Motown music legend William "Smokey" Robinson, Jr. was honored Friday for his contributions to the fight against the Los Angeles homelessness crisis.
Robinson was one of two recipients of the Midnight Mission’s Golden Heart Award at the 19th annual Golden Heart Gala. Robinson was awarded for the care he demonstrated for the hard work occurring to help individuals living on Skid Row.
Robinson has supported the Midnight Mission for years with an annual golf tournament and said the needs of his neighbors has resonated strongly with him.
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"I’m very happy to be associated with them, because the Midnight Mission does such great work," Robinson said. "It gets people off the streets [who are there] for many different reasons--those who have just lost their homes or their jobs, or are affected by drugs or alcohol. It actually helps people."
Mary Wilson, a founding member of The Supremes, said she supports Robinson’s work and can relate to hard times.
"My mother could not read or write, so we received ADC checks and welfare checks," Wilson said. "Had it not been for an organization to give our family that, we could have been homeless."
The Midnight Mission also honored long-time volunteer Susie Siverts with the Golden Heart Award. Siverts said she credits the mission with helping her son tackle homelessness and addiction.
Andrew Linares, Midnight Mission community events coordinator, said helping people is what the mission does best.
"If every single one of us does one person at a time, you never know how big of a dent that’s going to make," Linares said.