Would You Rappel Down the Side of a Building to Fight Homelessness?

on Oct5
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High above the streets that reveal a homeless crisis across the city, the man many refer to as the “angel of Skid Row” says even the fear of rappelling down a building holds no candle to the fear of living on LA streets.

“It kinda shows we’ll do anything to step up to the need and address the horrific homeless situation,” Reverend Andy Bales said. “And imagine this is scary, but imagine spending the night on the streets, or a woman on the streets dressing like a man trying to avoid an assault and multiply it by 16,000 times — that’s what’s happening on the streets of Los Angeles every night.”

From a bone-rattling 24 stories up on the roof of the Hilton right next to Universal Studios, the Union Rescue Mission is daring people to “Take a Leap.”

On Oct. 4 and 5, the mission is trying to raise money to battle homelessness in an extreme way. Each participant must raise $1,000 or more, and he too can rappel down the side of the hotel.

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Reverend Bales was one of a couple people to do this Friday.

Bales is a household name where so many have no home to go to. As head of the Union Rescue Mission on Skid Row, he’s also the victim of the fate he sees every day.

He lost his leg to three flesh-eating diseases, E. Coli, Staph, and Strep, from the streets of Skid Row, his doctors said.

“Now that I’ve suffered a little bit, I guess I can better relate to the people who are suffering on the streets,” he said.

By Friday afternoon, they’d already raised $500,000 – that’s half the cost of one “sprung” shelter. The rescue mission will open another for 120 homeless women later this month.

“We would really do anything to address homelessness,” Bales said.

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