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)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The real deal directly from Andy Bales

This blog piece will be an ongoing and continually updated post.  Much of the content of this piece will come directly from Rev. Andy Bales, the CEO of Union Rescue Mission ( http://www.urm.org/ )  which is the largest mission in the United States.  At times there may be posts to news items which spotlight Rev. Andy Bales.

Andy Bales has his own official blog which can be found in one area of the URM website.  His blog link is http://www.urmblog.org/category/rev-andys-blog/  My blog here will be a bit less official, something that may point to some areas on a different level than Andy's blog.

I will start out by saying that Andy Bales just might be the most impressive human being I have ever met.  I will just leave it at that.  If you want to know more about the man ask around, look on the URM website, look him up on google, find him on countless news stories or look on many of my other blog pieces.

Los Angeles has the highest homeless population in the United States.

Please click on "read more" for the latest.


Why I Am Weary Of Home For Good’s Report




The reality on skid row today.  Look at the data in this piece from January 2011 to January of 2012.

When folks think of working at a Rescue Mission on Skid Row, they might first think of the heartbreak involved or the tough environment surrounding us on Skid Row, but I think about the amazing “recession proof benefits” that come with the job. It’s a long list but I think my top three are Life Transformation, Joy and Gratitude…benefits I enjoy each and every day. Let me share just a few examples of what I mean.

On Monday a graduate of our program that had been working/learning as an apprentice in our Development Department for a number of months walked into my office. He’d been hired full-time, and it was his first day. With tears in his eyes and a broad smile, he walked in with a bottle of Martinelli’s Sparkling Cider (non-alcoholic), and asked a co-worker and me to join him in a toast celebrating his first day as a URM staff member. How often do you get that reaction when you hire someone?

Another young man, a graduate of our program, and currently in our post graduate transition stage at URM, who is a straight A student, was hired as a part-time graphic artist. In addition to receiving a badge with his name, photo and the word STAFF on it (standard issue for all URM employees) he was provided with a cubicle in the Development Department to do his work in. Based on the huge smile, his sincere gratitude and genuine excitement over having a work space to make his own, you’d have thought he been given an executive office with an ocean view.

In chapel this week we received a double dose of Joy, Gratitude and Life Transformation! First of all we named one of our EVS guys, a custodian, as the employee of the month at URM. With that, Al received a standing ovation, his picture posted by the HR office, a free parking space next to our elevators, two $20 gift certificates to Subway, his name thrown into a raffle for a 1 week vacation at a nearby resort hotel, and lunch with me the CEO (which according to Al’s boss, is the punishment part of the award). But what touched Al the most was the cheers he received from the men in our program, and the certificate that he received as the Employee of the Month. He carried it around as if it was an Academy Award proudly sharing it with his friends and colleagues.

After celebrating Al, we were blessed by hearing the testimonies of three men preparing for graduation from our Life Transformation Program. Each man shared a bit about what their life was like before coming to Union Rescue Mission, the journey they’ve been on for the last 12-18 months as a resident here at URM and most importantly what their life is like today. It was a solid hour of cheers, tears and inspiration!

It is the thankfulness, gratitude for the little things that we experience every day that makes this such a fulfilling place to work and be involved. And the best part is…you don’t actually have to be on staff to receive these benefits! Please join us for a graduation (we have one this Sunday, November 6th at 3 p.m.) schedule a tour or become a volunteer, to experience the joy that comes from seeing lives transformed every day.

Andy B.

9-30-11 http://www.urmblog.org/2011/09/28/setback-but-not-deterred/

8/10/11 - Latest News: A Very Special Day at URM

7/26/11 - http://blog.fulldisclosure.net/ - http://www.fulldisclosure.net/Programs/600.php
County Of Los Angeles Versus The Union Rescue Mission

http://youtu.be/0oUSIz8UDbk - preview
http://youtu.be/jfPpVLfnaxY - Segment 1
http://www.fulldisclosure.net/Programs/600.php will access all segments of the program.

The lastest news:  7/24/11 - I am not exactly shocked or even slightly surprised at this Full Disclosure story. For decades the City of Los Angeles has not done much to directly help the homeless.

LASHA had various programs that look good in the media but the reality is they have not done much good. LASHA, the Los Angeles Services Homeless Authority is anything but an authority. They are little more than a government organization who are ineffective at their charter.

The recent homeless count done by LASHA in Los Angeles reported the number of homeless was reduced over their prior study and report. The Los Angeles Times reprinted their findings and I then took note with the Los Angeles Times as the story was about as far from reality as one could get. The link to that particular story is http://la-economy.blogspot.com/2011/06/los-angeles-times-shame-on-you.html

The latest issue is the story of County vs Rescue Mission Dispute Over Homeless Care http://t.co/5OeJ9h0

I will be watching for updates on this item very closely.

Original post:  Earlier today I posted a blog entry on a story that ran in the Los Angeles Time which made a statement that homeless had decreased.  I expressed my own thoughts on the piece (saying it was nonsense is an understatement).   My original piece is at http://la-economy.blogspot.com/2011/06/los-angeles-times-shame-on-you.html

I also contacted Andy Bales.  Andy is out of the office and sent me some short messages on his thoughts on the piece and a few comments of his own.   The dialogue is being sent to me in many cases via text phone format.  The commentary below is copied and pasted so there may be a bit of flow that is missing but I think you will get the idea.

The latest from Andy Bales.

You nailed it Myles. What is more sad is that they spent day with me & got the facts. Editors must have pulled out my comments. LAHSA even revealed that they had adjusted the number up when I raised a ruckus in 2009 but did not reveal that until new numbers came out!

LAHSA has lost all credibility in my opinion. Notice how quickly they pulled this story off of the headlines? Bless you, Myles!

I asked Andy: I find this nothing short of revolting. Are these people blind or just stupid?

There are 13,000 students experiencing homelessness in LA schools alone! The 3% is within the margin of error for even a more precise study.

There absolutely was no decrease, and anyone with intelligence knows that. Why she spent day with me then reported this I don't know.

I warned everyone in media I talked to about misleading headlines. Watch for Downtown News by Ryan Villancort, maybe he will have courage!

Here are the thoughts I shared with LA Times; Count is misnomer, it is a partial count applied to a formula for educated guess. Any headline should 1st say, With our very strict definition of homelessness directed by HUD, leaving out families & children & individuals bouncing between friends' couches, hotel rooms. This leaves precious kids in devastating circumstances uncounted & gives us wrong sense of satisfaction that we are making headway. We need to remember these kids & put ourselves in their shoes.

According to LAPD the count on Skid Row has gone up, from 750 to about 1200 in last few months. Finally, LAHSA upgraded the number from 2009 after others & I raised a ruckus! They never disclosed this to anyone until the 2011 number was released! Then, they ascribed a 3% decrease from the adjusted number! This would not even cover margin of error in a precise study!  Yet the headline reads, Despite tough economy, Homelessness decreases in LA! As you know I feel this is misleading.

I commend them for trying, as counting people who oft times don't want to be counted is difficult & count is mandated by HUD, However, I take issue with the conclusions & especially the misleading headlines. We are housing more families than ever; 109 families with 225 kids.

This story is a bit more accurate than the Los Angeles Times story:
New report finds decline in LA homeless population, leaving some in doubt - http://bit.ly/mxrzlV

Hopefully the Los Angeles Times will put a real journalist on this subject and produce a follow up story with a higher degree of accuracy.  This is a critical subject and deserves more attention that taking a report and posting the findings without looking at the data.  There is a lot of data out there but perhaps start by looking out your own window from the Times building?

Anytime the weather is over 85 degrees on the streets of Skid Row you will find Andy and the URM crew on the concrete passing out water bottles.  In the shot above from Don Garza you see Andy pushing the cart of water.

Andy Bales - CEO and chef.

6/30/11 - A Very Interesting Meeting - Union Rescue Mission: http://bit.ly/l5W9oT

Just one story of many. Union Rescue Mission provides a complete cycle from the deepest bottom areas of life to helping people become productive and happy once again.

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