Empowered By Orange County United Way

Unsung Heroes of the Year celebrating at Orange County Soccer Club game in Irvine

United to End Homelessness Celebrates 2024 “Unsung Hero of the Year” Awards

  • 31 advocates from partner organizations recognized for efforts to solve homelessness in Orange County

Orange County, Calif. (July 10, 2024) – United to End Homelessness℠, an initiative of Orange County United Way, formally recognized 31 individuals from partner organizations through its 2024 Unsung Hero of the Year Awards program, for going above and beyond to help end homelessness for Orange County residents.

From case managers and nonprofit leaders to volunteers from large and small nonprofit organizations, each Unsung Hero plays a unique role in creating a new vision for solving homelessness in Orange County. As part of the celebration, the recipients were recognized during a recent Orange County Soccer Club home game in Irvine.

“The partnerships we’ve established with these organizations and their teams have proven invaluable to our collective efforts to end homelessness in Orange County,” said Becks Heyhoe-Khalil, Executive Director of United to End Homelessness, Orange County United Way. “We are thrilled to shine a light on so many deserving individuals for their dedication and compassion towards our neighbors in need of housing support.”

The 2024 Unsung Hero of the Year award recipients are:

  • Access California – Nada Elatat, Case Manager
  • Advanced Healthcare Administration – Ana Moncada, CEO
  • Alianza Translatinx – Khloè Ríos-Wyatt, President & CEO
  • American Family Housing – Jeanette Bravo, Assistant Program Manager
  • Chrysalis – Kelley Charern, Senior Operations Manager
  • Community Action Partnership – Annie Tran-Luong, Housing Navigator
  • Covenant House California – A’Donna Jasper, Case Manager
  • Dayle McIntosh Center – Marisol “Mari” Johnson, Housing Liaison
  • Eli Home – Sonja Grewal, Accounting and Administration Department
  • Encompass Housing – Brian Trigueros, Housing Navigation Supervisor
  • Families Forward – Tania Liceaga, Family Navigator, Program Department
  • Family Assistance Ministries – Samantha Sovern, Interim Director of Operations
  • Family Promise of Orange County – Jacek Starownik, Program Director
  • Family Solutions Collaborative – Daniel Garcia, Program Manager
  • Friendship Shelter – Lisa LaCorte, Guest Chef Volunteer
  • Homeless Intervention Services of Orange County (HIS-OC) – Vivian Gonzalez, Intake Coordinator
  • Human Options – Michelle Chen, Senior Data Analyst
  • Illumination Foundation – Shelly Snyder, Lead Housing Case Manager, Housing Department
  • Kennedy Commission – Cithlalli Ramirez, Community Organizer
  • Mercy House – Avery Villalvazo, Housing Solutions Manager
  • Orange County Asian Pacific Islander Community Alliance (OCAPICA) – Vivian Moon, Housing Resource Partner
  • Orangewood Foundation – Michael Yanes, Youth Support Specialist, Housing Independent Living Program (H-ILP)
  • Pathways of Hope – Tiffany Duran, Administrative Assistant
  • People Assisting the Homeless (PATH) Orange County – Luis Rayas, Program Specialist
  • Radiant Futures – Eddy Fuentes, Community Services Supervisor
  • Salvation Army – Orange County – Shannon Lamb, Director of Quality Assurance
  • Santa Ana Housing Authority – Alexandra Gomez, Senior Office Assistant
  • School on Wheels – Frankie Olvera, Volunteer Tutor
  • Share Ourselves – Yadira Gomez, Lead Care Manager, Social Services
  • South County Outreach – Ivy Nguyen, Case Manager of the Homeless Prevention Program
  • Thomas House Shelter – Jennifer Cervantes, Teen Case Manager

“We work with dozens of local organizations to make connections, help fill gaps, shore up support and increase education and awareness – all with a goal to house our unhoused neighbors,” added Heyhoe-Khalil. “We extend our heartfelt thanks to our Unsung Heroes for their exceptional commitment and collaboration every day towards ending homelessness for individuals and families in Orange County.”

For more information about the 2024 Unsung Hero of the Year Awards and recipients, visit www.unitedtoendhomelessness.org/unsung-heroes/.

For more information about United to End Homelessness, visit www.unitedtoendhomelessness.org.

ABOUT UNITED TO END HOMELESSNESS

Launched in February 2018, United to End Homelessness is led by a diverse group of leaders from Orange County’s top business, philanthropic, governmental, faith-based and nonprofit organizations – all committed to ending homelessness in our community. Our work is grounded in bringing the recommendations of the 2017 UC Irvine study “Homelessness in Orange County: The Costs to Our Community” to life, with Orange County United Way serving as the backbone of this new collaborative effort. Together, we are working to bring the issue of homelessness to the forefront of the community’s collective discussion and create civic engagement that will lead to meaningful and lasting results. Together we can and we will #EndHomelessnessOC. For more information, please visit www.unitedtoendhomelessness.org.

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Media Contact: Heidi Pallares, hpallares@cornerstonecomms.com, (949) 285-7278