Skid Row prayer march gives hope

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CONRAD WATSON (C), Harbor Light Center director, leads a Skid Row prayer team march through Skid Row.


Every month at the crack of dawn, hundreds of residents from The Salvation Army Harbor Light Center, Fred Jordan Mission, Immanuel Baptist Mission, Union Rescue Mission, Volunteers of America and Los Angeles Mission march through the streets of downtown Los Angeles, praying for and singing to the homeless men and women who make Skid Row their home. The goal of the prayer march is to let residents of Skid Row know that God has not forgotten them and his grace is ever present.

The six social service agencies, which offer services on Skid Row, including clothing and housing assistance, educational classes, and drug and alcohol rehabilitation, have held the prayer marches for the past year and a half. The idea of marching was birthed by a desire to uplift the people who live on Skid Row, or as the agencies call it, Hope Central.

Each agency takes a turn hosting the prayer march, which starts at the doors of the hosting agency at sunrise and continues on a “route” with prayer stops at the doorsteps of each participating agency and a few street corners.

“The prayer marches continue to be a testimony that God has not forgotten the people of Hope Central. We all hope one day that this community will embrace the disenfranchised and help alleviate the plight of homelessness which is often associated with addiction and mental illness,” said Conrad Watson, executive director of the Army’s Harbor Light Center.

For many of the clients, it’s a time for them to march the streets where they used to live. Said one resident, “I feel like I am part of the solution when I march.” The outpouring of love from the men and women who march helps fulfill one paramount goal – hope to all that God can intervene in their lives.

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