By Ryan Kincaid
In recent years, Orange County’s homelessness problem has been discussed and reviewed often, and the general consensus has been that the homeless population is increasing. However, the method by which these numbers are determined seems rather convoluted yet vague.
In an interview conducted by Nick Gerda, a reporter for Voice of OC with Susan Price, Orange County homeless services coordinator, Price mentions how, “The methodology that was used in 2017, ’15 and ’13…was an extrapolation.” The article goes on to mention that the upcoming 2019 count will provide more precise numbers, information regarding specific locations of the homeless population included in the count, as well as particular demographics.
Since this information ultimately dictates what the city deems necessary resource-wise, one would assume that it should be as accurate as possible.
A breakthrough like this is actually a huge positive for organizations like StandUp For Kids. With new, more accurate measurements of the homeless population and their respective demographics, StandUp For Kids can introduce new programs like their House of Hope initiative.
Within the next few months, StandUp For Kids is aiming to open their House of Hope around the Santa Ana area with the goal of assisting the local youth.
The House of Hope will offer shower access for the youth, laundry machines, internet access, clothing, food and even emergency beds while the staff works to find a more permanent living situation. The house will also serve as a meeting space for staff, volunteers and the youth served.
"We believe having a central location such as Santa Ana will allow our youth and young adults to conveniently access our home and utilize our services,” said House of Hope’s Advisory Board Chairman, Nishant Kumar. “Our goal is to create a space that is welcoming not only to those we strive to serve but also to our hardworking and dedicated volunteers, mentors and staff.”
Initiatives like the House of Hope are a great leap in the right direction toward providing resources to assist Orange County’s homeless population and this new legislative decision will certainly give StandUp For Kids the tools to do so.