Damien O’ Farrell is a community organizer and social entrepreneur living in Riverside as a person of faith seeking to foster a just and sustainable community by supporting, advising, and developing initiatives of personal formation and community collaboration and integration— especially those addressing barriers of dysfunction with a concern for the poor and marginalized.
Subsequent to serving 7 years on the Pastoral Staff of a local Church congregation, Damien O’Farrell is now the CEO of Path of Life Ministries, the largest homeless shelter and housing provider in Western Riverside County. Prior to succeeding the organization’s founder as CEO in October of 2014, Damien served as a Shelter Director, VP of Operations, and COO.
He has been instrumental in the development of organizational systems, staff development, community integration, and 11 programs. Since becoming COO in March of 2014, he has led the organization through a growth of over 30%. Path of Life Ministries has also incubated and launched 2 other non-profit organizations intended to address issues surrounding poverty and generational poverty – They are Health to Hope Clinics (providing free and low-cost healthcare) and Path of Life Enterprises (providing transitional employment opportunities and earned income for Path of Life Ministries through social enterprise models). In addition to his role with Path of Life Ministries, Damien also recently served as the director of Community Development of Today’s Urban Renewal Network (TURN), where he now serves as a board member.
As a dedicated community organizer, Damien has served a number of nonprofits and initiatives including Seizing our Destiny (Leadership Core), The Pick Group (Founding members and 2009/10 President), Riverside Neighborhood Partnership Board,
Riverside Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Council, Riverside Chamber of Commerce Business & Education Partnership, Give BIG Riverside County founding member, Our Riverside Our Neighborhoods (26 in 26), The Raincross Group, and Riverside Homeless Care Network.
Damien commits his time to the sustainable development of other organizations aimed at empowering individuals to engage the common good within their communities and take personal ownership for the care and protection of the community’s most vulnerable citizens. As a certified Facilitator and Strategic Planner with the Institute of Cultural Affairs, Damien conducts planning sessions for these organizations, and serves on Boards, counsels, and committees directing the organizations’ operations.
Damien’s dedication to the community has not gone unnoticed, he has been honored with the Neighborhood Hero Award by the Human Relations Commission (2014), the Impact Award by the Pick Group (2014), and the Young Alumni of the Year Award by the California Baptist University (2013).
Damien lives in Riverside with his wife of 13 years, Jennifer, and his daughter, Marleigh, and is fascinated by sustainable urban design and economics, integrated spiritual formation, and the arts.