Spindrift March 16, 2023


24 people showed up at our luncheon last Thursday at the Bahia Corinthian, including our speaker, Jennifer Friend, and Mike Hancock, a guest of Roger Summers. Ken DuFour presided and asked Roger, our resident chaplain, to give our weekly invocation. Roger expressed gratitude for the opportunity for us to get together; to pray for members and their families and friends who are sick and need healing; for our first responders and for the food which we were about to receive. Joe Brown led the congregation in the flag salute.


Ed Romeo announced that he and his wife, Mary, will be celebrating their 77th wedding anniversary, and that he is planning on having Mary accompany him as his guest at our luncheon on the last Thursday of this month. He also presented the latest issue of the Oasis News, the publication of the Oasis Senior Center.....Jeff Yeargain gave tips on current pharmaceuticals which can now be obtained without cost. The current list includes the shingles vaccine (Shingrix) and the flu shots, as well as Covid boosters. If you haven’t been vaccinated against shingles, you should strongly consider it. Jeff also discussed obtaining medications from online Canadian pharmacies, which fill prescriptions from the U.S. Jeff mentioned that he was able to fill his prescriptions at about 10% of what he would need to pay at CVS.....Garry TeWinkle announced that there will be a meeting of ECNH past presidents on Saturday, March 25 to discuss the slate of officers and Board members for next year. If any of you are interested in becoming a Board member, please notify one of the Board members.....Ken announced that we need a replacement for Dr. Bob Wood to take over the responsibility for setting up and maintaining the audio visual equipment at our weekly luncheons. If interested, please contact Ken.


Programs Chair Mitch Mitchell, introduced our speaker, Jennifer Friend, J.D. Jennifer is a trial lawyer and the CEO of Project Hope Alliance (PHA), which works to end the cycle of youth homelessness by providing individualized care for those
who are homeless. She herself was homeless, and her life experiences make her uniquely qualified to serve as CEO of this organization. Jennifer is active in several community organiza- tions, among them being a trustee of the UCI Foundation and member of the Susan Samueli Integrative Health Institute Advisory Board. She has been named Costa Mesa’s 2023 Woman of the Year and was recognized in 2019 as one of the top 100 Most Influential Game Changers in Orange County by the Orange County Register.

Jennifer Friend, J.D.

Jennifer recounted her experiences with her father, an entrepreneur who didn’t come from a wealthy family and didn’t have the financial backing to make his ideas successful. She remembered their financial struggles beginning when she was in the 6th grade, when electricity and water services were cut off at their home, from which they were eventually evicted. Homelessness followed her and her family, including her three brothers, throughout the remainder of her grade school and high school years, living in motel rooms. The income generated by the family, including that of her mother, who was employed as a preschool teacher, was insufficient to improve their condition. She relied on her faith in God that her circumstances would improve.

She decided on pursuing a career as an attorney, the income of
which would provide the things in life that she desired. She and her three brothers ultimately became successful professionals,
having been college educated, and who worked their way through their difficult and stressful beginnings.

Jennifer serves as a voice and advocate for children who are experiencing homelessness. She became committed to PHA, which was a small organization, and when offered the job of CEO, she quit her position as a partner in her law firm and took a 75% pay cut!

In the Orange County Unified School System, over 30,000 children from K-12 are experiencing homelessness. Families are often living in motel rooms, garages, or cars. PHA currently has 31 full-time team members who are embedded in public school campuses throughout the County. PHA has offices on 14 school campuses within the Huntington Beach Unified, Santa Ana Unified, and Newport Mesa School Districts. It provides counseling services to students and their families, assures that they have access to food and toiletries, arranges for shelter and transportation services when necessary, and obtains clothing and sporting goods so that students can participate in athletic activities. PHA commits itself to one counselor to no more than 30 children, which is a very good ratio.

PHA services are offered to children from age 5 through age 24 and their families; the organization is committed to ending the homelessness cycle. 95% of the children who pass through this program have graduated high school, which is 30% above the national average. Analysis of the PHA program indicates that every student who graduates high school in Orange County eventually contributes $75,000 a year to OC’s economy. Working together with the schools and with other local agencies, the program has been largely successful.  In the last 6 months alone, PHA has served 734 students. PHA’s current budget exceeds $3 million; most of its funding comes from philanthropy. PHA is doing its work with the realization that homelessness is continuing to increase, and that there is much more work to be done.

Jennifer Friend & Ken DuFour

Jennifer said that we really need to focus more of our efforts to
prevent homelessness in our society. For more information, please visit www.projecthopealliance.org.



Mar 16  -   Business Meeting

Mar 23  -  Christine Dicky, Bowers Museum Docent

Pres. Ken DuFour

Mar 30  -  The Controversy of Electric Bikes in N.B.,
Brad Summers with Lt. Eric Little


This week’s meeting will be held at the Bahia Corinthian. Lunch will be served at 12:20 p.m. You will be emailed an invitation two days before the meeting. Please notify Richard Swinney by this Wednesday at 2 pm if you are planning on attending.