In 1996 Reverend Richard Reed began hosting all fellowship recovery meetings under the umbrella of First AME Church, one of the largest African American churches in Los Angeles, through it’s CDC, FAME Inc. After seeing the continued impact of drug and alcohol abuse on the abuser, as well as their families, Rev. Reed knew that he had to do more. With the help of his mentor Rev. Cecil “Chip” Murray and his family, Rev. Reed took First To Serve to the next level by opening up a 15 bed state certified substance abuse support facility in South Los Angeles in 2002.

Today, First To Serve, Inc. provides supportive housing facilities located throughout the city of Los Angeles. First To Serve also provides domestic violence housing for single women, and women with children, and participates annually in the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) supported Winter Shelter Program

Meet Our CEO


There aren’t many in our communities that aren’t somehow affected by the burdens of substance abuse, mental illness, homelessness, domestic violence, lack of education, and unemployment. First To Serve, Inc. is known throughout the community for collaborating with local providers in an effort to provide expert integrated services to address the various conditions our clients face as they work to become whole again.

Meet The Ridleys

The Ridleys

A Story from One of Our Clients

Prior to being referred for temporary housing to First to Serve, Inc (FTS), William K Ridley Jr and his wife Sharron L Ridley were homeless for 3-4 years of their 17-year marriage. In addition to their homeless status, when they arrived at FTS on February 28th, 20176, they were both unemployed and reliant on General Relief financial assistance. Once stabilized and acclimated to the environment, the Ridley’s began to utilize the supportive services at First to Serve and made every effort to consistently purse the referrals. They also made progressive steps (given to them from their FTS Crisis Housing Program Manager Eric Ransome) to becoming self-sufficient again.

Though at times discouraged by the slow pace of their job search efforts, they pressed on nevertheless and were both able to obtain gainful employment (full-time work for William and part-time for Sharon). Despite sometimes struggling, the couple fought very hard to overcome the obstacles in their path, fulfill the goals they set out for themselves and achieve their ultimate objective – permanent housing. On July 15, 2017 they signed the lease and received the keys to their new apartment.

Suffice to say, the Ridleys are very grateful and appreciative of the unconditional love and support they received during their 5-month stay here at First to Serve, Inc and we wish them the best of luck going forward in their new home. Congratulations Mr. & Mrs. Ridley!


We exist to make a difference in the Los Angeles Community; our mission is to provide comprehensive substance abuse treatment recovery services and supportive services to economically disadvantaged individuals that suffer from substance abuse, mental illness, and homelessness.