Second Chance Orange County grows threefold to save even more lives

Saving the lives of homeless individuals in Orange County one day at a time is no easy task, but Second Chance Orange County (SCOC), rises to the challenge. Last year 235 individuals died in one of the richest counties in the country. SCOC has helped more than 200 individuals to date through a variety of supportive services: job placements, life coaching, case management, skills courses, resume writing, and more. Many clients have stayed sober over a year, held jobs and were placed in housing. The homeless population is increasing in Orange County – the latest numbers from the Point in Count was 7,000 individuals living on streets and in shelters county wide. SCOC’s primary goal is to reach out to the individuals experiencing homelessness who have been taken off the streets and are now housed in shelters. Those individuals, that are willing and able, are taught new life and job skills, inspired with positive reinforcement, and prepared for the workforce and ultimately returned to being productive and stable members of society. SCOC has grown threefold thanks to the dedication and hard work of Deb Johnson, Executive Director, her team, the board of directors, gracious funders, and a large group of loyal volunteers. These superheroes are devoted to the solution of ending homelessness in Orange County by offering unmatched services tailored to each client.

Second Chance Orange County has been recognized as an important component and a competent provider of much needed supportive services for those experiencing homelessness and/or those recovering from drug/alcohol addiction. Grant funding from generous donors and from numerous cities include: City of Costa Mesa, City of Newport Beach, City of Irvine, City of Santa Ana, Farmers & Merchants Bank, State Street Bank, Federal Home Loan Bank, plus many others.

To keep up with the exponential growth, two new members have been appointed to the Board of Directors: Jeffrey Katz and Wendy Zimmerman.

Deb Johnson, Executive Director shares: “We are very fortunate to have such amazing individuals, like Jeff and Wendy, who are willing to share their experiences and skills to ensure that Second Chance Orange County continues to be successful and help us fulfill our mission. Jeff has been a case manager for us for over a year, and has brought so much value to our organization.”

Jeffrey Katz – is currently an attorney with Kesher Law Group in Santa Ana and he is of counsel at Garcia, Rainey, and Blank & Bowerbank in Costa Mesa. His practice focuses on complex business litigation and government affairs. He holds a Juris Doctor degree from University of California, Hastings College of the Law, where his interest with helping the homeless was nurtured as a volunteer with General Advocacy Project in the Tenderloin. Previously, Jeff worked for Berger Kahn, and he has served as General Counsel for Western Dental and Community Dental Services.

Wendy Zimmerman – currently works at HSBC Bank USA, the seventh largest bank in the world, where she is responsible for leading Retail Banking and Wealth Management in Orange County and parts of the Los Angeles Metropolitan area. She has over 35 years of banking experience in the financial industry. In addition, Wendy has served as a board member for the Council on Aging. Wendy is a graduate of California State University Fullerton with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management and is a longtime resident of Orange County.

About Second Chance Orange County
Second Chance Orange County is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit that helps low-income individuals recovering from drug/alcohol addiction and/or experiencing homelessness become productive members of society by providing individualized supporting services: job skills training, one-on-one coaching and mentoring, mental health therapy, case management and job placement.

For more information, to volunteer, or to donate:
Heather Burdine: [email protected]
NEW Phone Number: (949) 216-5053

This article was released by Second Chance Orange County.