In California, more than 118,142 men, women, and children go to bed homeless on any given night. Some 15,300 of them live in Orange County, where Jamboree is based. And, more than one-fourth of those experiencing homelessness throughout the Golden State live with a mental illness. Orange County is among the top 20 regions nationwide with the highest number of children, veterans, families, and those living with a disability that experience homelessness.
Looking to start the conversation? Contact Roger Kinoshita, Jamboree's Senior Director of Business Development.
How many are homeless in Orange County, CA?
Orange County’s homeless sheltered and unsheltered are proportionally similar to the national population. Approximately 49% are unsheltered, and 51% of homeless people counted are sheltered. That means some 4,792 go to bed homeless every night in Orange County. Of those, more than 570 are considered chronically homeless. That translates to 15,291 incidents of homelessness annually according to the latest Point in Time or PIT count.
What are special needs of the homeless?
More than statistics, each of these numbers tells a story. And many of those with a story of homelessness or at risk of homelessness have special needs. Often, these special needs include a serious mental illness – major depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and borderline personality disorder.
What will help solve chronic homelessness?
Take a look at two differing perspectives: an experiment by the mayor of Aurora, CO, who lived on the streets for a week, and evidence that shows why housing first can end cycles of homelessness. While there are many perspectives on the cause of homelessness, a problem that affects millions nationwide, many leading advocates do agree on one thing: the evidence shows we can end chronic homelessness in the U.S. It may take many different approaches, but long-term solutions are not only possible, they are working well, helping to turn the tide for the thousands who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. These are people with a disabling condition who have been homeless for at least a year or have experienced multiple episodes of homelessness within the last three years.
At Jamboree, we believe Permanent Supportive Housing results in better outcomes and is more cost-effective than supporting homeless on the streets. Why? Simply put: Permanent Supportive Housing is permanent. It gives men, women, children, and families experiencing homelessness a place to call home permanently…not temporarily or transitionally.
What’s the evidence that Permanent Supportive Housing works?
- According to The Evidence Behind Approaches That Drive an End to Homelessness, a highlight brief by the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, "…there is a growing body of evidence that people experiencing homelessness can achieve stability in permanent housing when they are provided the appropriate level of tailored services and supports. These approaches are both cost effective and create stronger outcomes."
- According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, it’s estimated that costs on average are reduced by nearly half when a chronically homeless person is placed in supportive housing. See how ending chronic homelessness saves taxpayers money.
- Since 2004, more than $2 billion is brought in annually to fund mental health services across California. Known as the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA), voter-approved Proposition 63 provides housing, treatment, recovery and hope to thousands of Californians every day. Discover in the latest Steinberg Institute report how Full-Service Partnerships and a “whatever it takes” approach are reducing homelessness for adult clients by 68%. Findings also show improved physical health and mental health with “a decrease in substance abuse, emergency service use and homelessness among a chronically homeless and highly vulnerable population of individuals with serious mental illness and one or more medical conditions.”
- Along with five other nonprofits, Jamboree formed the OC Permanent Supportive Housing Collaborative that is catalyzing a shift in funding and philosophy on how to best serve the chronically homeless. The group’s ability to house 100 homeless in eight short months led to another $1.5 million grant and more evidence of its effectiveness. See how the success of Jamboree residents living in Permanent Supportive Housing reflects a growing number of people to benefit from this strategic and collective approach to helping end chronic homelessness in Orange County, CA.
- In partnership with Jamboree, a cost study spearheaded by United Way of Orange County and leading faculty at UC Irvine further substantiates why Permanent Supportive Housing is a vastly superior and cost-effective strategy to address homelessness as a difficult challenge that does have a positive, impactful and lasting solution. The effort also involves 2-1-1 Orange County, the Association of California Cities - Orange County, and the Hospital Association of Southern California. They all agree the common thread to ending homelessness is collaboration. Released in September 2017, see the Cost of Homelessness in this descriptive infographic, the study’s final Executive Summary or read the full 71-page report.
Read how moving to Rockwood ended one family’s 11 years of homelessness. Watch the Gordon family story.