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Midnight Mission receives $25,000 grant to aid homeless

June 11, 2009 | 10:54 am

In an effort to ensure the Midnight Mission can continue its work helping the homeless and disadvantaged, Sempra Energy Foundation today will present the nonprofit human services group with a check for $25,000, company officials said.

“They stand out,” said Raul Gordillo, a spokesman for Sempra Energy. “They’ve done so many things for the homeless, and in helping turn peoples’ lives around.”

The grant is part of Sempra’s $1.5-million initiative and employee matching-grant program launched last month in San Diego and the Midnight Mission is the first of several Los Angeles County nonprofits that will receive funding from the program, which helps provide food, shelter and utility services for needy people.

Orlando Ward, director of program services for the Midnight Mission, noted the grant was especially welcome, coming at a tough time for nonprofit groups.

“We have long-term relations with Sempra,” said Ward. “They look at the work that we do with a variety of individuals and families in transition, and homeless.”

Gordillo said an employee-development program, previously funded by Sempra, had produced several success stories. Among them is Kenneth McKinley, a recovering drug and alcohol addict, who has managed to start his own pressure-wash business with the help of Midnight Mission’s career counseling and job development program.

“It’s fine that we’re giving money, but what‘s important is the folks who benefit from this program and the assistance,” Gordillo said.

--Ann M. Simmons