Orange County California emergency assistance.

Orange County California social services provide emergency housing and financial assistance to the working poor and low income. There is everything from transportation to medical assistance, however a major request from social services is on housing. If you are faced with an eviction, or if you are currently homeless, then you may be able to receive emergency rental assistance, including money for deposits and housing search services. Other resources can offer food, child care, or other financial aid.

To learn more, or to apply for help, dial Orange County Social Services Agency at (714) 541-4895. A case worker will partner with you and help you apply for programs that will best meet your needs.

Eviction prevention is offered in Orange County from the Permanent Homeless Arrearage Payment. This government funded program can provide up to two months of emergency rental payments to eliminate arrearages, with the goal of preventing an eviction. Each month of the rent arrearage payment made to the applicant will not exceed 80% of the Total Monthly Household Income (TMHI) and other limits that are in place.

Rent payments – Families in CalWORKs may be able to apply for Eviction Prevention or Homeless Assistance (see below). This is another resource that can assist with the payment of rent arrearages in an emergency. Payment of your rent is considered a family’s once in a lifetime Homeless Assistance payment. So this component of the program is a pro-active approach to stopping homelessness in the community.

Anyone who is currently homeless can apply for special payments and general housing assistance services and resources. Families or individuals who are eligible for the state CalWORKs program and who are homeless can apply for special cash assistance. Funds can be used to pay for temporary housing, security deposits, and first month’s rent, among other expenses. The maximum amount paid out as homeless assistance will be based on the size of the CalWORKs family who is applying. There is also limited funding provided to Orange County Social Services for this resource.

Keep in mind that the Homeless Assistance program is available only once in a lifetime unless the family is homeless due to natural disaster, domestic violence, uninhabitability, or a mental or physical disability. All exceptions must be verified by the Orange County Social services agency.





Orange County California Immediate Needs – Up to $200 can be provided to pay for an emergency expense, if the applicant meets program conditions. Upon application for cash assistance or a grant from Orange County, and if the social worker determines that the applicant is eligible for any type of financial aid, the case worker may evaluate the need to provide cash assistance within 24 hours. The applicant needs to be faced with a crisis that is not of their doing, and some of the bills that can be paid for include those listed below.

  • Funds to pay rent if someone is faced with an eviction.
  • Transportation – For medical appointments.
  • Lack of housing – Get help paying for deposits or first month’s rent.
  • Lack of food – Get meals, boxes of groceries or free food.
  • Electric and utility bills – Get help if faced with a disconnection.
  • Clothing needs – For work or school.

Payments during job search – A fairly unique program is known as Diversion. The Orange County resource is a service that was designed to redirect CalWORKs applicants from extended assistance or reliance on public benefits. This works by making one-time cash payment to help the applicant meet a need that will either help them maintain or find a new job or employment.

Payments from the Diversion program can be used to pay for one or more of the following.

  • Work clothes, uniforms, or tools that may be required for a job.
  • Rent or utility bill payment until the client gets their first paycheck from their new job.
  • Childcare payments and reimbursement for registration costs.

For information on the public assistance programs, or other emergency aid that may be available in Orange County and across California, call (714) 541-4895 to reach social services.



By Jon McNamara

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