A little more information

The two main activities in my life: Helping the hungry in the late hours of the night and helping guitar players sound better one amp at a time.

I always try to remember that in order to do good one has to take action and actually do something.

I was born and raised in Los Angeles. I have watched the city and Southern California change for well over half a century.

I can be found on facebook at www.facebook.com/mylesr or on twitter at www.twitter.com/myles111us or on my own Guitar Amplifier Blueprinting website at www.mylesrose.com

Los Angeles Architectural History

Los Angeles Architectural History
1935 Art Deco at some of its finest: No. 168 - Griffith Observatory- (click on the photo for information)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Just Another Night on Skid Row - Andy Bales

I thought I'd take a few minutes to recap some of what Andy Bales was doing yesterday late evening on 10/9 and early the morning of 10/10. 

To set the stage in a manner of speaking, back in June I posted a story that was written by Erin, one of the staff at http://www.urm.org/

My Terrifying Night on the Streets of Skid Row
by Erin on Thursday, June 24th, 2010 ......

I thought I knew how bad Skid Row was. It took a sleepless night on the sidewalk to experience the terrifying reality.

When I recently had the chance to spend a single night outside in front of Union Rescue Mission, I thought I knew how bad it would be. But I didn’t. It was the most terrifying night of my life.  I had planned to spend the night sleeping in an EDAR, a kind of folding tent on wheels. But the smell of trash and human waste, the constant yelling, fighting, and drug use, and the squeaking of giant rats the size of cats – which I saw crawling over people all night – kept me awake.

The sidewalk in front of URM was crowded with dozens of people: an old man sleeping in a wheelchair, a frightened middle-aged man and woman huddled in a dark corner, an elderly man suffering from Alzheimer’s wandering lost, a wheelchair-bound prostitute plying her trade in the pay toilet across the street.

Then there were the drug-crazed predators; the man who attacked a woman across the street, another man who attacked a woman in a nearby alley, the thug who assaulted everyone who crossed his path, and who even threatened me. Risking my own life, I broke up at least five or six fights that night.

That’s how it was all night long. There was never any let up in the noise, fear, screaming, fighting, drug use, prostitution, and rats. It was just relentless.

I spent just one night on those streets. That night scarred me. If I had to spend one more night out there, I’m not sure I would have recovered. But what happens to the hearts and souls of the thousands of precious people who have spent weeks, months, or years on Skid Row? Men and women who’ve given up on life and hit bottom here?

That’s a thought I can’t tolerate. No one – not one single human being – should ever be left on the street and forced to live in terror.

Today I’m more grateful than ever for all our generous donors. We’re able to serve almost 5,000 precious souls a day. Every night more than 1,000 men and women sleep in a safe bed. And best of all, more than 600 people have decided to give life another try and escape these streets for good.

Since that evening things have not changed much other than the population increase I have documented.

I thought I'd grab a few of the shots that Andy Bales took last night and post a few of them here in blog format.  I will also grab a few of the comments.  Andy sends photos and comments to  twitter via his cellphone in real time.   Here is a bit of last night.

Comment last night by Sonya Keith - The first time I was on skid row at night I watched a family of cats for 5 minutes until I realized they were rats.

Rev. Andy Bales - Have you considered how to mark World Homeless Day @homeless day & what you can do 2 make a difference? http://youarethemission.org/

- Relieved, my 1 night of homelessness has ended & I am safely home. Sad that isn't the case for 75K Angelenos & Millions in US including kids

- 3 AM I am finally worn out & maybe ready to sleep for a bit. Still worried about rats the size of cats here on Skid Row in LA.

- Just gave my large diet coke to a kind friendly thirsty man named Edwar - Marking @ World Homeless Day 10/10/10 by spending night on LA's Skid Row & sharing experience &  

- Children should never experience homelessness. It harms them physically, psychologically, educationally, shakes up trust in relationships.

- Honored 2 be waiting outside URM at 2 AM as mom w/ 3 little girls, ages 4,2, & infant arrived in cab, probably escaping abuse. Welcomed them.
Andy said much more than what I transcribed above.
8th step- Provide Secure & permanent supportive housing 2 people devastated by long term homelessness

 Nice gentleman, Yannick, from Cameroon, stopped 2 chat. He lost tent & only has a sleeping on Towne St.

San Jacinto Assembly Church came by with offer of food & encouraging words. Amazing change

This group of friendly folks knew Sugar Bear, & asked us to open their tough 2 open pickle jar. We succeeded!

 The fellow driving this white van, in his 60's, Caucasian with a strong accent, asked us 4 a nickel rock of cocaine

  Larry hasn't stayed anywhere for two years. Sugar Bear & I got him a cot & he left his cart & went in URM 2 try again!

Friendly group from Teen Challenge & San Jacinto Assembly Church kindly offered us spaghetti at 11 PM!

The evening shots and captions above are by Andy Bales

Update 10/12/10:

I posted this a few days ago but today on 10/12/10 Andy Bales wrote this up on his own blog which can be read at - http://www.urmblog.org/2010/10/12/my-2nd-annual-night-out-on-skid-row/

10/10/10 has been a date that some have designated as a date for homeless awareness and service. I don't know if this will have much impact.

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