Across the Room: A Conversation on Homelessness

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It can be difficult to find housing in Orange County - even if you have all the necessary resources. And, for those who have any sort of financial, medical, mental, or any number of other challenges, it can be next to impossible! 

As we read through the scriptures, we find numerous instructions to align ourselves with and provide for people who are less fortunate. It may be shocking for you to discover that the true sin of the city of Sodom was not caring for those in need - not the other sins pastors often highlight in sermons. Clearly, God cares for those who are marginalized by poverty and asks us to do the same.

As we look at the issue of providing housing and care for our neighbors, the problem can seem overwhelming. There's so much information out there between what we read online, what we hear on the news, and what's simply hearsay. As you know, some of it is helpful, and other parts are quite misleading. Our own family members and friends probably have a variety of opinions about the best way to end homelessness. Sometimes, those strong opinions cause disagreements to break out or for people to feel paralyzed on how to address the issue. All of us what to know - what is the best way to address homelessness longterm, and what actually helps in the short term?

BECKS HEYHOE is the Director of United to End Homelessness for Orange County United Way. This initiative involves convening business, philanthropic and faith based leaders to build community-wide collaboration to end homelessness in Orange County by bringing to life the 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 of the Continuum of Care for Orange County, CA.

Prior to joining United Way she was the founder of the Trellis Homelessness Initiative in Costa Mesa, and quickly rose to become an expert advocate campaigning for effective solutions to address homelessness in Costa Mesa and Orange County. She has been ranked as a Daily Pilot top newsmaker and her work in Costa Mesa was the subject of the documentary “Those Without a Home” and has also been featured on So Cal Connected. Ms. Heyhoe moved to California in 2009, but is originally from the UK. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the London School of Theology.

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