1. For the Kids
Our children and youth are at the center of everything we do. We see hope and possibility by offering grace, understanding, dignity, and trust.
2. Stronger Together
We journey alongside our children, youth, and families, as well as our community partners.
We continuously evolve and improve our model of care to meet the needs of our children and youth.
4. Catalysts for Change
We are generational disruptors of homelessness and will do whatever it takes to remove the barriers caused by homelessness.
5. For Each Other
We optimize our collective talents to best serve our children and youth.
WHY WE DO IT
FOR THE KIDS, ALWAYS
Our primary mandate is to serve homeless children. In everything we do, our goal is to honor the dignity and potential of each child. We strive every day to deliver that level of care.
Project Hope Alliance grew out of a schoolteacher’s passion for assisting local homeless children with their education – with her car serving as the first classroom. This personal outreach program soon became an organized undertaking called Project HOPE, which stood for “Homeless Outreach Program in Education.”
Project HOPE grew to become a county-run school designed to help children without permanent homes transition into the mainstream educational system. The First Presbyterian Church of Orange served as a key partner of the program for 20+ years, providing the facilities and many other invaluable operational services to the school.
Now called Project Hope Alliance, the organization remains committed to providing homeless children and youth from kindergarten through age 24 with the tools and opportunities that they need to learn their way to a better tomorrow. In this work, we have spent the last 28 years developing a unique model of care, which includes effective education and housing stability program models that serve the needs of children experiencing homelessness in Orange County.
Our team comes from a variety of backgrounds, but we all have one thing in common: a passion for accomplishing PHA’s mission: to end the cycle of homelessness, one child at a time.
Jennifer Friend, J.D.
Chief Executive Officer
Prior to becoming CEO, Jennifer Friend enjoyed a successful career as a partner at a large law firm, representing national and international clients throughout the civil courts of California. While practicing law, she served as President and Secretary of the Project Hope Alliance Board of Directors and was actively engaged in the organization’s expansion and strategic growth. In 2013, Jennifer answered her calling, left her partnership, and became Project Hope Alliance’s full-time CEO. Since then, she has led PHA from a team of two to a mighty team focused on eliminating the barriers and filling in the gaps that homelessness causes in the lives of children and youth throughout Orange County.
Her personal experience as a homeless child in Orange County, which inspired the Broadway play Nomad Motel, fuels her deep-rooted passion and commitment to homeless children and youth, while her ability to cast vision, think strategically, and lead and direct broader systemic change uniquely qualify her to serve as Project Hope Alliance’s CEO.
Jennifer holds a J.D. from Whittier Law School and a B.A. in Criminology, Law, and Society from the University of California, Irvine, where she serves as a Trustee.CLOSE
Shelby Feliciano-Sabala, MSW
Chief Partnership Officer
As a social worker, Shelby has worked in education for the past 15 years. Shelby is passionate about creating a culture of curiosity and infusing storytelling with intentional data collection, strategic planning, and community partnerships. In her role as Chief Partnership Officer, she creates and maintains partnerships with cities, districts, and other public entities to ensure youth experiencing homelessness have the resources and support to thrive. She received her Masters in Social Work from the University of Washington, focusing on community-centered integrative practice. She is currently pursuing her doctorate in Educational Leadership at Cal State Long Beach, studying the ways in which social-emotional learning competencies empower students. As a former AmeriCorps member, Shelby is passionate about the importance of community engagement, creating sustainable systems change, and intentional collaboration. She aims to bring her passion for social justice and systems change to Project Hope Alliance to ensure all youth have the opportunity to thrive.CLOSE
Annie Song, MPA
Director of Development
Annie joined Project Hope Alliance as the Director of Development in spring 2023. Prior to PHA, Annie held roles at local youth serving nonprofit organizations including Orangewood Foundation and The Wooden Floor and recently served as the Director of Development at Cal State Fullerton’s College of Education. Annie is passionate about PHA’s mission and our thoughtful, long-term approach to addressing youth homelessness. Annie earned her bachelor’s degree in human services and master’s degree in public administration from Cal State Fullerton (Go Titans!)CLOSE
Lizbeth Loyola, M.A.
Lizbeth joined Project Hope Alliance (PHA) in June 2018 as a bilingual Education Coordinator for the organization’s Bright Start program, offering academic support and school navigation for families with K-6 students. In her role, she attends parent-teacher conferences and IEP meetings to advocate for students’ needs and educational success. She conducts literacy and math assessments to implement academic interventions to bridge the learning gap, provides social and emotional referrals, and assists families during crisis situations. Before joining PHA, Lizbeth served as an Instructional Provider for Santa Ana and Orange Unified School Districts and a Youth Development Professional at the Boys & Girls Club of Garden Grove. She holds a B.A. in Sociology from California State University, Fullerton, and has her M.P.A. from National University. **Hablo Espanol**CLOSE
Chrissie Lee, M.S.W. PPSC
Internship Program Manager
Since 2013, Chrissie has served as a Case Manager for Project Hope Alliance’s (PHA) core Promotor Pathway Program, providing unsurpassed supportive counseling and advocacy for out-of-school youth. In her role, she conducts comprehensive assessments with young adults experiencing homelessness, develops case plans, provides crisis intervention, links youth to resources, supervises interns, and more. Prior to joining PHA, Chrissie served as a Personal Services Coordinator for the Vietnamese Community of Orange County and an Educational Case Manager Intern for the Orange County Department of Education, Foster Youth Services. She holds an M.S.W. with a Pupil Personnel Services Credential from the University of Southern California and a B.A. in Human Development with a minor in Human Resources from California State University, Long Beach.CLOSE
District Manager, Newport-Mesa
Guadalupe (Lupita) joined Project Hope Alliance as a Case Manager in February 2020. Her background includes working with youth and families. Lupita attended California State University, Fullerton, where she studied Broadcast Journalism and Sociology. Being the first to attend college in her family, she understood mentoring programs’ importance to students. She worked directly with first-generation high-school students by providing academic and mentor support. While there, she realized many layers involved in supporting a student. She is proud that Project Hope Alliance assesses and supports the multiple layers it takes to help students succeed. **Hablo Espanol**CLOSE
District Manager, Santa Ana
Victor joined Project Hope Alliance in the summer of 2021 as a Case Manager. He graduated from Cal State Fullerton with a major in sociology. He is currently attending Azusa Pacific University, working on his Master’s degree in Social Work. Prior to PHA, Victor worked at the Priority Center, providing in-home support services to low-income families in Orange County. Working with children from different backgrounds has helped him understand early intervention’s importance in achieving academic and personal success. He chooses to work with at-risk youth because he believes every child should have an equal opportunity to succeed. **Hablo Espanol**CLOSE
District Manager, Huntington Beach
Jocelyn joined Project Hope Alliance in September 2022. Prior to PHA, Jocelyn worked as a Behavioral Therapist to help improve the lives of youth with developmental disabilities and their families. Jocelyn understands the importance of supporting and advocating for youth so they can overcome any disparities or barriers they may face. Jocelyn is dedicated to being a resource and advocate for at-risk youth. She believes every child deserves an equal opportunity to have their basic needs met, focusing on their education and social and mental well-being. **Hablo Espanol**CLOSE
District Manager, Scholarship Prep
Celso has worked in youth development for ten years and has spent the last ten years working towards uplifting his community. This journey has taught him, “What’s possible”?” not, “What’s’wrong?”. Celso had worked alongside many instrumental people who believed in him when he didn’t believe in himself. With that spark, he has been fortunate to work alongside at-promise youth, workforce development, students with disabilities, and substance use prevention. He obtained his B.S. from the California State University of Fullerton in Human Services. In his free time, he enjoys spending hours at the gym, eating at In-N-Out, and hanging out with family and friends. **Hablo Espanol**CLOSE
Michelle Lanternier, MA
Manager of Shelter Services
Michelle Lanternier joined Project Hope Alliance (PHA) in March of 2023 as Manager of Shelter Services. Prior to joining PHA, Michelle worked in a variety of settings supporting youth, including those on juvenile probation, foster youth in a group home and in a school as a behavior interventionist for students who have services through IEPs. Michelle’s background is based primarily around trauma-informed care (TIC), de-escalation techniques, youth self-empowerment and mediation and advocacy. Michelle has a BA in Linguistics with a Spanish minor and an MA in Applied Linguistics from California State University, Fullerton, and is currently working on a second MA in Marriage and Family Therapy from Alliant International University.CLOSE
Fatiha (Tia) joined Project Hope Alliance in January 2017 as an Operations Assistant and has since advanced to Program Coordinator. In her role, she serves as the first point of contact for many families enrolling in PHA’s programs, providing phenomenal support and service to every individual who walks through the organization’s doors. Fatiha also supports the day-to-day functions of all programs, including front office support, resource database development, food pantry maintenance, program screenings, procurement of extracurricular activities for children and youth, and facilitation of financial assistance requests and referrals for families. Prior to joining PHA, she served as a Community Leader Liaison for the City of Irvine. Fatiha holds a B.A. in Business Administration from California State University, Fullerton.CLOSE
Kimberly joined Project Hope Alliance (PHA) in the summer of 2021 as a Case Manager. Kimberly graduated from the University of California, Irvine, where she studied psychology and social development. Prior to PHA, she was an ABA therapist, working with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Kimberly comes from a single-parent household and relates to many of the barriers that PHA parents, children, and families can face when attempting to pursue their education. Kimberly loves being able to help children grow to their highest potential and being able to share that success with them and their families. **Hablo Espanol**CLOSE
Kirya joined PHA as a case manager Fall of 2021. Kirya graduated from the California State University of Long Beach with a B.A. in psychology. Before working at PHA, Kirya worked at a mental health facility working with adults going through a mental health crisis and learning to practice independent living skills. Kirya enjoys working with the youth and being in a position to build up and encourage them and their passions. **Hablo Espanol**CLOSE
Jocelyn joined Project Hope Alliance in the winter of 2022. Prior to joining PHA, she worked with at-risk youth in a group home setting. Jocelyn brings excellent skills in crisis intervention, de-escalation, and behavioral intervention to PHA’s team. Jocelyn is working on her Masters in Social Work and looks forward to creating real change for students experiencing homelessness. **Hablo Espanol**
Nidia Pravongviengkham M.A.
Nidia joined Project Hope Alliance (PHA) in the winter of 2022 as a Case Manager. She graduated from Mount St. Mary’s University with a double major in Business Administration and Sociology. She holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology with a concentration in Marriage and Family Therapy. Prior to PHA, Nidia worked with foster care youth as an investigator for minors’ counsel at the juvenile dependency courts and as a social worker in a foster care agency. Nidia enjoys field and school-based assignments that allow her to interact and directly advocate for youth and families in the community. **Hablo Espanol**
Daniel joined Project Hope Alliance in the spring of 2022 as a Case Manager. Daniel graduated from the California State University of Fullerton, where he studied psychology. Prior to Project Hope Alliance, he was a Mental Health Unit Assistant at CHOC Children’s Hospital and a Behavior Interventionist, working with children with an autism spectrum disorder. He has worked collaboratively with parents and colleagues to reduce the likelihood of harmful behaviors in children that pose dangers to themselves and/or others and reinforce safe and productive behaviors. Daniel loves to work with the youth in ways that empower them to overcome any challenges and succeed.CLOSE
Catherine joined Project Hope Alliance (PHA) in the Summer of 2022 as a Case Manager. She graduated from San Diego State University with a Child and Family Development major. She is currently attending the Boston University graduate program and working towards a Master’s degree in Social Work. Before PHA, Catherine was a Social Worker at a Skilled Nursing Facility as an advocate and resource to the elder population. Catherine is excited to be able to show our youth the possibilities there are to succeed, aspire, and grow. With the support from the PHA team, Catherine has the opportunity to give families and youth hope for a better tomorrow. **Hablo Espanol**CLOSE
Katherine joined Project Hope Alliance in the fall of 2022. She attended California State University, Fullerton and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Prior to PHA, Katherine worked as a Behavior Interventionist, working with children and young adults on the spectrum. Katherine enjoys working with youth and providing them with different resources to ensure their success. **Hablo Espanol**CLOSE
Mauricio graduated from California State University, Fullerton with a B.S. in Human Services (Go Titans!). He has worked with youth and Mental health services for about 6 years now and he truly loves this rewarding field. Mauricio believes that every student deserves to be presented with great opportunities in life. Every student deserves a chance to reach their goals and dreams despite any obstacles or hardships that they may be facing. “Helping prepare students to become future leaders by acknowledging their strengths is very important to him and is something he holds dear. He hopes to inspire the communities he helps serve and to empower the youth that may be experiencing obstacles or challenges in their lives. **Hablo Espanol**CLOSE
Natalie joined Project Hope Alliance as a case manager Summer of 2023. Before her journey as a case manager, she first served as an intern with our organization. She fell in love with the community, and wanted to be a part of the growth of PHA. Natalie graduated from Vanguard University with a B.A in Sociology. She aspires to continue her education in the field of sociology to eventually pursue a career in clinical social work. Natalie is looking forward to being a part of the children’s success and personal growth!CLOSE
Vanessa Praguedes, Case ManagerCLOSE
Manager of Program Impact
Jennifer Matsuda is excited to serve Project Hope Alliance (PHA) as their Manager of Program Impact. She will oversee and lead the measurement strategy for PHA. She joined PHA as Manager of Development and Communication in 2019. Jennifer is a highly successful relationship builder and professional communicator with ten years of experience in the nonprofit sector. Jennifer has led communication efforts and delivery with nonprofit boards, donors, and public officials. In addition, Jennifer enjoys creating and aligning systems for streamlining effectiveness and fostering teamwork to support PHA’s mission. She holds a B.A. in Psychology and Sociology from Notre Dame de Namur University.CLOSE
Foundation Relations Manager
John Eumurian joined Project Hope Alliance (PHA) as Foundation Relations Manager. John is an experienced grant writer with 19 years as both a proposal writer for the for-profit sector and a grant writer for the nonprofit sector, understanding the financial workings of both the corporate and nonprofit arenas. He brings local connections and research expertise to the position and highly professional grant writing, research, and report writing experience. He has provided services in Orange County, Los Angeles, CA, and international clients in Croatia, Tanzania, and Mozambique. Today, he oversees all aspects of foundational fund development. He is tasked with increasing PHA’s family of foundation funders and building a robust foundational system to support the program and overall organizational growth.CLOSE
Annie Weir, J.D
Grants & Development Coordinator
Annie joined Project Hope Alliance in 2014 as the Director of Operations. She left in 2019 to raise her growing family and consult for other nonprofits’ strategic plans. She returned to PHA in February 2022 to support the grant writing and development team. Prior to joining Project Hope Alliance, Annie worked as a lawyer. Annie was excited to return to PHA because she wholeheartedly believed in the mission and was thrilled to pick up where she left off, making a difference for students experiencing homelessness.
Manager of Finance & Administration
Kathy joined Project Hope Alliance (PHA) in July 2021. Kathy has over 25 years of experience in all aspects of the accounting process. Prior to joining PHA, she was an Accounting Manager for the OC Fair & Event Center. She is accomplished in all aspects of bookkeeping and business. Outside work, Kathy is a proud mom to three sons and nine grandchildren! In addition, Kathy is involved in her community as a Red Cross volunteer and trained as a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) with the fire department. Kathy says: “I feel truly blessed to have a position with a company that shares my beliefs and with such a wonderful purpose!”CLOSE
Allen Burnett, MTS
Community Engagement Coordinator
Allen Burnett joined the development team at PHA in the fall of 2022. He is a graduate of U.C. Santa Cruz and holds an M.A. in Theology from Vanguard University. Allen has always loved working with kids and has previously owned and operated childcare facilities that served working families at the poverty line. Before coming on board at PHA, he served as a youth minister at Second Baptist Church of Santa Ana, where he still attends with his wife and daughters and continues to volunteer. Allen is honored to be a member of #teamkid and stands ready to do whatever it takes to end the cycle of homelessness one child at a time and building a stronger community for all.CLOSE
Erika joined Project Hope Alliance as a Development Coordinator in the Fall of 2022. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Communications with an emphasis in Public Relations from California State University, Fullerton. Before PHA, Erika worked in social media management and digital marketing in the mobile gaming industry. With a passion for volunteering and marketing, she turned her focus to nonprofit work. As a member of the Development Team, she is excited to work alongside the entire PHA team on a mission to end the cycle of homelessness, one child at a time!CLOSE
LYNN HEMANS, MBA
Vice President, Consumer Intelligence & Strategy The Hershey Company
WILLIE L. BANKS, JR., PH.D.
Vice Chancellor, Student Affairs, UCI
SEAN BOULTON, Ed.D
Principal, Newport Harbor High School
DAWN BOUNDS, PH.D.
Assistant Professor, Sue & Bill Gross School of Nursing, UCI
PETE DEUTSCHMAN, MFA
Treasurer and Secretary
President, The Buddy Group
JOE LEWIS, III MFA
University of California, Irvine
HR Technology Consultant, USI Insurance Services
ERIC RANS, J.D.
Partner, Michelman & Robinson LLP
RAY WESTON, J.D
Vice President & General Counsel, Taco Bell