Find assistance from South County Outreach.

There are several services available from South County Outreach, and the non-profit may be able to help the low income that live in the region and that are faced with a crisis. The main goal is to prevent homelessness in southern Orange County, and a second objective is on feeding the hungry. So to this end they operate a food pantry, transitional housing units, and may have some money in an emergency to help with rental expenses or paying a utility bill.

Homeless prevention is for residents with an imminent eviction or pay or quit notice from their landlord. However, the program can also be expanded to those facing a disconnection of their power, as that too can lead to homelessness.

So as part of this process, an appointment is required. Full documentation is needed, such as proof of income, expenses, identification of all household members, copy of a lease, and assets of the tenant. While funding is limited, the Outreach office may be able to help with rent or energy bills, and the funds can be paid out in the form of a grant (which does not need to be repaid) or a short term loan. Dial (949) 380-8144 for more details on this program.

Food assistance is provided from the pantry in South Orange County. This is located at 7 Whatney, Irvine, CA 92618, and the phone number is (949) 380-8144. Over 1000 families use the center each month to receive free groceries, food, fresh produce, dairy, bread and other items. It operates as a client choice facility, meaning people only use what they need from the center.

The pantry is open to individuals of all races, ages, and religions, and there are no restrictions in place. Of particular focus of the South County Outreach agency is on feeding children and the elderly from the community, and they even make up over one half of the clients of the center.

The Client Choice Shopping experience is an emergency service that is more effective than some other food banks. People, or shoppers, select just what they need, so it allows them to choose health foods, meet any diet needs they have in place, and reduces waste. So it is flexible in what is available to families using the program.




Computer classes and training is available for the unemployed and those looking for new skills. Teachers and staff hold sessions on software applications such as Excel, Microsoft Word, resume creation, and Powerpoint. The goal is to help people become more comfortable using a computer so they can find employment in Orange County. The phone number is (949) 461-9066.

A thrift store is run by South County Outreach. Very low income families may be given a voucher that they can use to pay for items at no cost to them. Others from the community can shop at the store for low cost, gently used goods ranging from holiday items to clothing for work or school. The site is operated as an Upscale Resale Thrift Store, and the money raised from the sale of goods is used to fund the various assistance programs administered that are listed above.

Transitional Housing is combined with case management services, and the goal is to help struggling or formerly homeless families secure permanent housing and become self-sufficient over the mid to long term. South County Outreach will require participants to pay a portion of a security deposit on the home to use the services.

A Case Manager is assigned to each guest of the center, and together a plan will be formulated to address the cause of the hardship. The goals will need to be met in order for someone to continue to use the transitional housing program, and this will include topics such as creating a budgeting, saving money towards future rent costs, and increasing their income.




There are many other components of the transitional housing service. Licensed Clinical Therapists and staff partner with non-profits to provide other support. Examples may be Career Coaching, free professional work apparel, and legal aid. Case managers and specialists from South County Outreach will also offer credit counseling and debt reduction services to clients, and this will help them improved their financial condition so they can move into permanent housing.

The main address is 7 Whatney, Suite B, Irvine, California 92618, and call the center at (949) 380-8144. All resources are only for residents that live in the southern portion of the county.

By Jon McNamara

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