Andy Bales Speaks Out on Homelessness in Los Angeles

The CEO of Union Rescue Mission Discusses the Plight of L.A.’s Homeless Population


For nearly 20 years, Andy Bales has been the CEO of Union Rescue Mission in Los Angeles, skid row’s oldest shelter. In those many years, Bales says Los Angeles is the worst he’s ever seen it. More than a third of the nation’s chronically homeless live in California, and Los Angeles County now has the nation’s largest homeless population at 44,000, reports the Los Angeles Times. 

The week before Thanksgiving, which is a big event on skid row, the Los Angeles City Council voted to make some public buildings and parking lots available to the homeless this winter. Although it did not declare an official homelessness emergency, Andy—who is in a wheelchair because of staph infection contracted on the streets—doesn’t understand how it can be anything but an emergency. 

Andy is outspoken about the city’s predicament. To read his interview, with click here