Program Staff

In addition to the numerous volunteers who power our efforts, Urban Street Angels is staffed by a crew of passionate and skilled staff members who work tirelessly to address the issue of youth homelessness.

Eric Lovett | Founder, Executive Director

Since founding Urban Street Angels in 2012, Eric Lovett has spearheaded the organization’s growth as one of Southern California’s foremost efforts to end youth homelessness, both in San Diego and beyond. He has nearly 25 years of leadership experience with non-profit organizations and charitable causes. As executive director of Urban Street Angels, he created the 8 West program in partnership with the County of San Diego HHSA/MHSA. The 8 West program is a social enterprise startup that provides transitional employment and supportive housing opportunities to San Diego’s transition age homeless youth. 8 West offers a hand up to youth in need with the goal of changing young lives for the better.

Jerry Troyer | Director of Operations

A native of San Diego County, Jerry Troyer holds a Master of Arts degree in Religious Studies from Emerson Theological Institute, and is the author of the acclaimed book, “Coming Out to Ourselves: Admitting, Accepting and Embracing Who We Truly Are.”  After 23 years in the technology market research industry, he served as senior minister of Joyful Living Spiritual Center for 11 years.  Jerry and his partner of 31 years live in La Mesa with their Golden Retriever, Roxie. They have one son and five grandchildren.

Lindsay Ward | Director of Housing and Social Services

Lindsay started volunteering with Urban Street Angels soon after moving to San Diego. She became the program’s Director of Housing and Social Services in 2016. She has a Masters’ Degree in Counseling Psychology from Alabama A&M University.  In her own words: “I love working with the youth because you can see such a change in them.  They can go from not thinking they will ever be anything to knowing they can do anything. “

Kevin Ledgard | Chief Financial Officer

Kevin serves as the Chief Financial Officer for Urban Street Angels, Inc. and its social enterprise start-up 8 West. With over 15 years of progressive experience in the areas of financial planning and analysis, corporate strategy and development, mergers and acquisitions, deal valuation and financing, and corporate administration, he joined Urban Street Angels in 2014 to accelerate the scale, scope and impact of its mission to end youth homelessness.

Before joining Urban Street Angels, Kevin held positions with several high-growth companies in the technology, media, information services and retail sectors. Among his professional accomplishments, he has been a critical part of management teams that have collectively raised over $2.3 billion in equity and debt financing during his tenure. On the transaction side, he has been extensively involved in the successful execution of several acquisitions and joint ventures. He also co-led the sale via multi-stage auction process of a 65-year-old privately-held company to a leading private equity firm. The resulting $110+MM transaction yielded a premium ROI exceeding 400% for its principal shareholders (within a period of less than five years).

Kevin received his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration (concentration in Finance) from the College of Business Administration at San Diego State University, and he also attended the Pepperdine University School of Law.

Nick Engstler | Housing Manager

Nicholas Engstler is the Housing Manager responsible for overseeing the young men in our 8 West supporting housing and transitional employment program.  Nick attended the University of South Dakota, majoring in Mass Communications and Peace Studies. He has devoted his career to social services.  Nick also works for the County of San Diego as a Peer Support Specialist for Deaf Community Services.

Heather Sandy | Housing Manager

Heather Sandy is originally from Los Angeles, but moved to San Diego to study Counseling at San Diego State University.  Heather has been working in the helping profession for over two decades. In her own words: “I like being a part of something which demonstrates selflessness and mindfulness by working with and seeing these young adults succeed.  In today’s diverse population 8West represents a unique multi-dimensional model fostering independence and encourages growth in these young adults during these difficult times.”

Tanya Soto | Intern

Tanya is currently attending San Diego State for a BA in social work.  In her own words: “This profession is devoted to helping people function the best they can in their environment.  Being directly involved with the youth had though me to empower rather than enable and offer choices instead of advice.  The staff here at 8 West is passionate about helping these young adults find their success.  We encourage them to develop new skills and recover their self-worth.”

Chris Thaeler | Information Technology Director

Chris brings over a decade of information technology and operational management experience to the Urban Street Angels team. He attended the United States Naval Academy and California State University San Marcos. He is an avid mini-biography enthusiast, but also writes fantasy novels.