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Meet Michael, the newest addition to the Home For Good Team!

What were you doing before joining the United Way?

I was working at the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA), where I served as the Outcomes Unit Manager.  I led the team that was concerned with all things performance, which included collecting and analyzing reports from over 200+ funded agencies.  Before that, I was at USC getting my Masters in Public Policy, and even before that I worked at Search to Involve Pilipino Americans (SIPA) doing community outreach and IT.

What drew you to the field of homelessness?

I have to admit, I kind of fell into it by accident.  I came out of Grad School wanting to “change the world,” but of course I had no idea where to start.  So when an opportunity to work at the Homeless Authority came up, I jumped in with very little knowledge or experience in that realm.  A lot of my work and experiences prior to that had been in community empowerment and social justice, and I had imagined that I would continue to work in those fields for just about forever.  And I still kind of do in my own ways.  But what I gained at the Homeless Authority was a greater understanding that issues of homelessness and poverty are both the symptoms and the results of injustice itself.  I’m still learning more and more about homelessness everyday, and I’m definitely happy that I get to continue that process here at the United Way.

What are you most excited about in your new role as Program Officer?

I’m definitely excited about working with a very dynamic team, and the opportunity to work much more closely with the community than I could in my previous work.  I also love that there’s coffee in the break rooms.  Seriously.  People have no idea how amazing that is! Trust me, it’s kind of a big deal, at least for me.

What is your favorite “guilty pleasure” T.V. show?

Regular Show.  It’s a cartoon, and a very bizarrely hilarious one at that.  In fact, 75% of what I watch are cartoons.  That other 25% is filled with documentaries about puppies and how potato chips are made.

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