My 2nd Annual Night Out on Skid Row

(as told by Rev. Andy Bales through Twitter updates during his night on the streets of Skid Row)

Getting ready to mark @HomelessDay by spending 2night on streets of LA’s Skid Row & I will be tweeting & twitpic-ing my experience.

Spending night on streets of LA’s Skid Row 2night & posting each step of 10 Step Initiative to #endhomelessness HTTP://

My friend for the night-Sugar Bear! Alias Robert Jackson!

Our temporary homes for the night, on San Pedro St., Skid Row, Los Angeles, California

@RickWarren Orphans & vulnerable children are NOT a cause.Caring for them is a biblical mandate we can’t ignore. To do nothing is sin.

1st Step 2 #endhomelessness , Change the way we think & talk about precious people experiencing homelessness. HTTP://

2nd Step 2 #endhomelessness , Quit making excuses; Deuteronomy 15:4, There should be no poor in land, if you are obedient & keep open hand.

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

3rd Step to end homelessness, No One Should Ever Be evicted to the Streets

Have you considered how to mark World Homeless Day @homelessday & what you can do 2 make a difference? HTTP://

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

4th Step to End Homelessness-Services to people experiencing homelessness should be regionalized. Regionalizing the solutions to homelessness. Every neighborhood, City, Region should provide services to their own neighbors!

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

2nd group from San Jacinto Assembly Church came by with offer of food & encouraging words. Amazing change

5th Step 2 #endhomelessness , Faith Communities need 2 partner & mentor families experiencing homelessness!

Police cars & helicopter are searching for someone in big parking lot at corner. Feels like home!

@MichaelRochau Where do you live….Fort Apache, The Bronx? Lol!

I live in Pasadena by 4 liquor stores & bail bondsman. The helicopters lull me to sleep! :)

You wouldn’t believe the # of women, elderly & disabled people out on the streets, experiencing homelessness on LA’s Skid Row. Heartbreaking

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!

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

A big reason it’s calmer on LA’s Skid Row is LAPD Community Policing/Safer Cities. 6th Step 2 #endhomelessnes Best practices in policing!

7th step of HTTP:// is regionalizing solution by expanding Winter Shelters to year round! #endhomelessness

8th step- Provide Secure & permanent supportive housing 2 people devastated by long term homelessness

9th Step to #endhomelessness Increase # of Life Transformation Programs similar to URM, LA Mission, & others!

10th and final Step 2 #endhomelessness Job training & a job, the best & lasting solution to Homelessness!

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

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

Marking @endhomelessness World Homeless Day 10/10/10 by spending night on LA’s Skid Row &sharing experience & HTTP://

Just gave my large diet coke to a kind thirsty man named Edward. He was curious about what we were up to and our HTTP://

I took a walk around the block and tried to take a picture of the rats, but they were too fast! I was not comforted when I saw two run into an EDAR much like the one I am staying in.

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.

RT @sonyakeith @abales 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

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

Have you considered how to mark World Homeless Day?

Overall, I was amazed at the difference 1 year and lots of hard work by many has made on the streets of Skid Row. I also think choosing the 9th rather than the 1st of the month was a good choice. Also, spending the night among friends made it so much safer and calmer than last year.

Still, after 1 hour and 20 minutes of sleep, even in calmer conditions, I know it would be a matter of only a few days and I would be desperately in trouble mentally, physically, spiritually and socially.


10 thoughts on “My 2nd Annual Night Out on Skid Row

  1. Andy,

    This is a great writeup. I was following you during the outing and posting your photos and comments from twitter onto facebook in real time in many cases. I also compiled what you did in my own blog entry.



  2. Yes, Thank you, Myles! I saw your post, and appreciate you very much. I had to add some photos that somehow disappeared into thin air the night I sent them to twitpic. Guess I was tired! Bless you!

  3. Ronnie Palmer on

    We really need to get an outreach program going to help those that has a need of this nature. We also need to set-up some kind of mental assistant to those who has this condition, cause there is quite a number of these uninform, helpless and homeless people with mental issues.

  4. You are absolutely correct, Ronnie. I appreciate your heart and desire. Bless you!

  5. Craig S on

    God bless the homeless, I cannot imagine what they go through and how we expect them to “fit in” to society. God Bless you, your staff and volunteers. Keep it up Andy!
    My family has developed a contribution jar at our house designated for the homeless for Thanksgiving, but we can and need to do so much more….

  6. magdalena on

    dear Andy i appreciate & respect you , being a ceo, yet wanting to experience what it’s like to be homeless. the worst thing i remember of homelessness in my life is the chronic exhaustion, all i ever wanted was to lie down somewhere safe. i always appreciated very much the beds they had available at the VOA on San Julian St, i would go there any time of the day, sign up, get a bed & lie down, stretch out & finally be able to relax for a while…

  7. Suzanne on

    I have been knitting scarves and hats for the homeless. Would the mission be interested in giving them out? I have thought of organizing a group of women to knit throughout the year and donate them if the mission is interested. I read the book, “Same Kind of Different As Me” which is a true story regarding a mission, a homeless man, and a wealthy couple who decide to donate their time. This book touched me spiritually and I feel a need to do something to help the homeless. God bless everyone who takes the time to care for the unfortunate. Keep up the good work.

  8. Thank you, Craig, Magdalena, and Suzanne, for sharing and the words of encouragement. Bless you! Yes, we would appreciate the knitted with love items. email me at with contact info! Blessings, Andy B.

  9. Andy,

    I have posted my blog entry on this which links to this in a number of spots. It has been sent to the L.A. Times, Huffington Post and other places as well.

    I think this story is a hard story that repeats itself night after night. Each month I see the numbers of people living on the street increase. I watch the numbers rise in regard to the people and services URM provides as the economy takes its toll. Donations are down, services are up and we have just had a half a week of rain as we move into the winter months.

    My hope is that more of the media will tell the story of what is happening in regard to the homeless. As more people become aware perhaps more will do what they can do to help.

    My deepest respect for you and your staff.


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