Finding Solutions to End Orange County Homelessness

How bringing hope to OC homeless makes cents

Homelessness in Orange County is in the headlines daily. Some call it an issue or problem. Others call it an opportunity. Put a face on it, and homelessness is names and stories.

Watch the inspiring example of how the Gordon family overcame a spiral into homelessness – a devastating industrial accident, a job loss, and the loss of their home. Never missing a day of school, the family stuck together. In this short video, see how they are now living successful, independent lives in a permanent place they call home.

Ending homelessness permanently in Orange County could bring hope for many more families and individuals. And, it makes cents. Want to help create more inspiring stories?


End OC Homelessness Graduation

For example, did you know that:

  • The vast majority of Orange County’s homeless are U.S. Citizens and long-term OC residents. In fact, most have lived here more than 10 years.
  • The primary cause of being homeless is not alcohol and/or drugs, mental health or release from jail or prison.

See what the top three contributing factors to homelessness are in this "Homelessness in Orange County: The Costs To Our Community" infographic.



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Orange County Homelessness, supportive housing for residents
How can the issue of homelessness in OC be solved? Create more permanent supportive housing with services – both dedicated and integrated properties.

In 2015, Jamboree approached United Way Orange County to discuss surveying the county to determine the breadth of homelessness. While Jamboree staff have routinely participated in the biennial Point in Time count of the homeless, we wanted to go beyond the numbers and put a face on homelessness.

The result is a new study conducted by the University of California, Irvine – and funded by Jamboree and United Way Orange County – estimates that cities, counties, hospitals, and non-government agencies spend nearly $300 million every year to address the issue of being homeless. This money provides a needed response, but not a solution.

So how do we fix homelessness and save money? By housing those on the street in a way that:

  • Reduces the average annual cost of services for those homeless by more than 50%.
  • Saves municipalities and taxpayers an estimated $42 million.

Learn more about OC’s homeless and how much being homeless is really costing Orange County in the findings of the first-ever Cost Study of Homelessness in OC: Full 71-page report or Executive Summary.

What will it take to end homelessness in Orange County? A lot of creativity, compassion, political will, funding, connections, influence, and passion – from city and county officials as well as leaders and influencers from our schools and businesses, nonprofit and faith-based communities.

Are you daring enough to dream with us? We want to talk to you and other like-minded leaders about an issue we truly believe can be solved.

Together, let’s leverage your insights, connections, influence, and compassion to make a collective impact.

Housing keeps formerly homeless families stable, keeps resident children in same schools
Collaborations with school districts and other local nonprofits keep formerly homeless families from moving around, allowing their children to stay in the same schools. One year after opening Rockwood in Anaheim, more than 95% of residents remain permanently housed.
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