About The Rescue Mission
Inspiration of Hope in those we serve. Excellence in everything we do. Leadership centered on servanthood. Respect for each person as an individual. Integrity and accountability. Moving our clients toward self-sufficiency. Commitment to spiritual, emotional, social and vocational growth. Maintaining an environment that fosters teamwork, success and trust.
Bryan’s passion for serving the homeless began when he started volunteering with a small ministry that served a hot chili dinner, once per week, to the homeless community in downtown Santa Ana. Over time, that ministry grew into the Orange County Rescue Mission’s Chili Van, which now serves hundreds of people each month in multiple locations.
In 2015, Bryan was hired as the Chief Operating Officer, managing operations and student residential programs at all Orange County Rescue Mission sites and properties. His operational oversight includes financial analysis, business planning, risk mitigation strategies, and technology solutions. Bryan and his wife, Natasha, live in Tustin with their three kids. He enjoys hiking, camping, reading, traveling, and spending time with his family.
Chief Financial Officer
Larry is a CPA who joined Orange County Rescue Mission in 2016. Larry’s deep compassion for the poor and homeless began more than 20 years ago, serving in an outreach ministry that provided meals and clothing to the poor and homeless at a neighborhood park in Brea.
He and his wife also led a monthly family benevolence night at the food warehouse within their church when their children were young, packing groceries to be distributed to the homeless in Orange County. Larry and his wife, Kathy, live in Foothill Ranch. They have two grown sons and two beautiful grandchildren. Larry enjoys spending time with family, playing golf, and reading.
Chief HR/Compliance Officer
Jodie was immediately drawn into the work of Orange County Rescue Mission when she first began as an HR consultant in 2012. In her current role as Chief Human Resources and Compliance Officer, Jodie manages Human Resources, Payroll, and Global Compliance.
She is thankful for the ability she now has to openly integrate her faith into her work and is strongly motivated by the incredible ministry that is taking place daily at the Rescue Mission. Jodie and her husband, Jack, live in San Clemente. They have two daughters and one grown son who is married with two children of their own. Jodie and her family attend The Shoreline Church in San Clemente. In her free time, Jodie enjoys walking her dog, cooking, camping, and spending time at the beach with her family.
Chief Ministry Officer
Derrick discovered his passion for empowering people to grow into who God created them to be in 2000 while a member of a ministry that served the homeless. Believing God called him to Orange County Rescue Mission, he accepted an entry-level position and 14 years later was promoted to Chief Ministry Officer.
Derrick directs all programs, supervises staff, and maintains an environment within all of the campuses that instill the Gospel, the Rescue Mission’s Statement of Faith, and its Ministry Values. He is a leader, teacher, and pastor who actively imparts a philosophy of ministry that advances those we serve and compels them towards dependency on Jesus Christ and financial self-sufficiency. Derrick and his wife, Yolanda, reside in Placentia. He is the father of two, stepfather of three, and grandpa of five. Derrick enjoys football, theatrical productions, family gatherings, and playing with his grandkids.
Board of Directors
Dr. Steve Callahan
Mr. Mark Conzelman
Dr. Ralph Duff
Mr. Christopher Ferebee
Dr. William Guard
Mr. Bart Hansen
Mrs. Jackie Nowlin
Mr. Joe Oltmans
Orange County Rescue Mission is committed to helping you assist the poor in the most cost-effective way possible. That’s why we take extra care to use every penny efficiently. As part of that effort, we are governed by an independent Board of Directors.
At Orange County Rescue Mission, a full 84 cents of every dollar given goes directly to help the homeless. If gifts received are above a specific need, they will be used for Mission programs where the need is greatest. Your support is greatly appreciated. With your help, Orange County Rescue Mission works to make our community a better place for everyone to live.
Our Use Of Donations
The Power of $1.00
Helping The Homeless 84¢
Communications & Fundraising 12¢
Administrative Costs 4¢
During the year of President Kennedy’s assassination, fearful Americans anxiously awaited nuclear destruction from the sky, drugs began their invasion of the middle-class and a place called Vietnam loomed dangerously on the horizon. It was the year “Camelot” died tragically in its infancy.
In that turbulent setting, it is hardly surprising that local passers-by didn’t concern themselves with the disturbance under a bridge in an “undesirable” part of town. But a husky African American soldier in the U.S. Marine Corps, acting on impulse, did stop his car to investigate. This spur-of-the-moment decision by Tech Sergeant Lewis Whitehead was to give birth to Orange County’s largest and most effective Christian-based private human service organization.
What he faced under that bridge in 1963 changed his life forever. The altercation was minor (his dominating presence quelled the dispute quickly), but the sight of filthy men, women and children living under the bridge changed his vision of this community. They suffered under conditions that Sergeant Whitehead thought only existed in the poorest of nations and made a mockery of Hollywood’s representation of the homeless as happy-go-lucky “hobos”.
Images of those wretched people haunted his thoughts as he returned to his duty directing the mess hall at the Marine Corps Air Station, Tustin. That day, as he watched good food being thrown away, a combination of sorrow and determination overcame him.
He packed up some of this “waste” food and returned to the bridge to feed the hungry. The next day he returned again, and the next. Sergeant Whitehead held vigil with these dirty, undesirable people, gathering food and clothing for the children and encouraging the adults to resist drowning their despondency in alcohol. As he grew to know them, he found that these people were not wantonly homeless. He found that they were victims of deep emotional and spiritual wounds; that their capacity to cope with social responsibility had been slowly whittled away by unresolved childhood crises, and often relentless alcohol abuse which helped deaden their pain.
Once Sergeant Whitehead’s eyes were opened to the plight of the homeless, he began to see others in the same circumstance.
They were everywhere in “idyllic and affluent” Orange County, but the community seemed ignorant of them — as he so recently was. He began to stand up in church, speaking softly at first, then loudly, chastising his fellow neighbors for failing to comfort these hurting people. As a handful of churchgoers responded to his impassioned pleas, the Marine used his formidable leadership skills to unite the volunteers and build the framework for the county’s first Rescue Mission, which opened in a run-down office above a downtown Santa Ana shoe store.
From those humble beginnings, a rising tide of community support enlarged the Orange County Rescue Mission through several temporary buildings and residential homes. Soon, the Orange County Rescue Mission became the county’s largest privately funded human service agency for the poor and homeless. This was achieved without one penny of the taxpayers’ money.
Throughout the ensuing decades since that epochal day in 1963, as people saw the needs which the Rescue Mission was able to meet through their help, that support has grown. Providentially (and ironically), OCRM’s flagship transitional living facility, the Village of Hope, was built on the former Tustin Marine Base, a mere “stone’s throw” from the mess hall from which Sergeant Whitehead fed his first homeless families.
The Orange County Rescue Mission continues to implement innovative programs designed to offer the greatest long-term benefit to those who take advantage of them. Thank you for being a part of our growing vision. We hope you will continue to see the value in what we are doing and join us in this great work!