Midnight Mission’s Georgia Berkovich on Inspiring Skid Row’s Community
By LA Stories Staff Los Angeles
PUBLISHED 2:22 PM ET Nov. 11, 2019
LA Stories with Giselle Fernandez profiles Georgia Berkovich — one of the most joyful, inspiring impactful, people on Skid Row.
Berkovich is the Director of Public Affairs at the Midnight Mission, L.A.’s oldest non-profit. Once addicted to drugs and alcohol and nearly homeless herself, Berkovich has remade herself from the ground up and has flourished helping those still struggling turn their own lives around.
Berkovich says homeless people are just like you and me — only divided by circumstance. She explains to Giselle how homelessness doesn’t happen overnight — that it typically starts with a crisis requiring a gradual progression of lowering standards of living that no one dreams of.
She says that L.A. hasn’t seen this many homeless people in need since the Great Depression and that they are men, women, and children of all ages — from all walks of life. In her role, Berkovich is responsible for the Midnight Mission’s volunteer program, communications, community affairs and community events.
But where her personal passion lies is where her programs are uniquely transforming lives. Her love of music and discovery of immense talent living on Skid Row inspired her to develop the “Music with a Mission” program.
The success of that program led to “Art With a Mission” and “Laughter With a Mission” — an open mic comedy program.
She explains that it’s in the arts that moments of joy are rediscovered . . . and in those moments of joy, hope enters and with that, more of an ease and desire to ask for help.
The Midnight Mission is the premier provider in Southern California of life-changing programs, emergency services, paths to self sufficiency with addiction recovery programs, job training, education, social services and work programs to help homeless men, women, and children bridge to productive lives.