amount of homeless people that were at Jonah Project, that this was the only place where they felt safe and the realities of the streets of skid row left them. They were able to sleep and feel safe, watch movies, drink a warm cup of coffee, fellowship, learn about God, etc etc. I felt so thankful that a place such a Jonah Project existed for that to happen. But after speaking with some of the staff at JP, I realized that there is so much more that they could do with more resources and financial support. Because of the large community of homeless people in Skid Row, resource become scarce very quickly. But I love how the staff at Jonah Project never give up hope and are always looking for new ways to get the word out about the brokenness at skid row and what a place like Jonah Project means to that community. JP is really a light in all the darkness for several homeless people that live on Skid Row.

Review from Guidestar

Janessa S.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I spent 6 days at the dream center and I was priveleged enough to serve the Jonah Project on a Wednesday and Friday. The first time I went I didn't wanna go out of my comfort zone, so I stayed in the building to help sort through clothes. Which were clothes the Jonah Project gave to the homeless. I regretted that decision because I saw a change in my friends who walked around to pray for people. They went to the homeless "people", I stayed and had them come to me.
My pride kept me from going. I broke that down for the second time I went. That time, I went with the prayer group. 2 major things happened by going there that changed me completely. I got to meet individuals, not the numbers in statistics of homeless. Praying for him..I think his name was "Tomas". It was incredible because as we were praying for him he broke down. His story reminded me of all the more individuals out there, all the people the Jonah Project is helping. This orginazation is truly one purely out to reach for these people.
I plan to volunteer there more often.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

i helped at the jonah project last summer and it was amazing to see how the people serving and those that they served were touched, it is a truelly amazing place

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I was fortunate enough to visit the Jonah Project for a day and see what great things they have been doing in the heart of Skid Row. Many people may not know about Skid Row and even less care about the folks who have been living there with the little that they have.
The Jonah Project, as a nonprofit organization, has shown tremendous effort, love, and care to the area and the people. From providing clothes, food, shelter, prayer, and love I can see that the Jonah Project is truly committed to their mission.
The Jonah Project is also completely open to any volunteers (myself and others) who are willing to help out. This makes the Jonah Project not only a community outreach program but also a community awareness program to those who live in the surrounding areas.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It is the heart that Patrick, Mary, Jedi and the others have for the homeless and how much the homeless individuals appreciate them that makes this organization so outstanding.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Jonah Project is quirky little ministry down in the heart of Skid Row. It's front doors open to what's referred to as "Crack Alley," but that's exactly where it's leaders want it to be. Their first priority as a non-profit is to help others in need, but not just with another cheap meal or bottle of water, but to give them something else, something greater. Pastor Patrick and Jedi give the down-and-out a community, a family, and a dignity through the Jonah Project. With comfy couches, cafe tables, and coffee brewing throughout the week, the interior is set up to cultivate this community.
As a volunteer, the pastor's emphasis on relationship is definitely reflected in the volunteer work. Most of the time spent is more relationship-oriented rather than task-oriented. Although sometimes volunteer work there may seem unproductive, that is not to the point. The point is not to be productive, but to love and to recognize and reflect Christ's love for others in this place. It's a beautiful thing when the purpose shifts from "what can we do" at Skid Row to "how can we love."
I really am grateful to be a part of this ministry and hope you'll have a chance to give them a try and began building relationships and recognizing the many things our friends on Skid Row have to offer as well.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I came here as a part of another organization. It was a one-time experience, but the fact that the Jonah project was there for ordinary people like me to be a part of, was wonderful. The people that I met serving for the Jonah project seemed to put all their hearts and bodies into the homeless. I was blessed by the experience and so glad that the Jonah project was there for the homeless.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

For 23 years, I have answered God's call to serve and love those in need that are poor or disenfranchised in our inner cities. In that time frame, there have been very few organizations that can match the dedication shown by the Jonah Project. Patrick and his wife continue to bring the light and love of Christ into the streets of East Central Los Angeles, Skid Row! Let me assure you that there is no greater concentration of need in the United States and to take a stand like the Jonah Project has is no small feat of courage and love. I enjoy the Partnership that I have with this great ministry and when the Father calls me to serve the Holy Ground that is Skid Row, I know I will find the impact of the Jonah Project's labors when I arrive. They truly make a difference in this world that is undeniable.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Jonah project is not just another non profit providing food and necessities to the homeless. It is a home to many who call skid row their home. The many homeless people I have had the privilege to meet all love the jonah project. I ask them why, and the common response is, it has a good feeling inside. That their is a positive energy and safety at jonah project. The staff and leadership at Jonah Project is incredible. Talk about people who sacrifice everything for the love of another. I could go on for days about JP and all its wonder.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

CAME TO THE PROJECT IN JANUARY OF 2009..IMMEDIATELY FELL IN LOVE WITH THE GENEROSITY, HONESTY, AND CONSISTENCY THAT WAS SHOWN TO NOT ONLY THE HOMELESS BUT TO THOSE THAT WERE SPIRITUALLY IN LIMBO ALSO..THE DEDICATION OF THE PASTORS AND THERE STAFF WAS BOTH AMAZING AND INSPIRING..AS I BECAME MORE INVOLVED IN THE PROJECT ALOT OF THE QUESTIONS I HAD ABOUT MY OWN PURPOSE SOON HAD ANSWERS..AND TO THIS DAY THE [ASTORS AND I HAVE A GREAT RELATIONSHIP

Review from Guidestar

Vinh L.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This place is just simply awesome. You feel bless once you walk in and see how many people (volunteer, homeless, pastors) are just hanging out as if they were in a living room (actually it is a living room)! The pastors are especially welcoming and loving. They just want to dig into your hearts and see how they can pray for you or at least get you a bottle of Sunny Delight. They have many programs and many plans to supplement those programs such as GED classes, a walk in closet for people who lacks clothing, and spiritual counseling. If you want to feel God's presence then this is the place.

Review from Guidestar