The Feminine Face of Homelessness - September 27, 2020

Women without a fixed abode face special challenges. At this virtual “lunch-and-learn” session, Rev. Rayna Hamre, affiliated Community Minister at Tapestry Unitarian Universalist Congregation, will speak to the extra layers of complexity for women living under that stress of being without a home. She will share what she has learned from the women she has spoken to who are in this situation.

Then Elizabeth Hendershot, longtime advocate for those without homes, and Development Manager at WISEPlace, will talk about how WISEPlace helps unaccompanied women who need transitional and emergency shelter. In addition to shelter, WISEPlace offers comprehensive wraparound services which include counseling and mental health treatment, case management and addiction recovery, and employment assistance to help unaccompanied homeless women rebuild their lives.


Rev. Rayna Hamre serves as the affiliated Community Minister at Tapestry. She strives to lift up her voice and the voice of others to assist those experiencing homelessness in Orange County. During her years as a UU Director of Religious Education, she participated in the Faithful Fools program in the Bay Area, with youth from her Congregation. This innovative program asks participants to spend a full day in the Tenderloin District in the footsteps of those who are experiencing homelessness, and opened her eyes to the realities of living on the streets. At Meadville Lombard Theological School she spent a year as an intern working with Anaheim 'Motel Kids', and she was able to study Changing Public Policy for social good with Rev. Bill Schulz. At this time she also began participating in Housing is a Human Right OC, Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice (CLUE) OC, and speaking at City Council and County Board of Supervisors meetings in OC on issues around homelessness. She has also attended and led Memorials at St. Philip Benizi and Tapestry for those who have died on the street, and she helps support two local food banks. She serves on the Leadership Team for Tapestry's Welcoming Neighbors Home.


Elizabeth Hendershot is a longtime advocate and champion for those experiencing homelessness. As the Development Manager at WISEPlace, she leads the efforts in fundraising and community engagement for a shelter with a history dating back to 1987 in helping women transition to independence. She ran a chapter of the Feed Your Soul homeless feeding program in Laguna Beach for ten years, providing sack lunches on Sundays. For the better part of five years, she would go to downtown Santa Ana to help support the Showers of Blessings shower trailer program on Saturday mornings. Raising funds within her network to support the purchase of the much needed items of toiletries, as well as new socks and underwear for the homeless to put on after showering. Elizabeth is on the Board of Directors for the National Association of Women Business Owners of Orange County (NAWBO OC) and a former Board Member of Dolphins Love Kids, a non-profit in San Diego county helping to take children out on boat trips to see dolphins and whales.