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 40 years, we have served the local Long Beach Community by offering food, diapers, legal aid, clothing, and more to anyone in need. We are the only agency in Long Beach that provides hot meals every day of the week, a public restroom, and a food bank five days a week. Our programs include a 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.
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.
Stacey Bulluck is the President and CEO of Ordered Steps Incorporated a nonprofit serving homeless women and formerly incarcerated women Veterans, a bestselling author, transformational speaker, certified John Maxwell Leadership Coach, a Civil Servant working in the National Homeless Policy Office for Veterans, and an ordained Evangelist. Stacey is an Army Veteran having served a little under 18 years where she advanced to the rank of Staff Sergeant. She was medically discharged after enduring an injury while serving in Sinai, Egypt. She is a compassionate individual whose mission is to help others reach their full potential through their power of resilience.
Stacey is a leader who serves. After the military, she began volunteering to teach life enrichment classes at N Street Village, an organization that serves homeless and low-income women in Washington, D.C. After 18 months (about 1 and a half years) of volunteering Stacey was hired as a Treatment Coordinator in their Phase I substance abuse program. Simultaneously, Stacey was a volunteer mentor to incarcerated women in a local detention center in Anne Arundel County Maryland. The detention center staffs, sought Stacey in areas outside of mentoring women, and began requesting her to speak and provide her insights to all inmates regarding life skills.
Andrew has been a Resident of Long Beach since 1987. He is a retired business owner of Duncan Bolt Co. and a member of Bayshore Community Congregational Church.
Bill Lanting is a Long Beach-area native and CEO of District Capital, a commercial real estate lender. Previously, Bill also had a 35-year career in the hotel industry with firms including Wyndham Hotels, Radisson Hotels, and his own hotel management company.
Bill is a former Board Member of San Francisco-based LavaMae, a provider of mobile shower services to the homeless.