Struggling families and homeless veterans in Orange County are expected to get more vital services from local nonprofits thanks to grants from the Newport Beach-based Orange County Community Foundation.
The $525,000 was issued last month by the foundation’s ReachOut OC 2012 grants which was a combination of $345,000 from the OCCF and $180,000 in donations from the public. The ReachOut OC 2012 grants will pay for essential services including food, rent and utilities assistance, emergency and transitional shelter, a mobile clinic and health care services for children and families, and employment support for veterans.
“With ReachOut OC, neighbors are helping neighbors through contributions small and large,” said Shelley Hoss, the foundation's president. “Thousands of Orange County residents continue to struggle to make ends meet with families and veterans experiencing the most critical need. ReachOut OC will make a difference.”
Among this year’s grant recipients is the Second Harvest Food Bank which estimates that 615,000 people in Orange County are at risk of hunger and Santa Ana-based Veterans First which reports nearly 3,500 homeless veterans in OC. A $25,000 ReachOut OC grant will support the food bank's programs including Brown Bag for Seniors and the Mobile Pantry.
“Demand for food has increased 45 percent since 2008 while donations of food staples have steadily declined," said Nicole Suydam, CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank of Irvine. "This grant from the Orange County Community Foundation will allow us to provide critical food to thousands of vulnerable seniors, children and families."
Veterans First received a $15,000 ReachOut OC grant to pay for a healthcare professional to serve homeless and at-risk veterans.
“This infusion of support comes at a critical time because there are so many Orange County veterans and families who need our help whether it be a place to sleep, food to eat or job training," said Deanne Tate, the organization's president. "The generosity of local residents who care really makes a difference in the quality of life for these men and women who have served our country and are now returning home to real challenges."
The ReachOut OC 2012 funding brings the cumulative grants to more than $2.5 million over the past four years.
For the complete list of grantees, visit http://www.oc-cf.org/page.aspx?pid=1035