United to End Homelessness to hold virtual events for Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week

John Wagner holds a City Net care package given to him in Costa Mesa.
John Wagner, who has been homeless for more than a decade, holds a City Net care package given to him in Costa Mesa.
(Raul Roa / Staff Photographer)

United to End Homelessness will host community discussions with industry experts to educate the public as part of Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week from Nov. 15 to 22.

The discussions will include a series of talks on veteran homelessness and what service providers and property owners are doing to help people stay housed during the coronavirus pandemic, among other topics.

United to End Homelessness is also launching a social media campaign called “Essential,” which focuses on how essential a permanent home is to solving homelessness.


The organization is providing a social media kit for people to take part in the campaign and help spread awareness.

The Navigation Center, which is expected to open by the end of November, will provide up to 174 shelter beds for adults and will also facilitate additional case management and support services.

Nov. 3, 2020

“During COVID, the word ‘essential’ and essential workers is something that really came to the forefront of our collective thinking,” said Becks Heyhoe, executive director of United to End Homelessness.

“Unfortunately, one of the areas that we feel didn’t quite get highlighted was the role of the frontline workers who are working to address homelessness in our community as essential workers.

“We’ll be taking this week to look at things that are essential when it comes to addressing homelessness, and also using this week as an opportunity to celebrate and thank those who work in the homelessness industry here in Orange County.”

United to End Homelessness and partnering agencies have for the last three years taken part in the national event.

Orange County United Way created United to End Homelessness in 2018 as a partnership between the county’s leaders in business, philanthropy, government, faith-based and nonprofit groups. The organization claims it is dedicated to ending homelessness in the county by 2024.

City staff said Tuesday that Newport Beach is also completing discussions with Costa Mesa on a regional partnership for shelter services.

Oct. 28, 2020

United to End Homelessness provides regular classes on homelessness for the public, among many other educational offerings.

The group’s Welcome Home OC program partners with property owners to incentivize them to house the homeless. The group has housed about 125 households through the program.

Heyhoe, like many in the industry, said the county needs more permanent supportive housing to achieve the goal of ending homelessness. She supports the county’s plan to build 2,700 more units of permanent supportive housing in the next several years.

For more information on the events, visit

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