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Step Up | Orange County
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ORANGE COUNTY

Step Up’s Housing First Program.

Seeking Permanent Supportive Housing?

Access to Step Up’s programs and services comes by referral from each of the Coordinated Entry System.

  • In Orange County, contact 211

If you are homeless you can call 2-1-1 and speak to someone who should be able to direct you to shelters or other homeless services and make a referral to begin the permanent supportive housing process.

Step Up’s Orange County Housing First Programs began in 2015 with the CoC Mercy House Collaborative. Step Up Orange County also offers services at Jamboree Housing’s Supportive Services sites. Step Up has already housed 11 individuals who had been experiencing chronic homelessness following the Housing First model and offers supportive life skills services to over 200 residents.

Housing First, established by Dr. Sam Tsemberis, is a model which roots permanent supportive housing as a foundation of recovery for individuals experiencing chronic homelessness, mental health conditions, and addictions. Traditionally, these individuals have lived in a cycle of surviving on the street, being admitted to hospitals, shelters, or jails and then going back to the street. The stress of surviving each day in this cycle puts a tremendous amount of pressure on the individual’s psychiatric and physical health. “Living in the street,” one client said, “It makes you crazy.”

Instead, Housing First advocates the provision of client-preferred services based on the premise that individuals know what is best for themselves, that services are to be directed by an individual’s self-determined goals. The number one supportive service requested by Step Up members is housing. Not a pill, a program, or a protocol, but a place to live.

Step Up’s Orange County Team works with property management companies and landlords who are willing to engage with Step Up to rent to the homeless population. Once an individual is in housing, service teams provide supportive case management services to ensure success. These services include assisting in securing public benefits (Social Security income, food stamps, etc.), counseling, substance use recovery support and linking to community resources.

For more information on Step Up’s Orange County program contact:

(949) 677-3659

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