Architect of Change of the Week: Rev. Andy Bales

Every week in Maria’s newsletter publication The Sunday Paper, we honor individuals who use their voices, their hearts, and their minds to Move Humanity Forward.

This week, we honor Rev. Andy Bales as our Architect of Change of the Week. For more than a decade, Rev. Bales has trekked up and down Los Angeles’ Skid Row to tend to the city’s neediest for his organization, the Union Rescue Mission. And even though he lost his part of his right leg to a staph infection contracted on the streets, Rev. Bales has not let that setback slow down his mission of ending homelessness.

Rev. Bales sees the humanity in everyone and recognizes that we’re all “precious human beings.”

1.  Why We Should Never Turn Our Backs on The Homeless: “We all have our own kinds of struggles,” Rev. Bales said. “So often we avoid people experiencing homelessness, but there are so many people who are one paycheck away from it. We’ve got to get over our fears and join together and make sure no one ever suffers this devastation.”

2. The One Thing Most People on the Streets Have in Common: “The biggest common denominator is having no attachment to family whatsoever,” Rev. Bales said. “Recreating community is the biggest step toward ending homelessness.”

3. Why It’s Never Too Late: “I’ve rarely, if ever, seen somebody who was too far gone to have a quality life,” Rev Bales said. “One guy who spent 7 years on crack cocaine is now playing piano for a worship team, and the other day, he spoke before city council. As long as you’re breathing, there’s hope.”


This feature originally appeared in Maria Shriver’s weekly newsletter publication, The Sunday Paper. Sign up here to receive it in your inbox.


About the Author

author image

Lindsay Wilkes-Edrington is Shriver Media's digital director. She’d love to hear your ideas and feedback for the Architects of Change digital community! Connect with her here.

Read more from Lindsay Wilkes-Edrington

Sign Up for's Weekly Must-Read

More Posts from Architects of Change