WHO WE ARE

Why are we different?

We start with the conviction that all things are possible for homeless children. We provide a holistic approach to solving challenges and address all aspects of life: educational, psychosocial, functional, spiritual, developmental, financial; because we want to provide care to children experiencing homelessness that we would want to give our own children.

Our Mission

ENDING THE CYCLE OF HOMELESSNESS, ONE CHILD AT A TIME

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.

OUR STORY

1989

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.”

2009

It 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.

2018

PHA remained 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 including effective education and family stability program models that serve the needs of children experiencing homelessness in Orange County.

A 12-year-old girl sitting on a motel bed, surrounded by homework, siblings, and parents, all crammed into one small room. A 9-year-old boy entering a classroom with his head down, ashamed about not knowing where he will sleep tonight.

These are the images of children in Orange County struggling with homelessness — the county’s best-kept secret. While we may not see these motel kids along the streets or desperately gripping cardboard signs, they exist in overwhelming abundance.

Under the area’s veil of affluence are the faces of more than 28,000 children experiencing homelessness and 120,000 children living in poverty. They say goodnight from motels, shelters and couches. They are forced to focus on where they will sleep instead of what they will learn. Tragically, their educations and futures suffer.

Read the original article here.

Years ago, I was one of these faces. For decades I silenced my past as an Orange County motel kid, but in the spring of 2013, I shared my story to spark hope and conversation about childhood homelessness.

As a technology entrepreneur, my father experienced unpredictable lapses in income. Although my mother also worked as a preschool teacher, keeping a roof over our family of six proved taxing. While there were periods of financial stability, there were also times of despair.

During my junior high and high school years, my three brothers, our parents and I often packed our lives into 214-square-foot motel rooms. Feelings of shame, lack of privacy, and an economically schizophrenic childhood created an environment where the basic elements of being a kid were sometimes lost, like doing homework.

Childhood homelessness data from the U.S. Department of Education is shocking. According to the department, 1 in 30 children in the country experienced homelessness in 2013.
On a local level, here in Orange County, it’s 1 in 6. California has the largest population of homeless children in America, and Orange County has more homeless students than the state average and neighboring Los Angeles and San Diego counties, per the California Department of Education.

The effects of youth homelessness are devastating, ranging from chronic emotional stress and physical malnourishment to significant academic gaps and difficulty making friends. In comparison with their peers, children experiencing homelessness are nine times more likely to repeat a grade, four times more likely to drop out of school, and three times more likely to be placed in special education programs, according to The Institute for Children, Poverty and Homelessness.

But there is hope.

At Project Hope Alliance we start with the kids. Our goal is to make sure that every homeless child in Orange County succeeds academically.

Our impactful, two-generational approach ends homelessness today by rapidly rehousing the families we serve and helping them achieve financial independence. We end the cycle of generational homelessness tomorrow by empowering our kids with a unique academic program lovingly tailored to their skills and strengths.

Three especially notable programs are our innovative Bright Start Pilot Program, Promotor Pathway Program present on site at junior high and high school campuses and our core Family Stability Program.

Since 2012, we have ended homelessness for more than 700 kids and parents by stabilizing families in their own homes and providing their children with an exceptional education.

Take my story as an example of the boundless power of faith, hope and determination. Since graduating from UC Irvine and Whittier Law School, becoming a partner at a large law firm before age 40, then leaving the practice of law to proudly serve as Project Hope Alliance’s CEO, I have realized that my story is not about me. I just happen to be the one with a voice right now to communicate that a child’s future should never be determined by their parents’ economic circumstances.

Read the original article here

OUR TEAM

Our team comes from a variety of backgrounds who all have one thing in common: a passion for furthering PHA’s mission, to end the cycle of homelessness one child at a time.


Leadership

JENNIFER FRIEND

Chief Executive Officer

ANNIE WEIR

Director of Operations

CHRISSIE LEE, MSW PPSC

Case Manager, Family Stability

CONNIE TU

Data Analyst

DEE NADALIN

Executive Administrator & Assistant to CEO

FATIHA SMALL

Programs Coordinator

JENNIFER HIGGINS

Director of Education

JOHN EUMURIAN

Foundation Relations Manager

JORDAN BROWN

Case Manager, Family Stability

KELLY PHE

Accounting & Operations Manager

La Shawn Hye

Sr. Program Manager, Housing & Community Relations

LESLIE ESPINOZA

Case Manager, Promotor Pathway

MARISOL PARAND

Director of Development & Communications

ROCIO CALDERON

Sr. Program Manager, Family Stability & Promotor Pathway

SANDRA VALDES

Case Manager, Promotor Pathway

TANYA PHILIP

Case Manager, Promotor Pathway

TIFFANY MITCHELL

Director of Youth & Family Stability

Board

LYNN HEMANS, President & Treasurer
Vice President, Industry & Competitive Insights Taco Bell

PETE DEUTSCHMAN, Secretary & Treasurer
President, The Buddy Group

RAY WESTON, Director
Vice President & General Counsel, Taco Bell

JOE LEWIS, III, Director
University of California, Irvine

ERIC RANS, Director
Partner, Michelman & Robinson LLP

ALISHA BALLARD, Vice President
Vice President, Living Legacy Foundation

SEAN BOULTON, Director
Principal, Newport Harbor High School

FINANCIALS

This past year, you brought hope to 
more children than ever before.

 

See for yourself.

As a 501(c)3 non-profit, we’re independently audited each year. You can download our financial documents below.

hope annual report

Download the print-ready report.

Project Hope Alliance logo