Volume 8, Issue 77  |  September 26, 2023SubscribeAdvertise

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Orange County Community Foundation raises record $2.1 million+ to combat homelessness

On April 28, the Orange County Community Foundation (OCCF) hosted “Help Them Home,” a collaborative Giving Day designed to combat homelessness and its devastating impact on our community. During the 24-hour online effort, 3,793 donors helped raise a record $2,163,132 for 20 Orange County-based nonprofits offering programs and services to help community members experiencing homelessness achieve stability and lasting independence. As the wide-ranging fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disproportionately impact the community’s most vulnerable individuals and families, these donations come at a crucial time.

 There are an estimated 552,830 homeless individuals in the U.S., 47 percent of whom reside in California. And locally, according to United to End Homelessness, there are nearly 7,000 homeless individuals – including more than 300 veterans and almost 700 seniors – in Orange County on any given night. According to the coroner’s office, more homeless people died in Orange County in 2020 than any other year. 

Orange County two ladies

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Courtesy of OCCF

The funds raised during “Help Them Home” surpassed an initial $1 million goal by 116 percent. The $2,163,132 secured will allow the participating nonprofits to provide a range of housing, community outreach, education and supportive services to Orange County’s homeless residents. The nonprofits involved include American Family Housing; Casa Teresa, Inc.; City Net; Colette’s Children’s Home, Inc.; Families Forward; Family Assistance Ministries; Family Promise of Orange County; Friendship Shelter, Inc.; Grandma’s House of Hope; HomeAid Orange County; Homeless Intervention Services of OC; Illumination Foundation; Mercy House Living Centers; Pathways of Hope; Serving People in Need, Inc.; South County Outreach; StandUp for Kids, Orange County; The Salvation Army Orange County; Thomas House Family Shelter; and WISEPlace.

“We are grateful to each and every donor for supporting the Help Them Home Collaborative Giving Day,” said Shelley Hoss, president and CEO of the Orange County Community Foundation. “As individuals and families experiencing homelessness continue to suffer from the pandemic’s fallout, every donation helps our passionate and committed nonprofit organizations continue to adapt and provide life-changing services and support.”

The “Help Them Home” campaign is part of OCCF’s iheartOC Collaborative Giving Days, an annual initiative that designates 10 cause-specific giving days focused on critical community issues. The online giving model matches OC nonprofits with shared missions – from homelessness and workforce development to preserving ecosystems and supporting local veterans – to create momentum on one shared day and leverage a combined outreach effort for collective success. In 2020, the 10 days secured support from 6,476 donors and raised a record $3.2 million for 98 nonprofits. Since its start in 2015, OCCF’s Collaborative Giving Days have raised more than $12,839,553 for Orange County nonprofits.

For more information about Orange County Community Foundation Collaborative Giving Days, visit www.oc-cf.org/givingdays.

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