Lula B. Balton
Chief Executive Officer-West Angeles Community Development Corporation
Lula B. Balton is living her third life.
Today, she is co-founder and chief executive officer of the West Angeles Community Development Corporation, which is one of the ministries of West Angeles Church of God in Christ, and she has been involved in social justice work since 1992. But before that she was a lawyer.
“I went to law school at 40. I quit teaching college, and went to UCLA Law School. I was in the class of ‘90,” said Balton, who at the time was married and had three children.
And before law school, Balton taught almost two decades at colleges and universities around the nation.
However, she believes that God had another calling for her.
“I left the law firm . . . and went to work on Skid Row. I went to the Union Rescue Mission, and saw they didn’t have any programs for women and children, or any place for women to stay. They (also) didn’t have any work training programs, so when people went through the 12 steps, they were just out on their own.”
Balton created a learning center in 1992 to satisfy that need.
Then she noticed something else—many of L.A. Skid Row residents were not from downtown.
“A lot of the people came from my community,” explained Balton, who said that prompted her to develop a pilot program offering mental health services, affordable and decent housing as well as job preparation assistance.
The idea is to give her “beloved community” what every healthy community needs to not only survive but sustain itself.
Do you consider yourself a fighter? I’ve always considered myself one. For most of my life every time I got knocked down, I got right back up, stronger than ever. But now that I look back, I got up because God’s righteous right hand pulled me up.
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — For the 69th year, Fred Jordan Missions will be honoring hundreds of impoverished moms with a luncheon banquet for them and their children and offering free manicures, makeup and gifts. Dozens of volunteers will give their time and skills to treat struggling mothers from Skid Row and the inner city to a complete beauty makeovers, helping to restore their dignity and self-confidence.
You can never underestimate the power of prayer. And when you specifically ask Jesus to pray for you, get ready to be blessed. Problem is you want your prayers to be answered immediately. After all, Jesus is the Son of God. God listens to Him, right? But it didn’t happen immediately for me. I wanted off the street right then and there. I was diligently looking for blessings, jumping at everything that looked promising to me, hoping it was a blessing from God. As a result, it caused me a lot of heartache.
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Councilman Richard Alarcon walked out of a Los Angeles City Council meeting today, preventing his colleagues from voting on $18 million to fund the construction of permanent supportive housing for the chronically homeless.
The City Council needed 10 members present to vote, but with Alarcon refusing to return, there were only nine members present. Councilman Paul Krekorian later withdrew the motion. By that point, many of the other council members had already packed up their belongings to leave.
Los Angeles, Calif., A 19-year-old woman who was allegedly drunk when she lost control of her car, which struck and killed two homeless people sleeping on a sidewalk in Skid Row, was charged today with vehicular manslaughter.
Carmen Elena Chavez of Los Angeles was scheduled to be arraigned this afternoon in Los Angeles Superior Court on the two felony counts stemming from the deaths of Randall Milton and Teryl Sageser, both 51.