As Chief Development Officer of HomeAid Orange County and having been part of this organization for almost 22 years, I absolutely love what we do. I am passionate about HomeAid’s mission because of the holistic approach we take to ending homelessness, from developing housing to creating community awareness to providing resources for those who are experiencing homelessness. Addressing homelessness from these various angles enables people to move from the streets to self-sufficiency.
HomeAid Orange County has changed the lives of over 65,000 individuals experiencing homelessness. For nearly 30 years, HomeAid has been working with service providers and government agencies on a solution - a continuum of care focused on getting families and individuals back into homes. Through 60 different development and renovation projects, HomeAid Orange County has quite literally laid the foundation for many of these service providers to continue and expand the work that they do for those experiencing homelessness. We have several new projects in development, including:
In addition to housing, we have also developed resource programs such as the Essentials campaign, where the community comes together to contribute diapers and other basic baby items for families experiencing homelessness. Through the Essentials campaign, we have collected over 8.3 million items in support of families trying to rebuild their lives. These donated items are distributed to 20 local shelters and service providers, who serve thousands of babies annually. Our goal is to expand the program and support more agencies in Orange County.
Volunteers organizing donated essential baby items at OC Food Bank
As we conclude Homelessness Awareness Month, I hope that you have a better understanding of the many faces and facets of homelessness - from foster youth to veterans to families. The commonality is that many of these individuals and families don’t want to be homeless. They want an opportunity to rebuild their lives and families. Homelessness is a complex issue that requires a multi-pronged solution, starting with housing.
Everyone deserves a place to call home. As neighbors, we have an obligation to lend a helping hand wherever we can. We cannot simply turn a blind eye or deflect responsibility to someone else. Homelessness is a crisis that affects us all. There is a solution and we can’t do it without you. There are many ways you can help end homelessness.
Giving Tuesday is tomorrow, November 27th, and we hope you will consider contributing to HomeAid Orange County. If you donate through Facebook on Tuesday, they will match donations beginning at 5am PST. You can also learn more about HomeAid Orange County or donate by visiting https://www.homeaidoc.org.