skip to Main Content

Since 2019, Orange County United Way’s WelcomeHomeOC℠ program has helped over 950 OC individuals experiencing homelessness find a place to call home. The program connects individuals and families holding housing vouchers with local apartment owners. It covers moving expenses, security deposits, basic furnishings and wrap-around services to assist newly housed residents stay in their homes, as well as resources for the property owners. This work would not be possible without the support of our Champions.

Champions Helping to End Homelessness in OC

Learn how you can be part of the solution to end homelessness in OC at UnitedtoEndHomlessness.org or contact Tami R. Thompson via email.

Larry Armstrong

Champion: Lawrence R. Armstrong

Chairman, Ware Malcomb | Chair, Leadership Council, United to End Homelessness℠ | Board of Directors, Orange County United Way

We have established a track record at United to End Homelessness, to house a person with a voucher in 45 days, for only $26,000! Together we can, and we will end homelessness in Orange County.” – Lawrence R. Armstrong

Daniel’s Story

“Thanks to United Way, I can finally think about my future and am in a place of peace and happiness.” – Daniel, former foster youth

Daniel spent most of his childhood in foster homes and at age 21, he was left homeless and searching for stable housing on his own. With the help of WelcomeHomeOC, Daniel now has a place to call home where he feels confident in his future.

JoAnn and Ken Lickel

Champions: JoAnn and Ken Lickel

Retired – Alcon Laboratories | Board of Directors, Orange County United Way

“United to End Homelessness is a highly effective, impactful Orange County homelessness initiative.” – JoAnn and Ken Lickel

Chase’s Story

“After serving in the Middle East, the gratitude I have for a home comes from the deepest portion of my heart.” – Chase, veteran, seeking a college degree

After serving in the Middle East, going through a divorce and a series of other unfortunate events, Chase ended up homeless and living in his car for over a year. With limited income, he couldn’t make consistent rent payments. It wasn’t until WelcomeHomeOC found an apartment that accepted his HUD VASH voucher that he was placed into a home of his own. Today, Chase is enrolled in school at Santa Ana Community College where education has become a priority.

Greg E. Custer

Champion: Greg E. Custer

Executive Vice President, Whittier Trust | Leadership Council, United to End Homelessness

“I am excited to work toward this important goal knowing that a home can provide focus and center a family, helping them realize their potential and dreams, climbing the ladder of life.” – Greg E. Custer

Grace’s Story

“United Way is my real angel on earth.” – Grace, 37 years old, mother of two

Grace was homeless on and off with her children for three years due to a domestic abuse situation that left her helpless, powerless and in true survival mode. With help from WelcomeHomeOC, Grace says she was “truly welcomed home.” She went from struggling with her kids to moving into her new apartment just three days before Christmas.

Charles Antis

Champion: Charles Antis

Founder & CEO, Antis Roofing & Waterproofing | Leadership Council, United to End Homelessness | Board of Directors, Orange County United Way

“One day while sitting at a long stoplight, I witnessed a homeless woman sitting on the sidewalk…I did nothing. Suddenly, a random student drove up on his bicycle and reached into his backpack, at which time the homeless woman flinched! He then pulled a bottle of water from his backpack and gently handed it to her…as she nodded thanks, he rode away, not noticing my stare. I’m here because I want to be like the bicyclist and because everybody deserves a place to call home!” – Charles Antis

Linda’s Story

“In the morning, I get to see photos of my children hanging on the walls of my new home because of United Way.” – Linda, 62 years old

After being displaced from her home of 31 years due to family circumstances and rising rent costs, Linda moved everything to storage and began living out of her car. As she searched for apartments on her own, many wouldn’t accept her emotional support animal. It wasn’t until she was connected with WelcomeHomeOC that she was approved for housing in areas she was often denied.

Champion: Anonymous Donor

Leadership Council, United to End Homelessness

“I support this campaign anonymously and believe in the work of United to End Homelessness here in Orange County.” – Anonymous Donor

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” – Winston Churchill

Alfred’s Story

“What United Way provided for me in my new home is a gift and I’m so grateful.” – Alfred, veteran, cancer survivor

Severe medical conditions and insurmountable bills from congestive heart failure and kidney and thyroid cancer treatments and complications ultimately left Alfred homeless. After struggling to find a home on his own and afford security deposits, WelcomeHomeOC stepped in to find him a stable home where he can focus on the things that are most importanthis health and healing.

Automobile Club of Southern California

Champion: Automobile Club of Southern California

“There’s no place like home, and no place like Orange County for helping our neighbors find a home.” – Automobile Club of Southern California

Julie’s Story

“United Way helped me finally achieve my greatest goal – finding a home.” – Julie, 24 years old, former foster youth

Julie entered into foster care at the age of 16 and when she aged out of the system, she was left helpless and without a stable home or space to call her own. She was eventually connected with WelcomeHomeOC who helped find her an apartment. She hopes to attend school to become a Registered Nurse and is looking forward to regaining her independence in her new home.

Tarsadia Foundation

Champion: Tarsadia Foundation

“Tarsadia Foundation is proud to support this initiative to help address housing for all and end homelessness.

We value the work and efforts of Orange County United Way, and are so grateful to have them lead the way in recognizing the need and finding solutions to build a stronger community.” – Tarsadia Foundation

Bernadette’s Story

“My new home represents peace and joy, and motivates me to be the best version of myself.” – Bernadette, former foster youth

Bernadette aged out of the foster care system when she was 19 and lived with different extended family members until strained family relationships left her homeless. Four months felt like a lifetime when she had nowhere to go. WelcomeHomeOC found her an apartment in a safe and comfortable place that accepted her voucher. She finally has a place to call home.

Cinda S. and Steven Churm

Champion: Cinda S. and Steven Churm

Executive Vice President, Public Affairs, FivePoint Holdings, LLC | Leadership Council, United to End Homelessness | Chair, Board of Directors, Orange County United Way

“The ache for home lives in all of us. The safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.” – Maya Angelou

Day’s Story

“I think I would still be living in a car right now without United Way.” – Day, Army Veteran

Army veteran Day returned from deployment in 2012 and was diagnosed with PTSD. Even working 60-hour weeks and two jobs, she couldn’t build enough savings for move-in cost plus rent. Day became homeless and was living in a borrowed car. Her situation seemed hopeless. But then our WelcomeHomeOC program helped her find an apartment where she could use her housing voucher.


Champion: Verizon

“At Verizon, it is important that we support partners like Orange County United Way who are doing the critical work every day to connect our most vulnerable to resources that will allow them to exit homelessness.” – Verizon

Stephanie’s Story

“When United Way helped me find a home, they turned a very desperate situation into a happy and joyful one.” – Stephanie, 66 years old 

When Stephanie fell on hard financial luck and lost her job, she also lost her home and struggled for years to find a permanent job to support herself. With no retirement savings, she could not afford to stop working. In 2014, she was ultimately forced into homelessness and used what savings she had from temporary jobs to rent motel rooms and toggled between shelters. In 2019, she received her Section 8 housing voucher and was connected with WelcomeHomeOC, who helped her find an apartment where she felt comfortable and also assisted her with the security deposit, furniture and a new refrigerator. Stephanie said she will continue to enjoy her new home for years to come and is reminded daily of the generosity she’s been shown when she looks around her home.


Champion: SoCalGas

“When communities thrive, we’re all stronger. SoCalGas is proud to continue to help our most vulnerable neighbors and provide solutions to ending homelessness in Orange County.” – SoCalGas

Mary’s Story

“After 12 years of living on the street, it feels surreal to be in my own home thanks to United Way.” – Mary, 34 years old, working towards a college degree

After a series of hardships in her early 20’s, Mary found herself homeless and eventually, living on the streets in Santa Ana for nearly 12 years. After receiving her housing voucher, individual apartment searches left her depressed and defeated. Thanks to WelcomeHomeOC, she found the perfect place to call home and continue on the path for a brighter future.

Donahue Schriber

Champion: Patrick S. Donahue

“Donahue Schriber recognizes the heroic veterans in our community and the challenges they face re-entering society after their service—the toughest of these is often housing. We are honored to be a part of the OC United Way’s work to end veterans’ homelessness in Orange County.” – Patrick S. Donahue

Robert’s Story

“I will be able to improve my health and live a truly happy life in the new home United Way helped me find.” – Robert, 85 years old, veteran

When his wife became ill and needed open-heart surgery, Robert did what he had to do to save the love of his life – sell his home for little to nothing. Unable to afford a new place to live and suffering from his own medical conditions, he ended up homeless, living in an uninhabitable vehicle. That was until WelcomeHomeOC helped him find a place to call his own.

The Isidore & Penny Myers Foundation

Champion: The Isidore & Penny Myers Foundation

“We believe the home is the foundation of the family and the family is the foundation of society.– The Isidore & Penny Myers Foundation

Tony’s Story

“United Way helped me in more ways than one and my family now has a safe place to live.” – Tony, veteran, husband and father 

Tony lost his job last year and was unable to find stable work to maintain housing for him and his family. That’s when their homelessness began and hope started to dwindle. Thankfully, with a HUD VASH voucher, WelcomeHomeOC was able to find a safe and suitable new home for him and his family. He’s looking forward to building a life with his child and wife and intends to focus on his job as an employment specialist for veterans so that others can avoid the same situation he was in.

The Ueberroth Family Foundation

Champion: The Ueberroth Family Foundation

“We are honored to support the WelcomeHomeOC program and hope others will join the effort to house our neighbors in need.” – The Ueberroth Family Foundation

Martina’s Story

“United Way was the answer to my prayers. Having a place to come home to at night is an awesome feeling.” – Martina, finally home after 6 years living on the streets

When monthly rent increased, Martina was unable to make payments and she was forced into homelessness. She worked hard to find a job and save money while living on the streets but it wasn’t until she was connected with WelcomeHomeOC that she was put on the path to finally finding a place to call home. She’s grateful for not only the support she’s received but for the immense amount of hope that they gave her.

Golden Eagle Foundation

Champion: Michael Cupps and Golden Eagle Foundation

“I’m so happy to be supporting United to End Homelessness. Their collaborative efforts with service provider partners and property owners to provide supportive housing in Orange County has been tremendous.” – Michael Cupps

Luis’ Story

“United Way guided me through a challenging time but so much good came from it, including a home.” – Luis, former foster youth

An unstable family and living situation left Luis homeless when he needed support the most. After six months of staying in and out of shelters, Luis was connected with WelcomeHomeOC for a home of his own. He’s grateful for his new space and looking forward to cooking daily. He believes there’s “no wrong way to cook.”

Kaiser Permanente

Champion: Kaiser Permanente Orange County

“Kaiser Permanente is proud to partner with the United Way as we, and others, work to end homelessness in Orange County.  We believe that without a stable home, individuals and families, cannot achieve the health and wellness that they deserve.” – Kaiser Permanente Orange County

Joyce’s Story

“I’m over and beyond appreciative of United Way helping me find a home. I can stop worrying and focus on my health.” – Joyce, 62 years old, first whole person care voucher holder to be housed through WelcomeHomeOC

Joyce has been living with complex and life threatening medical issues her entire life. After a lack of familial support and mounting medical bills, Joyce was forced into homelessness, and began living in motels and shelters. She received her housing voucher in May 2020 and was connected to WelcomeHomeOC shortly after. In July, she finally had a place to call her own. Joyce is grateful for what the program has done for her and feels her new space will allow her to focus on improving her health without worrying about things like food and shelter, especially during a global pandemic.

Sisters of St. Joseph Healthcare Foundation

Champion: Sisters of St. Joseph Healthcare Foundation

“The Sisters of St. Joseph Healthcare Foundation joins Orange County United Way in positively addressing the multiple issues surrounding those who are homeless in our community. The Foundation is grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with United Way to provide A Place to Call Home.” – Sisters of St. Joseph Healthcare Foundation

Sara’s Story

“A home used to be my dream and now it’s my reality thanks to United Way.” – Sara, 35 years old, mother of two

Lack of affordable housing, an abusive relationship and mental health issues were all barriers to maintaining stable housing for Sara. She entered into homelessness in 2011 and remained homeless for the following six years. Eventually, WelcomeHomeOC was able to find her an apartment. She can now focus on her career and watch her daughters thrive in their new life.

Bank of America

Champion: Bank of America

“The work of United to End Homelessness is inspiring and demonstrates that together we can tackle the toughest challenges facing our community. We can end homelessness in Orange County.” – Allen Staff, Orange County Market President, Bank of America

Doug’s Story

“I didn’t think that having a stable home was something that would ever happen for me. It’s a miracle thanks to United Way.” – Doug, 50 years old

Chronic medical conditions and mounting bills related to hospital visits left Doug homeless and searching for a place to live that would be conducive to healing. His inability to work was a huge financial barrier to ending his homelessness but when he was issued a section 8 housing voucher and connected with WelcomeHomeOC shortly after, he saw the light at the end of the tunnel. He now has a comfortable home to live in that meets his needs so he can focus on his health.

St. Mark Presbyterian Church

Champion: St. Mark Presbyterian Church

“As a community called to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly, St. Mark is honored to work alongside United to End Homelessness to see all of God’s children housed with dignity and hope.” – St. Mark Presbyterian Church

Katie’s Story

“United Way moved mountains for me. They found me a home, and I finally feel safe again.” – Katie, 53 years old, spent years living on the streets before being welcomed home

An abusive relationship stripped Katie of everything she’d worked for financially, and left her homeless and on the streets. Through a service provider partner, Katie was connected to WelcomeHomeOC, and now has her own home. Katie hopes to go back to work and is taking time to prioritize her personal mental and physical health.

Homeful Foundation

Champion: Homeful Foundation

“We must do all that we can to eliminate homelessness and treat everyone with the dignity they deserve. The Homeful Foundation is dedicated to ending homelessness once and for all and we are honored to partner with United to End Homelessness to accomplish this goal.” – Homeful Foundation

Max’s Story

“When United Way helped find me a home, it was like a breath of fresh air, and I’m so grateful.” – Max, veteran, aspiring production manager

After nearly nine years of military service, 37-year-old Max struggled to make ends meet when he returned to civilian life. It was hard to maintain a consistent income to afford rent and Max became homeless in 2018. WelcomeHomeOC found an apartment to accept his VASH voucher and now he can finally say he is home. Since finding stable housing, Max has enrolled in LA Film School, and with just four months left until graduation, he is looking forward to building his career.

Union Bank

Champion: Union Bank

“A home is more than a place for shelter; a home stands for comfort and protection, stability, pride, and security. For Union Bank, affordable housing is one of our giving priorities and it is for that reason that we joined Orange County United Way in the fight to end homelessness here in Orange County.” – Union Bank

Briana’s Story

“I’m finally getting a chance to prove how independent I can be thanks to help from United Way.” – Briana, 23 years old, former foster youth

Briana entered the foster care system when she was just five years old and when she phased out of it, was left with nowhere to go. Briana was determined to find a place where she and her son could live safely and happily, but most apartment rents were significantly out of her budget. She was issued a housing voucher and connected with WelcomeHomeOC in January 2020 to assist her in finding an apartment that would accept her voucher. Now, Briana and her son are thriving in a community and city that she loves. She is looking forward to raising her son in a stable and happy home.

Orange County Community Foundation

Champion: Orange County Community Foundation

“The Orange County Community Foundation is proud to support United to End Homelessness and stand behind the nonprofits and organizations working tirelessly to combat homelessness in our community.” – Orange County Community Foundation

Bernadette’s Story

“My new home represents peace and joy, and motivates me to be the best version of myself.” – Bernadette, former foster youth

Bernadette aged out of the foster care system when she was 19 and lived with different extended family members until strained family relationships left her homeless. Four months felt like a lifetime when she had nowhere to go. WelcomeHomeOC found her an apartment in a safe and comfortable place that accepted her voucher. She finally has a place to call home.

County of Orange

Champion: County of Orange

“The County of Orange, in partnership with United Way’s United to End Homelessness, has helped change lives in Orange County. We’re appreciative of our partnership and endeavor to end homelessness in Orange County.” – Chairwoman Michelle Steel, County of Orange Board of Supervisors

Shane’s Story

“I am blessed. My stress level is finally low and my life is moving at a great pace. Thanks to United Way, being home has 100% played a part in that.” – Shane, 44 years old, dealing with a debilitating spine condition

Shane has struggled with a physical spine disability his entire life, and eventually, it affected his ability to work. He was forced to quit his job to focus on healing and reducing his pain. Unfortunately, the pain ensued and after being out of work for an extended period of time, ended up homeless in 2011. For years after, he spent time in and out of homeless shelters before beginning the process of obtaining a rental assistance housing voucher. When he received his voucher in 2020, he was connected with WelcomeHomeOC and found a place perfect for him and his needs. There are so many things Shane loves about having his own space, “four walls, a shower, a place to sleep at night, and a kitchen to cook in.”

Champion: Reverend Paul C. Reeves

“Housing the homeless acknowledges and passes on a few drops of the flood of God’s unmerited, love-saturated grace blessing us all daily.” – Reverend Paul C. Reeves

Hector’s Story

“Our lives have turned out for the better thanks to United Way and their help finding us a home.” – Hector, 77 years old, Navy veteran

Hector and his wife only became homeless at the beginning of this year. A series of unfortunate family circumstances resulted in the loss of their rental home and they were forced into homelessness. When they were put in touch with WelcomeHomeOC, their “lives changed.” With a new space to call their own, new furniture and a fridge, Hector and his wife are ready to pick up where they left off and are looking forward to stable housing.

Champion: Peter and Gail Ochs

Samueli Foundation

Champion: Samueli Foundation

“The Samueli Foundation is proud to support WelcomeHomeOC. Orange County United Way and its community partners have designed a comprehensive and impactful approach to understanding and addressing the complex needs of our County’s most vulnerable adults and families at the risk of or experiencing homelessness.” – Samueli Foundation

Ducommun logo

Champion: Ducommun

×Close search