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.
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 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
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.
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.
Covered California has established a special enrollment period due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ends July 31st.
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!
Reminder: Tax payment and filing deadlines have been extended to July 15, 2020, for both state and federal returns. There will be no interest, penalties, or forms to fill out in order to qualify for these extensions.
OC Free Tax Prep helps individuals and families become financially stable by breaking the cycle of poverty and encouraging them to save more for their future.
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.
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.
Individuals and families can enroll in a free 7-week 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.
Attending the entire series will earn you a Financial Literacy Certificate and will help you navigate and make financial decisions to benefit your family.
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 Nathan Lewey at NathanL@unitedwayoc.org.
Upcoming Virtual Career Workshops in August:
UpSkill OC is stepping up to help the community and provide FREE Career Coaching Workshops to empower residents on their career journey.
- Finding a Job 201: Every Tuesday from August 11th to September 1st | 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm
- Secrets to Successful Outcomes 101: Every Wednesday from August 12th to September 2nd | 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm
- Tuesday, August 11th: Finding a Job 201 – Professional Networking; LinkedIn Tutorial
- Wednesday, August 12th: Secrets to Successful Outcomes 101 – Self-Care and Self-Actualization
- Tuesday, August 18th: Finding a Job 201 – Building the Perfect Cover Letter and Resume for YOUR Career
- Wednesday, August 19th: Secrets to Successful Outcomes 101 – Accessing Available and Valuable Resources
- Tuesday, August 25th: Finding a Job 201 – Completing the Perfect Interview
- Wednesday, August 26th: Secrets to Successful Outcomes 101 – Building Skills and Social Capital
- Tuesday, September 1st: Finding a Job 201 – Reviewing the Material and Keeping your Eyes on the Prize
- Wednesday, September 2nd: Secrets to Successful Outcomes 101 – Reviewing the Material and Keeping your Eyes on the Prize