Union Rescue Mission’s Senior Leadership consists of a dedicated team of professionals who are led by CEO Rev. Andy Bales and responsible for the oversight of URM’s five core divisions. Our senior leadership team inspires excellence, professionalism, and fellowship while fully embracing people who are experiencing homelessness with the love of Christ.
Rev. Andrew (Andy) J. Bales, M.A.T.
Andy brings over 29 years of experience in community outreach and service to his “those experiencing homeless friends”, as Andy puts it, as he leads Union Rescue Mission into a new era of unique and innovative services for Los Angeles’ Skid Row community.
Andy’s vision for the future of the Mission is most definitely in keeping with the Union Rescue Mission’s long and distinguished history of service in the City of Los Angeles. Established in 1891, the Mission has always served the most desperate men, women and children of the community.
One of Andy’s earliest challenges as Mission leader was to assist in the developing of transitional housing for mothers and their children living in the Mission’s downtown facility and in neighboring SRO hotels in and around Skid Row. He is also committed to providing permanent supportive housing for senior women away from the mean streets of Los Angeles. Hope Gardens Family Center, in the foothills of the Angeles National Forest near Sylmar, was developed to serve this growing population of abandoned and desperately poor women with children and elderly women. The Senior Women’s Permanent Supportive Housing facility at Hope Gardens was opened in August 2006. The Women’s and Children’s Transitional Living Facility opened in late June of 2007.
As CEO of Union Rescue Mission, Andy has had a pivotal role in reshaping hospital and governmental policies related to “dumping” of homeless patients from hospitals on to the streets of Skid Row.
Andy’s present focus is organizing and working with community partners to make a commitment to ending homelessness in Los Angeles by a significant number within the next 7 – 10 years.
Andy has many awards and honors for his community service, including: being named as the 930th Point of Light by President George Bush in 1992, receiving the 1999 Des Moines NAACP Community Service Award, and receiving the 2004 Martin Luther King, Jr. Award from the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance of Pasadena. He has been featured in Leadership Journal’s article “Great to Good Churches”, CBS’s 60 Minutes, NBC’s Dateline, CNN and Social Media, and is a frequent guest speaker at conferences, schools, and clubs. Rev. Andy’s Blog was awarded 1st place for media success by the Association of Gospel Rescue Mission’s at their annual convention of 350 participating missions world-wide in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011. Andy was named the “2011 Fundraising Professional of the Year” by Fundraising Success Magazine for fundraising achievement in 2010. Andy received the Los Angeles Business Journal’s award for Nonprofit Leadership Excellence in June 2012.
In June 2009, Cone, Inc. published the Cone Nonprofit Power Brand 100 Report. Union Rescue Mission was listed in the top 100 brands at #94, ahead of national charities such as: YWCA, United Cerebral Palsy Association and Camp Fire USA. When you consider that there are 1.1 million registered non-profits in the U.S., the fact that URM was listed at #94 is incredible. Andy’s personal participation in embracing social media opportunities has been credited for the Mission success in receiving this distinction.
Andy and wife Bonnie (a nurse) have six grown children, and delight in their grandchildren, Elijah, Ava Marie, Ezra, and twin grandsons Jack and Benjamin. Also, Andy and Bonnie served over 25 children in Foster care alongside their children.
Vice President of Programs
Before coming to the mission in 2003 as a chaplain in the Christian Life Discipleship Program, Steve graduated from Biola University in 1977 with a B.A. in Psychology. After graduation, he worked at Biola in the Physical Plant and Facilities departments while he attended Talbot School of Theology and earned a Master’s Degree in Marriage in Family Ministries.He went on to become a pastoral counselor with Ministry Associates, later directing one of their centers in Southern California. In 1995, Steve founded his own pastoral counseling center. He was also privileged to teach as an adjunct instructor in the Christian Ministry and Leadership Department at Talbot from 1999-2001.In October 2007, Steve became the Director of Men’s Ministries where he provided grace without enablement and was recently appointed to the new challenge of overseeing all programs at the mission. Steve is up to the task using the model found in Micah 6:8 that has brought him much success. As CPO Steve will continue to walk in righteousness and justice applied with grace and humility. “The Union Rescue Mission is a place where Christ’s redemptive power is observed daily in the lives of the people.” Steve thoroughly enjoys the daily challenges of discipleship and the strategic opportunities of urban ministry.Steve and his wife Diane, also a Biola graduate, have been married for 33 years. They have three children, Mark 26, Julie 24, and Kevin 18. Kevin will continue the family tradition, having been accepted to Biola film school this fall.
Vice President Public Relations
Attended the College of St. Paul’s & St. Mary’s in Cheltenham England, graduated from the University of La Verne in La Verne California. Received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Public Relations with an emphasis in Broadcast Journalism. Also studied Drama for two years at Cross Roads Arts Academy in Los Angeles.
Public Relations Director/Union Rescue Mission: 8/2006 to present.
Duties include: Coordinating Media/Public Relations opportunities to help generate URM name recognition and to bring positive media attention to URM’s activities & services through all forms of media: print, radio, TV, Social media, News letters and spokesperson opportunities. Also coordinates all media relations, information and logistics for events/special stories. Also produced CEO’s weekly Video Blog.
West Angeles Church of God in Christ Video Announcements & Voice-Overs: Bi-weekly voice-overs for Bishop Blake’s message on KJLH Radio Free 102.3 FM
KTYM Radio Co-Host: 9/1995 to 10/2007.
Co-Host of a weekly radio talk show “On The Positive Side”. Duties included: Producing commercials, Public Service announcements & voice-overs. Attended major community and corporate events, interviewed celebrities and special guests. Also interviewed Public Officials and gave special recognition to organizations & businesses that support the community.
Public Relations/Resource Manager/Kedren Head Start/State Preschool & Family Service Center: 10/1991 to 8/2006.
Duties include: Proposal writing, attending major social events. Setting up Press Conferences, producing newsletters, press releases & public service announcements. Also responsible for cultivating partnerships with community leaders & corporate representatives to raise funds.
KACE Radio Air Personality/News/Sports & Entertainment Editor: 7/1982 to 12/1992.
Duties included: writing & editing news stories, interviewing celebrity guest, attending press conferences, attending & reviewing concerts, plays and major motion pictures. Also produced commercials and voice-overs.
Hobbies & Other Interest: Skiing, golfing reading and traveling. I have lived in Germany, Turkey and England. I am a member of West Angeles Church of God In Christ, a board member of RBD Communications and a Executive committee member of The Hollenbeck Youth Centers Los Angeles Inner City Games.
Lucy Rivas, SPHR
Vice President, Human Resources
Lucy Rivas Enriquez is a California native and has worked in the field of human resources for more than 20 years. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and is certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) through the Human Resources Certification Institute.
Before joining URM, Lucy spent the last 8 years in Illinois serving as the human resources director at OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center where she was responsible for all the human resources provisions for more than 2,200 employees. Lucy has worked in a variety of environments to include multi-site, multi-state, food service, manufacturing, service, healthcare, non-profit and faith-based organizations.
Lucy is a strong supporter of programs aimed at helping children and furthering education. She has served as a board member for United Way and Junior Achievement. She has served or volunteered on community task forces and committees such as the US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Golden Apple Foundation, High School College and Career Readiness Council, and Pathways. Lucy is currently the treasurer of In Print, a professional writers group that strives to provide resources for writers and foster the love of reading in children and adults.
When not working, Lucy spends her time with her husband and three adopted children. She is excited to be back in California and to share all her “favorite spots” with her children. Lucy also enjoys writing and is a published children’s book author. Her book, DJ’s Lullaby is a bedtime story that blossomed from the lullaby she created for her adopted son when he was just 10 days old. An avid supporter of children in foster care, she donates all of her proceeds from DJ’s Lullaby to the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption helps to find permanent families for the longest waiting children in foster care.
In 2013, Lucy was a finalist for the YWCA Women of Achievement Award for her dedication to mentoring other women. In 2014, Lucy was selected by the Rockford Register Star as one of “14 People to Watch in 2014” for her dedication to raising awareness about the children in foster care who are waiting to be adopted.
Chief Financial Officer