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Former CEO of Union Rescue Mission Andy Bales Receives Biola University Charles W. Colson Award

Biola University
March 22, 2024
LA MIRADA, Calif., March 22, 2024 /Christian Newswire/ -- Former CEO of Union Rescue Mission, Reverend Andy Bales, is the 2024 recipient of Biola University's Charles W. Colson Award for Conviction and Courage. Bales' profound impact on Skid Row in Los Angeles and his compassion for those experiencing homelessness made him a clear choice as the recipient of the award, which was presented to him during a ceremony on Thursday, March 21, 2024.

"With this award we seek to highlight individuals who demonstrate commitment to the unshakable truths of a biblical worldview, and who embody biblical convictions, even in the face of risks or challenges," said Biola University President, Barry H. Corey. "Andy is an apt example of this type of courageous conviction, whose compassion for people in dire straits, including those with incarcerated family members, strongly resonates with Chuck Colson's visionary work through Prison Fellowship. A proud Biola alumnus, he has spent much of his adult life serving those experiencing homelessness, including 19 years as the President and CEO of Union Rescue Mission, an institution in the heart of downtown LA."

The award, named to honor the legacy of the Christian leader Chuck Colson, founder of Prison Fellowship and the Colson Center for Christian Worldview, is given to recipients who embody both conviction — a demonstrated commitment to the unshakable truths of Scripture and its application in all areas of life — and courage — a willingness to act on biblical convictions in a bold and yet compassionate manner, however challenging or unfashionable it may be today.

"I got awarded today for doing what I cannot not do," said Bales. "I'm driven to serve people who are struggling, I'm driven to speak up for injustice and love those who are unloved sometimes by the world."

Bales served as the CEO of Union Rescue Mission (URM), which is the largest homeless shelter in the United States, for nearly 20 years before stepping down from his position in late 2023. URM was founded by Lyman Stewart, one of Biola's founders. During his time at URM, Bales contributed to the organization's development of new facilities for women, children and families that are experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles. Bales has become one of the most influential leaders in the issues of homelessness and is recognized locally and nationally for his compassion and conviction toward serving those in vulnerable situations.

SOURCE Biola University

CONTACT: Sarah Dougher, sarah.m.dougher@biola.edu