Why are so many Orange County children going to bed each night without a roof over their heads?

One of the fastest growing segments of the homeless population is working families with children struggling to make ends meet. A vast majority are not living on the streets.

For a child, this instability affects more than their education, health and welfare. It also puts their future well-being at risk. And this affects us all.

The Challenge–Moving People From Homelessness To Hope

A growing segment of Orange County’s homeless are living in overcrowded spaces, no bigger than a 2-car garage. They are single parents who move in with other family members, or multiple families doubling or tripling up in unsafe and stressful living conditions. When these conditions persist over a long period, they can force families into a downward spiral.

Through our efforts and investments in housing initiatives (such as Rapid Rehousing, redirection from emergency shelters and access to financial coaching) we’re able to raise hope for homeless children and families in Orange County with:

  • Homeless prevention services keep families in their homes and children don’t have to change schools, greatly impacting their chances at academic success
  • Access to permanent housing through Rapid Rehousing helps residents have a place to call their own
  • Interim housing solutions for families that need an extra boost to get back on their feet as they transition into permanent affordable housing
  • Cold weather shelters provide nutritious meals, a warm shower and a safe place to sleep

Providing stable housing improves educational outcomes when kids don’t have to switch schools. When families have a safe place to call home, they succeed in school and life:

  • Reduced need for public assistance
  • Lower school absentee
  • Greater self-sufficiency
  • A more stable workforce

Results–Orange County United Way At Work

By shifting from managing to ending homelessness, we help our displaced neighbors find a home for good—a catalyst toward academic achievement, a healthier lifestyle and a steadier income. Our results in addressing the homelessness challenge:

Housing Stability

In one year, 337 individuals were placed into permanent supportive housing through Rapid Rehousing and other additional services to prevent future homelessness

Watch a success story “Where Dreams Are Made”

Reduce Student Mobility

100 families on the brink of homelessness received financial coaching from the SparkPoint OC in Schools program and other Orange County housing programs and services to remain housed

Watch SparkPoint OC centers grand opening

Successful Transitions

38 families were redirected into temporary shelter from the winter armory emergency shelter, and received counseling and financial literacy training to transition into permanent housing

Together, we are working to reduce homelessness and housing-insecurity for Orange County children and families. With your help, we can ensure the next generation has access to permanent housing, resulting in children who are better able to learn in school, maintain health and succeed in life.

Our FACE 2024 goal: to cut the number of homeless and housing-insecure children in half by 2024.

Success Stories

Elena – Housing

I was living in a shelter with my nine-year-old son. Through Serving People in Need (SPIN), I got the help I needed to pay for move-in costs. They also connected me to SparkPoint OC where I was able to get a great job. Today I am managing my budget and working to complete my Associates degree.

— Elena , Client of two United Way-supported programs