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Connecting You to the Help You Need

Connecting You To The Help You Need

Orange County United Way works to give everyone in our community equal opportunity to receive a quality education, achieve financial stability, be healthy and thriving, and have a place to call home.

We believe that by ensuring everyone in Orange County has access to the resources they need, we can lift up our community as a whole. We work with more than 100 partners throughout the county, developing and running innovative and impactful programs to tackle issues in Education, Health, Housing, and Financial Stability to give families, children, and individuals opportunities for a better life.

If you or someone you know is experiencing hardship, read on for information about existing resources and programs, or click to jump to the services you’re looking for.

  • COVID-19 Pandemic – Here’s a comprehensive list of resources if you need help due to the pandemic.
  • 2-1-1 OC – Your starting point to find local health and human service resources, or for immediate support. When you call 2-1-1 OC, they will assess your personal situation and provide you the best resources to help you.
  • 2020 Census – Learn about the 2020 Census, get answers to common questions, find out how to get phone assistance, and more.
  • Covered California – Talk to our certified enrollment counselor about low-cost health coverage from quality, brand-name insurance companies.
  • KinshipCareCA.org – Kinship caregivers open their hearts and homes to a relative’s child. This database provides local resources and best-fit service providers online, by phone, or by text.
  • OC Free Tax Prep – IRS-certified volunteers help low-income families keep their hard-earned money by filing their taxes for free and claiming tax credits they deserve.
  • Social Services Community Benefits – Learn about the benefits programs offered by the County of Orange Social Services Agency (SSA) that help you and your family obtain food, employment, healthcare, and more.
  • SparkPoint OC – Our financial empowerment program offers free 1:1 coaching for individuals and families to achieve long-term financial stability.
  • UpSkill OC – Our workforce development program connects qualified candidates to job training, support, and middle-skill jobs through partnerships with local employers.


COVID-19 Pandemic

If you’re seeking help during the pandemic, click here to take a look at the resources you may qualify for, from access to the internet and temporary protections for homeowners and renters, to food assistance and mental health hotlines.

How to get help during the pandemic

If you are individual or family seeking help in Orange County, there are two ways of getting the help you need:

  • If you’re working with a service provider already, please reach out to them.
  • If you are not already working with a service provider, please contact 211 (see next section). They will assess you personal situation and provide you with the best local health and human resources available to you.

2-1-1 OC

2-1-1 OC is a free and confidential service that helps you find the local health and human service resources you need, whether it’s financial, domestic, or disaster-related.

Call by dialing 2-1-1 or toll free 888-600-4357. Information and referral specialists are available by phone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

They will assess your personal situation and provide you with the best resources to get the help you need.

You may also text your zip code to 898-211 to get started. This service is available Monday-Friday 8:00 am-6:00 pm.

Get help with:

  • Supplemental food and nutrition programs
  • Shelter and housing options
  • Healthcare and vaccinations
  • Employment and education opportunities
  • Legal assistance
  • …and more

2020 Census

Learn how you can get phone assistance taking the Census in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, and Korean. We also provide information, answers to common questions and resources 

Your information is safe and protected by federal law, keeping you and your family anonymous.

Access Census information here. Also available in Spanish

Covered California Enrollment

No one plans to get sick or hurt, and most people need medical care at some point in their life. Having health insurance can put your mind at ease, knowing you have access to vital health services. 

Covered California makes purchasing insurance simple and affordable. You can get quality, brand-name insurance without the worry of being denied. 

Open enrollment has ended. But the Qualifying Life Event (QLE) will include “Loss of job or loss of income” to run through December 31, 2020.

Need help enrolling or have questions? Talk to Martha Patarroyo, our certified enrollment expert. She can assist you in finding health coverage that’s right for you and your family. Click here to get started.


Kinship caregivers open their hearts and homes to a relative’s child, which leads to better emotional health, fewer foster placements, and better outcomes for the child. KinshipCareCA.org is California’s first statewide, kinship navigator resource portal for kinship, foster, and birth families.

This database offers navigation tools that make for stronger families all-around, which is more important than ever during a global pandemic.

Learn more at KinshipCareCA.org.

OC Free Tax Prep

In-person tax preparation services have been suspended due to COVID-19, but our OC Free Tax Prep program has successfully rolled out a new virtual service via GetYourRefund.org.

Through our new secure web portal, you can upload your tax information, speak to one of our IRS-certified tax volunteers, and get your taxes prepared virtually – all for free!

OC Free Tax Prep will continue to provide virtual tax preparation for eligible clients through October 15, 2020. It helps individuals and families become financially stable by breaking the cycle of poverty and encouraging them to save more for their future.

Click here to learn more.

Social Services Community Benefits

The County of Orange Social Services Agency (SSA) offers many benefits programs to help you and your family obtain food, employment, healthcare, and more. If you’d like to learn more about any of the following programs, check out recent session recordings to learn about the benefits, who is eligible, and how to enroll. Available in English, Vietnamese, and Spanish

  • CalWORKS – provides temporary financial assistance and employment-related services to families with minor children.
  • CalFresh (formerly known as Food Stamps) – established to improve the nutrition of people in low-income households by increasing their food-buying power so they can purchase nutritious food, such as fruits, vegetables, and other healthy foods, for the members of their household.
  • Emergency Child Care – children of essential workers may be eligible to enroll in subsidized emergency child care during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • General Relief – a County-funded program that provides temporary cash aid to eligible indigent adult lawful residents who are ineligible for Federal or State programs.
  • Medi-Cal – provides health coverage to those families with very low income, as well as pregnant women and the blind, among others.

SparkPoint OC

This financial empowerment program assists low-income families and individuals in Orange County, getting them on the road to financial independence through coaching, education, and other resources.

Stay tuned for more details on an upcoming financial literacy series that covers a range of topics like being financially prepared for disasters, how to save, credit scores, and coming up with a spending and savings plan.

UpSkill OC

UpSkill OC bridges the skills gap by providing job training and matching underemployed adults with livable-wage, middle-skill occupations. What does middle-skill mean? It’s a job that requires more than a high school diploma but less than a four-year degree.

A wide variety of local employers participate in UpSkill OC, and in high-growth industries such as IT and healthcare. UpSkill OC program participants learn skills that help them gain financial stability.

Get support based on your needs:

  • Individualized assessments
  • Customized commitment plans
  • Tailored coaching and training for desired position
  • Finding and securing living-wage employment

If you’re in need to UpSkill OC services, are underemployed (earning <$17/hour), and are willing to work hard to achieve your career goals, please email UpSkill_OC@unitedwayoc.org.

Upcoming Virtual Career Development Master Class
Saturday, October 10  |  9 am to 11 am

By attending the Master Class, you will:

  • Learn how to conduct a successful virtual mock interview
  • Have two opportunities to practice interviewing with top professionals from different industries
  • Get your resume and LinkedIn profile reviewed
  • Be able to ask questions to our career development experts
  • Receive a $40 Amazon gift card after actively participating and filling out a follow-up survey

Click here to register.

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