I have met a lot of people who have dedicated their lives to ending homelessness. But Andy Bales, the CEO of LA’s Union Rescue Mission on Skid Row, is special. He is a servant, an evangelist, a fighter, and simply loves the people of Skid Row.
When I first met Andy, I noticed that he remained seated when we shook hands. Then I noticed the heavy plastic boot on his leg. He explained to me in the calmest manner that he had contracted a flesh eating bacteria on the streets of Skid Row and that he would probably lose his foot and ankle. I was undone by the fact that his service to the homeless would come at such a cost.
Andy is a true champion and servant leader for the homeless. His story is recently featured in LA Weekly and touches on many of the issues confronting the homeless and the shortcomings of current federal homelessness policy.