Christian Outreach in Action (COA) is a non-denominational non-profit organization whose mission is to transform the lives of homeless and impoverished individuals in Long Beach and surrounding areas so they may reach and sustain self-sufficiency and independence. COA follows faith-based teachings that tell us to provide compassionate assistance to anyone in need.
COA is governed by a board of ten community members who volunteer their time. Funding is solicited from foundations, corporations, associations, and individuals to support a variety of programs for all Long Beach residents.
Anyone who reaches our doors in need of one of our services is always welcomed, no one is turned away.
For over 39 years we have served the local Long Beach Community by offering food and clothing to anyone in need. We are the only agency in Long Beach that provides hot meals every day of the week. Our programs include a bi-weekly food bank distribution featuring fresh produce and non-perishable items, a weekly diaper giveaway, pet food, hygiene kits, clothing, household furniture and goods, public bathrooms, holiday community events, legal clinic, low-income housing units, our Men's Program, and other essentials.
It all started with one man’s passion for service.
Jack Jensen was a person who took action. Many of us think of doing it, but in the end follow-throughs never seem to materialize. Mr. Jensen was living proof of taking the next step.
Jack Jensen was born and raised in the Long Beach/Lakewood area. He was a pretty normal guy, but he had a goal to become a millionaire by the time he was 30. He went to college while working at Edison and got his CPA while also making many wise investments in local commercial real estate.
By the time he turned 30, Jack was certainly rich; however he was also an alcoholic and a drug addict. He woke up one morning and realized his life was not what he had imagined it to be. He was miserable, and went out on a search for answers.
He ended up at Christ Lutheran Church in Long Beach. He met with the pastor, and pleaded for help. The pastor gave him one piece of advice: “Get out of yourself and do for others.”
So that’s what Jack did. But he was an extremist — simple community service was not enough. Jack joined the United Nations USAID program, which brought him to refugee camps in Cambodia. There, he not only found himself but great joy in serving others.
When he returned to Long Beach, he tried to figure out what he could do to continue to give back. He began with trips to Mexico, bringing food and service to the needy there. However, when he saw the homeless population in his own neighborhood, he realized there was more he could be doing locally rather than abroad.
After asking around for ways to serve in his area, he found the federal food bank in Long Beach. Among many other things, he helped to organize their inventory — his name is still on the wall there today.
After serving at the food bank, Jack noticed something that disturbed him. If you are homeless, the cans of food handed out at the food bank don’t serve much purpose since you don’t have a kitchen to cook in.
One day, on one of his classic drives around Long Beach in his old Volkswagen van with his dog, Jack drove past the church at 515 E. Third Street and noticed a sign in the window: “Kitchen for Rent.”
So Jack took action. He rented the kitchen and began to bring in groups from local churches to cook meals for the needy in Long Beach. Now, over 35 years later, our kitchen is still open. In 2015, we served over 130,000 meals, and our numbers continue to grow as we meet the needs of our community.
Board Members are volunteers representing all areas of the community
Bill is retired and the owner of seven local Chevrolet Auto Dealerships. He is a member of Grace First Presbyterian Church. He has held various positions within the Presbyterian Church.
Rev. Dr. Robert S. Langworthy
Pastor Rob has led Covenant Presbyterian Church for the last 30 years. He is involved in numerous Long Beach community organizations and is a proud supporter of COA.
Mike is retired and previously served as Vice President at Northrop Grumman. He is a member of St. John Fisher Church. He leads his Sandwich Ministry group who provides dinner on the 3rd Thursday of every month.
Alexis is a Consultant to the head of a global company. Her 2 daughters volunteer their musical talents for our annual gala.
Christine is retired and active in the Long Beach Community. She has worked alongside the Quality of Life Officer in the area. She joined the LB Police Foundation as the Chair of the QOL Committee. She holds a wealth of knowledge regarding homeless services and just recently joined our board.
1st Vice President
Ken is a retired Naval Officer and Airline Pilot. He serves on our Elf Committee in charge of our annual Children's Christmas Party. He represents COA with the Naval Heritage Society.
Tim is retired and previously served as CFO for the Long Beach Memorial Hospital Foundation. He is the former Treasurer of Farmers & Merchants Bank and is a member of Grace First Presbyterian Church.
Dr. Joseph Abe, dds
Dr. Abe is a Cosmetic and Family Dentistry who runs his practice in Pasadena, CA. He is one of our Founding Board Members.
Nicoletta is a Financial Planner and Insurance Agent here in Long Beach, CA. She is a great supporter and advisor for COA.
Stacy currently works for Veterans Affairs. She is a community liaison for our 1st District Council Member. She is active in the Long Beach community and working to improve the lives of our homeless population and just recently joined our board.