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)

Friday, December 24, 2010

Why is the homeless situation not improving. I know!

Today was my second Christmas Eve on Skid Row in Los Angeles.

There were more people on the street and more people in line for food than last year.

The Los Angeles Mission was putting on a large street event.  There were presents for the kids, food for everybody and entertainment.  The other mission in the area were putting on their own events. 

I was heading to Union Rescue Mission which is the oldest and largest of the Los Angeles missions and perhaps the oldest in the country.

I spent some time talking to Andy Bales, the CEO of Union Rescue Mission when he had a moment of free time.  Andy was busy on the roof of URM while 1,800 steaks were being grilled for the meal later in the day.

I looked out over the city from the roof at Union Rescue Mission.

Some of the largest corporations in the USA can be seen from the roof of Union Rescue Mission in the heart of skid row.

Talking with Andy Bales and looking at the view I figured out why the homeless situation is getting worse rather than better. 

Yes, I figured it out.

There are two main issues.  If you look at things in a simple way you can understand.  It is easy to become trapped by the smoke, mirrors and rhetoric.  If you are trapped you will not be able to see the problems.

1.  Due to the economy there are more people without a home than there were two years ago.  I know this for a fact, first hand.  I count people on the streets a few nights each week.

I also have data from other people.  Services at Union Rescue Mission are up over 40%.  Their donations are down over 20% in the last year.

2.  Banking practices and methods are applied to support and donations.  This is the bigger part of the problem.

What do I mean by item number 2?

Maybe a few examples will help.

How would you feel if you loaned somebody $100 and they paid you back over the next year or two, pocket change each week?  You can buy a lot of things with $100 but not much with pocket change. 

Mathematically things make sense but realistically your $100 is gone.

Today many banks make it difficult for business to operate.  They are not lending money.  When they do lend money it is not enough for business growth or expansion.  At best it is barely enough to survive.

This mentality is what I see many large corporations doing as a practice.  This made me ask myself; do these corporations want to help or do their donations have another motive?

$1,000,000 donated to one organization would make a long term difference.  It would change things and keep changing things.  In a place like Hope Gardens this sort of contribution could add a wing onto some building and change the lives of mothers and children.  Permanently.

But, $1,000,000 split a number of ways into $10,000 contributions will produce 100 news stories rather than just one.  Those contributions can be spread over a year so the corporation has continual good press and media attention.  The corporate motive in many cases?  I am sure you hear or read the news.  I will let you draw your own conclusion.

$10,000 is terrific. It puts food on a table. It can pay some ongoing operating expenses that never stop. It allows survival but does not allow growth. It does not fix anything.

My objective here is not to chastise companies or organizations that are not fine examples.  It is to hope that I can get companies, individuals or organizations that truly wish to help a few ideas.

Perhaps Andy Bales of http://www.urm.org/ would not be too happy with me writing about how I feel there are a lot of big corporations whose buildings cast a shadow across skid row as the sun sets, folks that have their million dollar tax deduction for their annual report but in my eyes have done nothing other than make themselves look good.

Andy, I apologize.  I do feel that there is more that many of these folks can do. 

Don't get me wrong.  I have seen many wonderful companies and people help URM.  Food companies, restaurants, clothing folks and the list goes on and on.  If it were not for those folks things would be a lot worse.

My complaint is with the corporations that donate to many companies.  Looks good on their annual report but does little to help.

What is my suggestion? 

Pick ONE organization and donate ALL of your donation budget to them. 

I personally would donate to Union Rescue Mission because they are the oldest and largest mission in the USA, they are based in Los Angeles, Los Angeles has the highest homeless population in the nation.  They stretch a dollar further than anybody else due to economy of scale, experience and excellent budget practices.  They serve over 3,000 meals a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

Mothers, fathers and their children finishing up lunch on Christmas Eve at Union Rescue Mission.

While I was on the roof today at URM I called my friend Chad Weaver in Nashville Tennessee.  I asked Chad to talk to Andy Bales, an informal introduction that might lead to something in the future.

There was talk about the possibility of adding $2 to a concert ticket where the proceeds were sent to Union Rescue Mission.  In a 30,000 seat venue and when there are three or four shows in a week that is the sort of money that WOULD make a long term change and difference.

I asked Chad to pass this idea along to Brad Paisley.  Chad is Brad's right hand guy.  I also asked Chad to pass the idea along to everybody that is on tour with Brad Paisley and ask that these other acts pass the thought along as well.  Networking.  Maybe all of us in the music business can contribute to a bit of networking?

Just a thought for folks that perform in large venues with multi media backdrops:  How about running a video like this one when folks are waiting for the show to start?  Maybe too depressing to run before a show.  Too much of a downer?  Well, if you do want to show any videos of this sort or share them with your own Church or organization I can direct you to a place where there are a lot of them with more added all the time.

Perhaps somebody will be bold enough and enough of a crusader to run a video like this one on their multi media wall.  That would be a bold step indeed.  A step taken by a leader.   

I will also be posting this blog post on the Dr. Z Amp Forum.  There are many artists active on that particular forum.  Many of them are my personal friends.  I am asking them as my friends to pass on my thinking to their management.

The folks on the Dr. Z Amp forum were about half of a group of my friends that raised almost 1,500 Thanksgiving dinners served at Union Rescue Mission.  This time I am not asking for direct contribution.  I am asking for action in taking the fight to the street by asking artists and companies to combine their charitable contribution budget into one place for 2011, Union Rescue Mission.  http://www.urm.org/

I have explained my logic in placing all the money into one pot.  To invoke a change and not just survive. 

To repeat myself, URM is the largest mission in the heart of the highest homeless population.

I am going to try to keep this post active and updated.  During Thanksgiving I had a list of folks which I tried to thank for helping me raise Thanksgiving dinners.  The task was difficult and many folks helped but did not want to be mentioned on the blog post at http://la-economy.blogspot.com/2010/11/help-me-provide-thanksgiving-meals-at.html 

I would like to try to list the organizations, companies or individuals on this post who will step forward and help.  I intend to send this post to various companies based in the Los Angeles area or who have offices in the Los Angeles area. 
As people who read this find people or organizations that wish to help please let me know so I can add them to this post.  As something good is accomplished please let me know so I can add it to this post as an update.

I am asking my friends in the music industry for help.

I am asking corporations for help.

I am asking for direct involvement by these folks to partner with Union Rescue Mission. 

I am not trying to take money away from any particular organization that helps the homeless.  I am trying to focus resources rather than watch them continue to be diluted. 

There is still a lot of big money out there in corporate America.  I think there is enough to go around.  In the end there will be actual progress in the homeless situation if contributions and support does not continue to be diluted.  If we continue to go down the path of business as usual we are all crazy.  One definition of crazy is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

To my Z family - lets get the music industry behind this.  Lets see who can get the big boys like Fender and the big sound companies, the management companies, record labels behind this.

If you are an artist who was ever considered to be fearless it may be time to stand up to your management and make a stand to spread the word and help.  Good people can only make a difference only if they take action and actually do something.

Grilling steaks on the roof at Union Rescue Mission on Christmas Eve 2010

Andy Bales on the right overseeing the grilling.

Just a drop in the proverbial bucket.  Almost 2,000 steaks will be grilled before the BBQs are shut down

Please update me on people that have stepped up to help. You can let me know the company name, person or contact. If you need information on who they can contact at www.urm.org I can supply contacts as well.

I wish all a happy holiday season. I hope 2011 is a better year for everybody.

Please help me in my own personal mission to make 2011 a year of real change and not just business as usual.  Individuals can make a difference.  Lets get to work. 

Myles Rose is the founder of Guitar Amplifier Blueprinting which provides support services and training for touring bands and individuals as well as blueprinting services.   You may contact me from the link.  My direct contact information is provided as well as links to two of the Internet forums where I answer technical questions.  You may also ask questions in any post in this blog by using the comment application on each post.

When I am not doing something related to music I do what I can to support the homeless of Los Angeles either directly on the streets at night or through my good friends at Union Rescue Mission.

No comments:

Post a Comment