The Journey Home: Seeking Shelter in Orange County

Presented by:

Becks

Becks Heyhoe
Senior Manager, United to End Homelessness for Orange County United Way

Becks Heyhoe is the Senior Manager of United to End Homelessness for Orange County United Way. This initiative unites business, philanthropic and faith based leaders to build community-wide collaboration to end homelessness in Orange County by enacting recommendations from United Way’s groundbreaking cost study “Homelessness in Orange County” which was completed in partnership with UCI and Jamboree.

Becks is currently a member of the Governing Board for Orange County’s Continuum of Care.

Before joining United Way Becks’ was the founder and Executive Director of the Trellis Homelessness Initiative in Costa Mesa, and became an expert advocate campaigning for effective solutions to address homelessness locally. She was ranked as a Daily Pilot top newsmaker and also featured on So Cal
Connected. Her work was the subject of the documentary “Those Without a Home”.

Ms. Heyhoe holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the London School of Theology, and moved to California in 2009.

Nishtha Mohendra

Nishtha Mohendra
Director of Programs, Pathways of Hope

Nishtha holds a Masters in Social Work (MSW) and a Bachelors in Psychology, Honors. She brings with her 10 years of social services experience spanning three countries: India, Canada, and the USA. Nishtha started her career in India with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) where she was part of the National AIDS Control and Prevention Organization at the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. In Canada and in America before joining Pathways of Hope, Nishtha was involved with the domestic violence and homeless shelter work. Nishtha is most fulfilled by using her skills and experience to help people.

Angela Russo_small

Angela Russo
Client, Pathways of Hope

Angela Russo has over fourteen years of progressive Property management experience. A certified, knowledgeable and dedicated Housing Manager with a proven track record who brings with her an excellent blend of people skills and the kind of hands-on approach which created fun, dynamic recreational and social programs for her residents, designed to cultivate and sustain a sense of community. She’s innovative and has a leadership ability as demonstrated by just one of her accomplishments; a past employer gave approval with her idea of painting a beautiful mural in the common area by one of the resident artists, giving her recognition at the company’s annual meeting. After health concerns became apparent at her last job 2015, she decided it was time to take a time out, as the years of working had been high stress. With some money to fall back on, it quickly went after expensive motel/hotel stays along with not being able to find a place to rent. Finally ending up in her car with her partner, Tom and her small dog, Ziggy. It proved to be a very difficult time. Thank you to – Share Ourselves, Trellis, L.O.T.S., Soup Kitchen for helping and being so supportive during this difficult time. Finally, after two years, they were connected through Costa Mesa Outreach – Mercy House to Pathways of Hope Permanent Supportive Housing Program. United Way reached out to Angela, resulting in videos documenting her journey. In November of 2018, they enjoyed Thanksgiving dinner in their new home in Anaheim. Now they can pursue their dreams, stretch their feet, take a breath and throw balls for Ziggy to catch. They feel great, as now they can put their stress and problems behind them.

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