OC Gateway to Housing (OCGH) provides transitional housing and as of 2015, rapid rehousing. We added rapid rehousing to quickly place families in stable, permanent housing. Nationwide, data show that rapid rehousing is more effective than other models in preventing most families from becoming homelessness again.
However, studies show that some homeless families with high mobility are not well-suited for rapid rehousing. So, OCGH is maintaining a scattered-site transitional program of eight to nine apartments or condos. OCGH does not receive any HUD funding for our transitional housing program, so we rely on private donations to sustain these important services.
By June 2017, rapid rehousing will serve 60% of our clients, while transitional housing will serve the other 40%.
Homelessness in Orange County
Over the course of one year, 15,300 people will be homeless in Orange County, according to the 2015 Orange County Homeless Count and Survey Report. But Orange County does not have a skid row. Our homeless residents are largely invisible. They travel between shelters or rent cheap motel rooms. Some live in cars. They share an apartment with one or two other families. Many have children enrolled in school. In 2013-14, 32,510 pre-K to grade 12 students were homeless or living in unstable housing. This figure has increased 236% over 10 years.
Orange County is one of the most expensive housing markets in the country, making it very difficult for low-income families to get affordable housing. A parent needs to make $24.67 per hour to afford the county’s 2016 fair market rent of $1,324 for a one-bedroom apartment.
Despite these statistics, the situation is not hopeless. Our two housing programs and supportive services enable families to increase their income, become more self-sufficient, overcome the problems that led them into homelessness, and secure permanent housing.