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Your Gift to the Pandemic Relief Fund in Action

Your Gift To The Pandemic Relief Fund In Action

Orange County United Way is working hard to raise much-needed dollars for our Pandemic Relief Fund. Though all the funds raised so far are not yet in our hands, we are already putting your generous gifts into action through our service provider partners to support low-income individuals and families at imminent risk of homelessness, the current OC population experiencing homelessness, low-income students, and our partner non-profits.

This page shares details about how the Pandemic Relief Fund is being put into action and will be updated with the latest information.

At-A-GLANCE


5,496 families served with homelessness prevention funds



Graphic with a dollar sign being distributed

$3.79M supporting our community’s most vulnerable



If you’re seeking help, please visit www.211oc.org, text your zip code to 898-211, or call 2-1-1 to be connected with local health and human services resources.

October 27 Update

Homelessness Prevention Program – Week 30:

    • We have now served a total of 5,496 Orange County families through our Homelessness Prevention Program, which supports OC families who were at risk of homelessness due to a change in income caused by the pandemic. Thanks to your generosity, an additional 75 families were helped last week with a $500 emergency debit card per household to help with rent, food, utilities, and other basic needs.

October 20 Update

Homelessness Prevention Program – Week 29:

    • Last week, we helped an additional 30 families through our Homelessness Prevention Program, which supports Orange County families who were at risk of homelessness due to a change in income caused by the pandemic. They are provided with a $500 emergency debit card per household to help with rent, food, utilities, and other basic needs. We have now served a total of 5,421 Orange County families through this program.

    Providing Clothing for Veterans at VA Hospital:

    • Due to COVID-19, the Orange County Veterans Employment Council (OCVEC) wasn’t able to hold events and obtain clothing to donate to the patients in the VA Hospital in Long Beach. In addition, the hospital was not able to receive donated items during the height of the pandemic. As the hospital is now able to receive deliveries, last week we provided funding to OCVEC for warm clothing for the 235 veterans staying there. The hospital can be quite chilly, so the funding will be used for clothes such as sweatshirts, sweatpants, long-sleeved shirts, and socks to keep veterans warm during their stay.

October 13 Update

Homelessness Prevention Program – Week 28:

  • Last week we helped an additional 45 Orange County families who were at risk of homelessness due to a change in income caused by the pandemic. Thanks to your donations, these families were provided a $500 emergency debit card per household through our Homelessness Prevention Program to help with rent, food, utilities, and other basic needs. To date, we’ve served a total of 5,391 families through this program.

Distribution of Face Masks to Orange County Students:

  • Thanks to the OC Health Care Agency, we were able to provide 700 youth face masks to R.H. Dana Elementary School as they get ready to begin in-person classes.

October 6 Update

Homelessness Prevention Program – Week 27:

  • We have now served a total of 5,346 Orange County families through our Homelessness Prevention Program, which supports Orange County families who were at risk of homelessness due to a change in income caused by the pandemic. An additional 64 families were helped last week through this program with a $500 emergency debit card per household to help with rent, food, utilities, and other basic needs.

September 28 Update

Homelessness Prevention Program – Week 26:

  • During the past week, we helped an additional 84 Orange County families through our Homeless Prevention Program thanks to your generous donations. These families, who were at risk of homelessness due to a change in income caused by the pandemic, are provided a $500 emergency debit card per household to help with rent, food, utilities, and other basic needs. To date, we have helped a total of 5,282 families.

Providing Educational Support for Students in Need:

  • We have provided funding for 75 printers and ink for housing-insecure families with children in school to help with remote learning and any other needs at a time when families may not have easy access to a printer.

September 22 Update

Homelessness Prevention Program – Week 25:

  • Last week, we helped an additional 38 Orange County families through our Homeless Prevention Program thanks to your generous donations. To date, we have helped a total of 5,198 families who were at risk of homelessness due to a change in income caused by the pandemic. These families are provided a $500 emergency debit card per household to help with rent, food, utilities, and other basic needs.

September 15 Update

Homelessness Prevention Program – Week 24:

  • Thanks to your ongoing generosity, we helped 41 additional Orange County families last week through our Homelessness Prevention Program. This program provides families who were at risk of homelessness due to a change in income caused by the pandemic with a $500 emergency debit card per household to help with rent, food, utilities, and other basic needs. To date, we have helped a total of 5,160 families!

September 8 Update

Homelessness Prevention Program – Week 23:

  • In the past week, we helped an additional 53 families through our Homelessness Prevention Program. This program provides families who were at risk of homelessness due to losing their job or having their work hours reduced because of the pandemic, with a $500 emergency debit card per household to help with rent, food, utilities, and other basic needs. To date, we have served a total of 5,119 families through this program.

September 1 Update

Homelessness Prevention Program – Week 22:

  • We’ve reached another milestone and surpassed 5,000 OC families served through our Homelessness Prevention Program! With an additional 169 families helped last week, this brings the total number of OC families helped so far through the program to 5,066. The Homelessness Prevention Program supports OC families at risk of homelessness due to a change in income caused by the pandemic. They are given a $500 emergency debit card per household to help with rent, food, utilities, and other basic needs.

August 25 Update

Homelessness Prevention Program – Week 21:

  • We have now served a total of 4,897 Orange County families through our Homelessness Prevention Program, which supports OC families who were at risk of homelessness due to a change in income caused by the pandemic. An additional 32 families were helped last week with a $500 emergency debit card per household to help with rent, food, utilities, and other basic needs.

Distribution of Face Masks to Orange County Students:

  • Now that Orange County if off the state pandemic watchlist, there is uncertainty around if and when schools will be heading back to the classroom instead of virtual learning – and a key concern for many parents is the availability of face masks for students. Thanks to the OC Health Care Agency, we were able to distribute 3,400 children’s face masks to four elementary schools across Anaheim and Santa Ana. Schools included Heroes Elementary, Horace Mann Elementary, Paul Revere Elementary, and Washington Elementary, with 850 face masks given to each.

August 18 Update

Homelessness Prevention Program – Week 20:

  • Thanks to your generous donations to our Pandemic Relief Fund, last week we helped an additional 87 Orange County families who were at risk of homelessness due to a change in income caused by the pandemic. These families were provided a $500 emergency debit card per household through our Homelessness Prevention Program to help with rent, food, utilities, and other basic needs. To date, we’ve served a total of 4,865 families!

August 11 Update

Homelessness Prevention Program – Week 19:

  • In the past week, we helped an additional 236 families through our Homelessness Prevention Program. This program provides families who were at risk of homelessness due to a change in income caused by the pandemic with a $500 emergency debit card per household to help with rent, food, utilities, and other basic needs. To date, we have served a total of 4,778 families through this program!

Distributing Books to Children in Need:

  • Over the last two weeks, we distributed 1,100 books to children and families in need through Monroe Elementary, Regional Center of Orange County, Project Access Fullerton, and the Miraloma Family Resource Center. We have now distributed a total of 10,100 books since March 23 to help children from low-income families gain access to books during the COVID-19 pandemic.

August 4 Update

Homelessness prevention program – Week 18:

  • Last week, we helped an additional 89 families through our Homelessness Prevention Program, which supports Orange County families who were at risk of homelessness due to a change in income caused by the pandemic. They are provided with a $500 emergency debit card per household to help with rent, food, utilities, and other basic needs. We have now served a total of 4,542 Orange County families through this program.
  • We have also now helped a total of 338 Orange County families experiencing food insecurity with $250 food assistance per household to buy groceries.

July 28 Update

Homelessness prevention program – Week 17:

  • Thanks to your donations and continued support, we have now served a total of 4,453 Orange County families through our Homelessness Prevention Program, with an additional 101 families helped last week. This program supports OC families who were at risk of homelessness due to a change in income caused by the pandemic with a $500 emergency debit card per household to help with rent, food, utilities, and other basic needs.

July 21 Update

Homelessness prevention program – Week 16:

  • Last week, we helped 72 Orange County families who were at risk of homelessness due to loss of income caused by the pandemic. Thanks to your generous donations, we have helped a total of 4,352 families so far through our Homelessness Prevention Program, which provides families with a $500 emergency debit card per household to help with rent, food, utilities, and other basic needs.

July 14 Update

Homelessness prevention program – Week 15:

  • Thanks to your generosity, last week we helped an additional 103 Orange County families who were at risk of homelessness due to a change in income caused by the pandemic. These families were provided a $500 emergency debit card per household through our Homelessness Prevention Program to help with rent, food, utilities, and other basic needs. To date, we’ve served a total of 4,280 families so far through this program!

July 7 Update

Homelessness prevention program – Week 14:

  • We’re proud to announce that we have now served a total of 4,177 families through our Homelessness Prevention Program, after last week helping 205 additional Orange County families who were at risk of homelessness due to a change in income caused by the pandemic. This has been made possible thanks to your generous donations that have allowed us to provide these families with a $500 emergency debit card per household to help with rent, food, utilities, and other basic needs. Thank you!

June 30 Update

Homelessness prevention program – Week 13:

  • Last week, we helped 302 Orange County families who were at risk of homelessness due to a change in income caused by the pandemic through our Homelessness Prevention Program. Thanks to your generous donations, this program – which has helped a total of 3,972 families so far! – provides families with a $500 emergency debit card per household to help with rent, food, utilities, and other basic needs.

Supporting Service Provider Partners:

  • Due to the ongoing health crisis and social distancing protocols at their emergency shelter, one of our WelcomHomeOC partners had to limit their orientation sessions for people experiencing homelessness, which also limited the number of families and individuals they could connect to the Santa Ana Housing Authority vouchers. Thanks to your donations to our Pandemic Relief Fund, we supplied our service provider partner three additional laptops, which will allow them to keep everyone safe while connecting more people to housing vouchers so that they can find housing sooner.

June 23 Update

Homelessness prevention program – Week 12:

  • Thanks to your ongoing generosity, we helped 358 Orange County families last week through our Homelessness Prevention Program. This program provides families who were at risk of homelessness due to a change in income caused by the pandemic with a $500 emergency debit card per household to help with rent, food, utilities, and other basic needs. To date, we have helped a total of 3,670 families!

June 16 Update

Homelessness prevention program – Week 11:

  • Last week, we helped 386 Orange County families through our Homelessness Prevention Program thanks to your generous donations. This means, to date, we have helped an incredible 3,312 families who were at risk of homelessness due to a change in income caused by the pandemic. Through this program, families are provided a $500 emergency debit card per household to help with rent, food, utilities, and other basic needs.

June 9 Update

Homelessness prevention program – Week 10:

  • Last week we blew our previous records out of the water. An additional 511 Orange County families were helped with $500 emergency debit cards to assist with food, rent, utilities, and other basic needs – a number higher than any previous week. Moreover, another 187 OC families were helped with $250 grocery cards for food assistance.
  • Thanks to your donations and continued support, we have now served through this program a total of 2,926 Orange County families who were at risk of homelessness due to the pandemic.

Distributing Books to Children in Need:

  • Last week, 1,500 books were distributed to Russell Elementary and the Boys and Girls Club of Fullerton. Thanks to your donations (including the 3,000 books donated by the KPMG Foundation International and donations made via our Amazon Wish List), we have now distributed over 9,000 books since March 23 to help children from low-income families gain access to books during the COVID-19 pandemic.

June 1 Update

Homelessness prevention program – Week 9:

  • We closed out May by helping another 320 Orange County families through our Homelessness Prevention Program last week. To date, we have helped a total of 2,415 families who were at risk of homelessness due to a change in income caused by the pandemic by providing them with a $500 emergency debit card per household to help with rent, food, utilities, and other basic needs.

May 26 Update

Homelessness prevention program – Week 8:

  • We’ve broken another record over the past week! Thanks to your donations and continues support, we have now served a total of 2,095 Orange County families through our Homelessness Prevention Program, with an additional 368 Orange County families helped last week. This program supports families who have had their income impacted by the pandemic and are at risk of homelessness by providing a $500 emergency debit card to help with rent, food, utilities, and other basic needs.

May 19 Update

Homelessness prevention program – Week 7:

  • We’ve broken our weekly record with an additional 372 Orange County families who have been helped through our Homelessness Prevention Program! This program supports families who have had their income impacted by the pandemic and are at risk of homelessness by providing them a $500 emergency debit card to help with rent, food, utilities, and other basic needs. Thank you for your donations! The total number of families served through this program is now an amazing 1,727.

Distributing Essential Supplies:

  • As part of the Nailing It For Health Care Workers Initiative, we distributed 100 cases of hand sanitizer (six 32 oz. bottle per cases) to homeless shelters across Orange County. These cases of hand sanitizer were a generous in-kind donation from RPP – a $150 million company that pivoted from motor oil production to FDA- approved hand sanitizer in a matter of seven days.
  • We have also supported the purchase and distribution of 30,000 diapers for HomeAid’s diaper drive to help low-income families in need.

May 11 Update

Homelessness prevention program – Week 6:

  • An additional 326 Orange County families have been supported during the sixth week of our Homelessness Prevention Program. This program provides families at risk of homelessness due to a change in income caused by the pandemic with $500 assistance to help with rent, food, utilities, and other basic needs. This brings the total number of families helped thanks to your generous donations to 1,355.

Nailing It For Health Care Workers Initiative:

  • Our partnership with Love 2 Yêu for the Nailing It For Health Care Workers initiative is ramping up to bring much-needed personal protective equipment (PPE) to our local healthcare workers, grocery store employees, and other front-line service providers. Last week, 30 emergency shelters in Orange County received 3,500 new handmade, washable face masks, allowing every staff worker and shelter client to have their own facemask.
  • With the help of volunteers, 524 lunches were also delivered to local emergency shelter locations.

May 4 Update

Homelessness prevention program – Week 5:

  • Last week, we helped 231 Orange County families through our Homelessness Prevention program thanks to your generous donations. To date, we have helped 1,029 families who were at risk of homelessness due to a change in income caused by the pandemic. Referred to us by our service provider partners, these families are provided a $500 emergency debit card per household to help with rent, food, utilities, and other basic needs.

April 28 Update

Homelessness prevention program – Week 4:

  • In the past week, we helped 234 Orange County families with $500 assistance per household to help with rent, food, utilities, and other basic needs through our Homelessness Prevention Program. Through this program, we have a total of 798 families who were referred to us by over 28 service provider partners.

Nailing It For Health Care Workers Initiative:

  • Orange County United Way and nonprofit Love2Yêu came together last week at the Asian Garden Mall in Garden Grove to support the Nailing It For Health Care Workers initiative and help distribute 1,975 meals to front-line workers at local emergency shelters and grocery stores.

April 21 Update

Homelessness prevention program – Week 3:

  •  This week, 122 families received personalized $500 emergency debit cards per household to help with rent, food, and utilities to prevent homelessness. This brings the total number of families supported by our Homelessness Prevention Pilot Program to 564 so far for a total of $282,000. These families were referred to our pilot program by 21 service provider partners.

Getting Books to Children in Need:

  • We have distributed 5,000 books since March 23 to help children from low-income families get access to books during the COVID-19 pandemic. Books were either mailed home or picked up by families in need at food distribution centers across Orange County. So far, books have been distributed in Anaheim, Brea, Costa Mesa, Fullerton, Irvine, La Habra, Mission Viejo, and Santa Ana.

April 13 Update

Homelessness prevention program – Week 2:

  • As part of the second week of our homelessness prevention pilot program, we utilized a portion of our Pandemic Relief Fund to help 223 Orange County families. Of these families, 162 lost their jobs due to the COVID 19 crisis and 61 families saw a significant reduction of their income. Working with 17 service provider partners – who referred these families from 26 cities across the county – we provided $500 emergency debit cards per household to help with rent, food, and utilities to prevent homelessness.
  • More information about the next phase of the program is soon to come!

April 6 Update

Homelessness prevention program:

  • Within just three days, we created and executed a homelessness prevention pilot program utilizing a portion of the Pandemic Relief Fund. The United to End Homelessness team worked with 15 service providers to help 209 of their rapid-rehousing clients – 154 of which have children in their households – to remain in their homes by providing them with a $500 check (per client household, for a total of $104,500), just in time for the April 1st rent deadline. As families who are getting back on their feet, this helped ensure they wouldn’t have to choose between food or rent and utilities.
  • We are working on Phase 2 of the pilot program, so stay tuned!

March 30 Update

Supported essential community infrastructure including Second Harvest Food Bank, CAP OC and 211 Orange County ($85,000).

  • At the creation of the Pandemic Relief Fund, Orange County United Way was the first to provide funding for an additional truckload of food for Second Harvest, providing meals for 25,000 community members.
  • We were also able to secure 100 headsets (donated by corporate partner Ingram Micro) to help additional volunteers for the 211 hotline, another essential community infrastructure.

Thank You!

Thank you to the service providers and community infrastructure personnel for all that they do to help our community every day and during times of crisis!

This Post Has 5 Comments
  1. Good morning, please, I need you to help me with my rent. I am a low-income person and please help me for now because I don’t work and I have two girls who need to be protected and I can’t afford to pay my rent, so I ask for help, my phone is: 206-390-6910. Thanks for your help,

    1. Hi Jackelin, Thank you for writing to us. We are sorry to hear about your situation. In order to offer the best resources to assist you, please call/email 2-1-1 OC. They will ask you questions to learn more about your specific situation so you can get the right resources.

      Phone number: Dial 2-1-1
      Email: info@211oc.org
      Website: https://www.211oc.org/get-help.html

  2. I have 3 kids and a husband we sleep in are car right now my husband works and wee need house ing bad my boys or 9_ 14teen and 16teen years old and its hard for them to be in a car please help us find a home my husband macks good money but it s heard on a singol in come and rent is so high

    1. Hi Barbara, Thank you for writing to us. We are sorry to hear about your situation. In order to offer the best resources to assist you, please call/email 2-1-1 OC. They will ask you questions to learn more about your specific situation so you can get the right resources.

      Phone number: Dial 2-1-1
      Email: info@211oc.org
      Website: https://www.211oc.org/get-help.html

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