Where the Relationship Starts


By Dave Kleinknecht, Director of Hope for LA

Here’s what we like to do:
If there’s a problem, fix it.

But poverty is not a quick fix. When a city declares a State of Emergency for homelessness, things have gotten a bit unfixable.

Poverty is also a lot more complex than just a lack of material wealth. The ways I have seen poverty play out is that it is a lack of power, a limiting of options, and a breakdown of relationships.

And relationships are powerful. They not only provide physical resources but maybe more importantly, they provide emotional and spiritual resources as well. Think about the last time you felt alone – even though you probably have ten favorite contacts in your phone whom you could have called. Imagine what it’s like to not have that web of relationships. I know that a huge number of families in our city are struggling to connect with any one person who genuinely cares.

I believe that it’s the faith-community – and more specifically non-profits and ministries providing resources daily – that are set up to create a safe space for people in the margin to foster healthy relationships.

And what are these non-profit partners looking for? They are looking for ways to connect their community with helpful resources.

Boxes of Love has been a helpful resource to Los Angeles for over 20 years and Pacific Crossroads has been a part of the program for the past 7 of those years. Giving our Boxes of Love to local community partners is an effective pairing of relationships and resources. This is a way to strengthen the non-profit partners with a helpful resource, a meal and fun event, for families they can connect with.

Throughout the year, the non-profit partners we work with provide relational connection and spiritual resources to their communities. Just to name a few, our partner in Silver Lake provides emergency and permanent housing to families facing major health issues like HIV and AIDS. Our partner in the Valley provides a charter school and back-to-work programs for those who have dropped out of high school for various reasons. Our partner in Inglewood is a church that’s been ministering to families in the local public schools in their community for almost 80 years.

Our hope is that the support provided through a Box of Love doesn’t end when it’s handed off. As my friend Tom says, “That’s often where the relationship starts!”

We are partnering with these ministries to provide resources and strengthen relationships in our city – starting (and not ending) with Thanksgiving. Consider joining us to approach this issue in our city by filling a box and coming to deliver.

Come with us to meet families and deliver boxes on Saturday, November 21st or Sunday, November 22nd! Click here to learn more and sign up.