Empowered By Orange County United Way

Orange County Business Community Rallying in Support of United to End Homelessness

Sports Legend turned Successful Business Leader Earvin “Magic” Johnson also adds an Assist to the Effort

IRVINE, Calif. – May 9, 2018 – Since the launch of United to End Homelessness two months ago, some of Orange County’s top private companies and foundations have come out in strong support of the countywide initiative to tackle the housing crisis. 

These include Pacific Life and Kaiser Permanente, which pledged $40,000 and $150,000, respectively, to the effort, as well as the Tarsadia Foundation, which made a $100,000 contribution. 

“We greatly appreciate the financial support of Pacific Life, Kaiser Permanente and the Tarsadia Foundation as the first three of many companies and organizations that will join our efforts,” said Susan B. Parks, President and CEO of Orange County United Way. “They and other business leaders who have stepped up in other ways share our commitment to ending homelessness in Orange County by providing the long-term housing with needed supportive care for the thousands of individuals currently suffering from homelessness throughout our community.” 

One of those business leaders is United to End Homelessness Leadership Council Chair Lawrence Armstrong, CEO of Ware Malcomb, who understands the power that local businesses have to bring private sector solutions to a community-wide challenge. 

“We appreciate all that our county elected leaders and staff are doing to address this crisis but it’s clear that we in the business community can and should step up to lend our unique skill sets and financial resources to the effort,” explained Armstrong. “Homeless individuals need housing, and when you consider the fact that Orange County’s housing stock is overwhelmingly in private hands, it’s clear that the private sector has a vital role to play in combatting this growing problem.” 

Armstrong leads an impressive list of business and community leaders that make up the United to End Homelessness Leadership Council, some of which includes executives from Disneyland, Angels Baseball, Kaiser Permanente and Wahoo’s along with leaders that represent various sectors of the business community, including the Orange County Business Council, Apartment Association of Orange County and the Hospital Association of Southern California. 

Kaiser Permanente’s strong commitment on the Leadership Council and financial support reflect the company’s understanding of the connection between housing and health. 

“We’re really excited to be a part of the United to End Homelessness campaign,” announced John Stratman, Kaiser Permanente’s Senior Director of Public Affairs and Brand Communications. “We at Kaiser Permanente understand the vital role that stable housing has in the health of children and their families and that’s why we’re committing our financial and volunteer support to this worthy initiative.” 

Pacific Life, celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2018, is getting involved so its employees can know they’re helping solve one of their community’s most pressing challenges. 

“Our connections in this community run deep and when there’s a problem, our employees and company step up,” explained Tennyson S. Oyler, Vice President, Brand Management & Public Affairs, at Pacific Life Insurance Company and President of the Pacific Life Foundation. “We’re honored to have an opportunity to help and we fully support the United to End Homelessness initiative in Orange County.” 

Even a well-known Los Angeles-based business and sports leader heard about and threw his support behind United to End Homelessness. 

Earvin “Magic” Johnson, owner of Magic Johnson Enterprises, part-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, president of basketball operations for the Los Angeles Lakers and Orange County homeowner commented on the initiative ahead of his keynote address at United Way’s May 8th Women’s Philanthropy Fund breakfast. 

“It’s an honor to have the opportunity to extend my personal endorsement of the United to End Homelessness initiative in Orange County. Too many OC residents have been struggling for too long. I applaud the business, philanthropic, and faith-based communities who are becoming actively engaged with the Orange County United Way to help with solutions. It is great to see all sectors of the county come together to help our most vulnerable. Well done, U2EH. Let’s end street homelessness in OC once and for all!” 


Following up on key recommendations in the landmark Homelessness Cost Study commissioned by Orange County United Way in partnership with University of California, Irvine and Jamboree, and applying lessons learned from other communities, the United to End Homelessness coalition, led by United Way, is comprised of local leaders working to ensure that integrated and sustainable solutions are implemented on behalf of Orange County neighbors suffering from homelessness. The goal is to end street homelessness in Orange County. For more information, please visit www.unitedtoendhomelessness.org

Mike Suydam | 949- 981-5008| mikes@unitedwayoc.org