National Mentoring Month: Union Rescue Mission

The Clippers and Union Rescue Mission have a long standing partnership, working together to bring opportunities and experiences to the Los Angeles youth who live at the Mission and its Hope Gardens Family Center in Sylmar. The Clippers are proud to partner with Union Rescue Mission and the essential service they provide families dealing with homelessness. January is National Mentoring Month, the perfect moment to learn more about the great work happening at Union Rescue Mission. One of the all-star employees of Union Rescue Mission’s Hope Gardens Family Center, Kayln Litwin, and her mentee, Myangell, were kind enough to have a conversation with the Clippers.

The connection between Kayln and Myangell is tangible, even through the computer with face coverings on! The pair met on Kayln’s first day as a Youth Program Assistant at Hope Gardens, and they have been inseparable ever since.

Union Rescue Mission is a Christian nonprofit organization located in Downtown Los Angeles that helps people devastated by homelessness with food, safety, shelter and a variety of services. Hope Gardens Family Center is their transitional facility located in Sylmar where women and children transfer to from downtown.


Myangell and her family came to Union Rescue Mission after being unsettled and moved to Hope Gardens for an opportunity to receive programming and more time to transition to permanent housing. Kayln came to work at Hope Gardens having experienced homelessness herself. After seeing the extent of the homeless population in Los Angeles, Kayln knew she had to be of service somehow.

“Union Rescue Mission isn’t just an organization, it’s a family. It’s a partnership,” Kayln explains. The depth of the URM family is evidenced by the fact that Kayln and Myangell have known each other for 8 months, and to see them interact you’d think they’d known each other for years.

Hope Gardens currently serves 70 families, and Kayln is part of a team that oversees 35-50 kids from elementary to high school age. The youth program assistants officiate online school, conduct Bible study, develop afterschool activities, and support all aspects of residents’ well being.

As Kayln and Myangell developed a mentor-mentee relationship, Kayln’s personal experience and her love for helping others made her relatable to Myangell. They learned how similar their stories are, having had to overcome some of the same difficult experiences growing up.

For Myangell, having someone to talk to, someone she can trust has been invaluable.

“She will try her hardest to make sure that I’m happy, and make sure that nothing will ever happen to me,” Myangell says of Kayln. “She makes sure that I’m safe, makes sure that I’m ok.”

“She brings joy to my heart and to my soul,” Kayln says of Myangell. “We’re more than just a mentor-mentee. She’s like my little sister.”

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If you want to learn more about how the Clippers are involved in the community, register your organization or become a mentor, please visit the Clippers Mentorship Assist Zone at https://www.nba.com/clippers/community/mentorship.

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