Cross-posted from Terri Buckner’s (TerriB’s) ‘blog LocalEcology

Orange County Homelessness Fact Sheet
February 2007

Total Number of Homeless People Counted in January 2007: 224

  • Homeless people staying in temporary shelter: 199
  • Homeless people without shelter (i.e. on the streets): 25
  • Homeless families: 23
  • Homeless people in families (including children): 60
  • Homeless children: 35
  • Homeless individuals (not in families): 164
  • Homeless people with a history of domestic violence: 23
  • Chronically homeless people: 71

These figures do not include numbers of people who are “doubled up,” that is without a legal residence of their own and temporarily staying with another person. Furthermore, the data does not account for people who are at-risk of homelessness for any reason including unemployment, foreclosure, eviction, chronic or sudden illness and domestic violence. According to the 2000 U.S. Census, 40.5% of renters in Orange County pay 35% or more of household income toward rent which qualifies as at-risk of homelessness.

In Orange County:

  • A minimum wage earner (earning $5.15 per hour) must work 117 hours per week, 52 weeks per year, to afford the fair market rent (FMR) for a two-bedroom unit, which is $785 per month. An SSI recipient (receiving $603 monthly) can afford monthly rent of no more than $181, while the fair market rent for a one-bedroom is $603 (Out of Reach Report, 2006).
  • In order to afford FMR for a two-bedroom unit ($785), without paying more than 30% of income on housing, a household must earn $2,617 monthly or $31,400 annually. Assuming a 40-hour work week, 52 weeks per year, this level of income translates into a Housing Wage of $15.10 (Out of Reach Report, 2006).
  • In 2006, the Inter-Faith Council served 85,055 hot meals; provided 7,726 bags of groceries to 7,187 members of the community; granted 3,500 requests for food, cash, and help with utilities and other service needs representing more than 2,100 households; and offered 813 homeless individuals a place to sleep through its Community House and HomeStart program.
  • Neighbor House, Inc. distributed at least 17, 680 dinners to members of Northern Orange County through its Food for All Program in 2006. They are currently serving an average of 85 meals per night, four nights per week.
  • In 2005, the Community Initiative to End Homelessness received approximately $275,000 to provide permanent housing to homeless and disabled individuals or families. The funding is shared among OPC Area Program, the Chrysalis Foundation for Mental Health, Inter-Faith Council for Social Service and UNC Horizon’s. The CIEH applied for additional homeless assistance funding in 2006, but award letters have not been received as of 2/13/07.

I’m trying to find how the $275,000 in Community Initiative to End Homelessness funds were actually dispersed.

Council member Sally Greene has also been doing work (and blogging about it) with the ORANGE COUNTY PARTNERSHIP TO END HOMELESSNESS

Thanks Teri for shining a light into the shadows, please keep the posts coming.

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