In nine months, 245 homeless Stanton families have been aided in finding shelter, getting medical care, addiction treatment, school tutoring, credit building, job finding, skill building and mental counseling.
The Illumination Foundation gave a presentation on the work that has taken place in Stanton at Tuesday’s city council meeting.
According to Jenna Kay, the foundation’s mental health team leader, their expectations have been exceeded.
About 45 families are at the Stanton Support Annex on Katella Ave. every week.
There are around 60 to 70 phone calls every day. Phone calls for help, advice and care. While the numbers of homeless families are high, so are the positive results.
There are five transitional housing units that have been renovated in the Tina Pacific neighborhood and an emergency triage housing called the Oak Street House.
Paul Leon, IL president, said, “Thank you for looking ahead nine months ago. We work throughout Orange County. When we started this we understood that homelessness was multifaceted . . . we have a chance to really work with the families . . . You have to look at how bad the problem would be if you had not taken those steps.”
Leon said that instead of taking a stance and working to end the problem, that many of the cities pass ordinances, pass laws instead.
“But there is not end point for the homeless, no place for the families to go,” said Leon.
Orange County also does not have a permanent homeless shelter or public hospital.
The majority of that statistic, 28,000, are in neighboring Anaheim. Children make up 4,337 of that 28,000.
Wrap around care for each person is provided by IL with housing services, workforce development, recuperative care and medical services as a critical component.
“Our goal is to make these families a part of the working mainstream middle class,” said Kay.
Tabitha and Lance LaRue and their daughter not only benefitted by living at the IL’s Oak Street House, but now that they are back on their feet help with recuperative programs in the community.
“They didn’t give us a handout, they gave us a hand up,” said Lance.
Goals for the future include more help locations for families and eventually a treatment aid center for individual homelessness.