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)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Homeless in Los Angeles

Homelessness has many facets.  There are homeless people all over the United States and the world.  My   observations tend to focus around the area of Los Angeles as that is where I live but the story is the same for all homeless.  As a point of interest, Los Angeles is the homeless capitol of the United States.

Story from the Los Angeles Times which talks a bit about a film:


It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words.  Just below is a little slide show.  There are some very graphic images here so I will caution you in advance.   The reason I am posting this slide show is to try to show more people that Skid Row is a dangerous place that is not a great place for many but is especially traumatic for young children.  The day to day images are not easily forgotten, especially by young children.

Take a look at some of the images in this slide show.  Would you want your children to be in this environment?

Many folks think that they understand what the homeless situation is all about.  They feel that most folks are either involved with drugs, alcohol or just have no desire to work.  This type of thinking is far removed from what is reality.  There are folks who have lost their home and job due to the economy.  There is domestic violence.  There are many other reasons.  There are countless stories of the people who add to the homeless population count.  Please click on "more" below to continue.

The homeless situation is not improving in Los Angeles or in other cities in the country. It is getting worse due to many factors such as the economy. The figures I show below are a few months old in some cases. I cannot keep up with the changes. As one example I talk about the folks at http://www.urm.org/ and how they serve "over 3,000 meals per day". This is a bit of a generalization. In 2011 I watched the number of meals they serve, 365 days per year, grow from 3,000 to 3,300 and this month the count is now over 3,600 per day and increasing each month. Donations are down and required services are up. The number of families seeking help at Union Rescue Mission has risen 131% since 2008. The number if individuals seeking shelter has doubled.

I will quote a few lines from Andy Bales, the CEO of Union Rescue Mission: Over the past three years, we've watched Los Angeles implode. Growing evictions, rising foreclosures, devastating job losses. Many say it is the biggest economic crisis since the Great Depression.

Worse, the unemployment rate is not going down, the number of men and women who have given up is rising. I expect another surge of families seeking our help.

Union Rescue Mission is running out of space - and out of money. Due to huge cuts in county funding and flat donations we are a staggering $1.4 million short of meeting our budget this summer. Every summer donation falls up to 50%. We have done everything we can to cut costs. We have cut wages across the board twice. We have cut employee benefits and positions. We have cut $2.5 million from our budget. It is not enough.

Before I start on the main part of the subject of this post I will ask folks reading this if they would consider helping. There are many ways you can help. One fast and easy way is shown below. There are many other options on the Union Rescue Mission website at http://urm.org/

If you have a spare moment and can spare a few dollars, take a few seconds to feed five people a complete hot meal for $10. 

Donate $10 to Union Rescue Mission. Text the letters URM to 85944. You will receive a confirmation text message. Reply with the word YES to complete the transaction.   You will feed 5 people for $10 in less than 30 seconds. Your donation is tax deductible.  http://www.urm.org/ serves over 3,600 meals each day, three meals a day, 365 days per year and could not do this without help from people like you.

Moving on .... I will be posting the figures for April from my friends at Union Rescue Mission later this month. Once I have the data I will update this post with the data.

Some of this piece is a piece of mine from the past. I thought I would repost some of the piece as things are not getting better regardless of what the media tries to force us to believe in regard to the homeless situation.

The figures are difficult to manage yet alone comprehend.  The population of homeless in Los Angeles exceeds the population of Santa Barbara.  There are between 80,000 and over 100,000 homeless people in Los Angeles. 

You can help.  You can spread the word.  You can donate - even a few dollars helps.  You can become directly involved. 
Want to donate more or help in other ways?  Go to http://www.urm.org/ where you can learn more about Union Rescue Mission in Los Angeles California.  Union Rescue Mission is the largest mission in Los Angeles.  Los Angeles has the highest homeless population in the nation.

I wrote that things are not getting better.  Is this just my point of view or something that can be substantiated with data?

Well, here is a bit of data.  Let us compare January of 2010 to January of 2011 using data collected on some of the services provided by Union Rescue Mission. 

The first figure is January 2010, the second figure is January 2011.

Total Mental Health Clinic Sessions 100 / 123
Total Health Center Visits 627 / 675
Total Meals Served 98,675 / 137,806
Total Nights of Shelter (per individual) 26,914 / 44,876
Total Nights of Shelter (per family) 2,016 / 2,468

Breaking down one of the simple pieces of data above so people do not miss the point, in the month of January 2011 the average number of meals served each day was 4,445 meals.  That is like feeding the crew compliment of a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier for a combat shift.  One difference,  URM does not have the funds of the United States Government behind them.  They rely on you and your donations.

URM served an average of 1448 people per night at URM, Hope Gardens , and the four Winter Shelter sites, with 150 of those being children. Included is an average of 80 families per night. There was an average number of 898 people sleeping at URM Downtown each night.

After this blog was published I received a bit of an update from Andy Bales, the CEO of Union Rescue Mission.  I am adding this information now 0n 3/10/11:  Thanks, Myles! The #'s reported are actually a bit lower than they actually were. We had an additional 9 families + kids and served approximately 2650 more meals during the month or nearly 100 more meals per day. I discovered it today. Blessings

People who have lost their home.  People living in cars and vans on the street.  People living in cheap motels who had a home their entire life.  Many of these people are just like you and me.  On Sunday night March 6, 2011 the show 60 Minutes aired this story which is one of many stories which illustrate the point:

Homeless children: the hard times generation

The broadcast can be seen from this link as long as it is an active link

Yes, services are at an all time high.  Donations are at an all time low.  Organizations such as Union Rescue Mission are the lifeline to many people in these troubled times.

Looking at just one segment of http://www.urm.org/, their Hope Gardens facility which houses mothers and children - 13,950 avg/day: 450 ( 29% increase).  In case you miss the point here, there were 13,950 meals served in the month of January 2011 at this facility alone which was a 29% increase over the same month last year.

I could provide figure upon figure and breakdown things to the most detailed level but I will let you draw your own conclusion and do some basic math by repeating the figures from above which are quite simple, direct and to the point:

Total Mental Health Clinic Sessions 100 / 123
Total Health Center Visits 627 / 675
Total Meals Served 98,675 / 137,806
Total Nights of Shelter (per individual) 26,914 / 44,876
Total Nights of Shelter (per family) 2,016 / 2,468

Take a moment to head to their website at www.urm.org where you will learn a lot more about what Union Rescue Mission does and who they are. 

Your contribution is fully tax deductible.

You can pay by just about any method including paypal.  Just click on the donate tab at the top of their website.

You can donate $10 via your cellphone via a text message - Text the letters URM to 85944. You will receive a confirmation text message. Reply with the word YES to complete the transaction.

A meal is $1.84.  $10 feeds a family of five.  Something to think about.  Last Thanksgiving a group of my friends all got together to sponsor meals at Union Rescue Mission.  Here is the link to that event: 

If you want to read some of my own views on Union Rescue Mission and the folks behind their work here are a just few links to some of my past commentary:


The double-dip threat returns - http://bit.ly/jp27nJ  The numbers on the street will surely increase.

6/8/11 - Homeless vets sue VA, claim housing and treatment inadequate at West L.A. campus http://lat.ms/kZwjzm

Please give the folks at URM a hand.  You can help.  It only takes moments to help and make a change in a life. 

1 comment:

  1. I would like to send you a review copy of our new book "Homeless Narratives & Pretreatment Pathways" by social worker Jay S. Levy.

    I would also invite you to write a Guest Post on our site www.RecoveringSelf.com

    Reply with your shipping addr if interested

    Victor R. Volkman, President
    Loving Healing Press