Helping Hearts for the Homeless is an Orange Coast College club with a mission to help the homeless and bring awareness to the surrounding community.
Zora Tokhi, 19, a political science major, is the president and founder of the club, which she started this spring. Tokhi said she was inspired by a similar club at UC Irvine that her sister was a part of.
“I wanted to bring the issue to OCC and have OCC become involved,” Tokhi said.
The club members strive to address the issues of homelessness and find solutions to help better the lives of those struggling on the street.
The club has already been down to Skid Row in Los Angeles, and members plan to return with water, food, clothing and more. Counselor and club adviser Elias Marron said the club is providing immediate basic needs to these individuals such as passing out peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
“The experience was one of the most inspirational and eye opening things,” Tokhi said. “We got to really talk to these people one on one and got to really see the human side of the issue and not the way the media focuses it.”
Tokhi’s main objective is to not only help the homeless but to also inform the community about homelessness. The club members want the community to know that not all homeless people are drug addicts, like the media portrays them to be, she said. Most homeless people are dealing with real life situations that we all go through on a daily basis like debt and divorce, she added.
The club has also partnered up with Monday Night Mission, an organization that feeds the homeless Monday through Friday on Skid Row.
Starting the week of April 28, Helping Hearts will be putting on Awareness Week which will have several displays throughout OCC’s Quad depicting the reality that the homeless have to deal with daily. There will be various replicas of the living situations of many homeless people as well as information regarding homelessness. The weeklong OCC event will end on May 1 with a documentary and guest speaker informing everyone about homelessness in the Science Hall from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Helping Hearts for the Homeless is always looking for new people to join and welcomes all with open arms. If you want to help contribute to the Helping Hearts for the Homeless in anyway, whether it be by providing goods or even your time, you can attend club meetings or email them.
If you go
What: Helping Hearts for the Homeless
When: Tuesdays 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Where: Watson Hall room 242