Saturday, October 23, 2010

Resources for the Homeless in Orange County

Housing Shelter Resources

*American Family Housing, Transitional Housing Program 714-897-3221. Shelter for the Homeless offers transitional and affordable housing for singles, singles with children, families, and emancipated youth between the ages of 18-21. Must be working. Does not accept mentally ill.

*Friendship Shelter 949-494-6928. Transitional housing for single men & women plus limited emergency facilities for those needing immediate response. No children, no couples.

*H. I. S. House, Transitional Living Center 714-993-5774. Transitional living center for the homeless.

*Laura's House Emergency Shelter 949-498-1511. Provides housing up to 45 days with a comprehensive therapeutic program for women and children.

*Mercy House 714-836-7188. Serves single males, females and families in need of transitional housing. They also provide a variety of services to the downtown Santa Ana homeless population.

*O. C. Rescue Mission 714-247-4300. Serves the homeless and needy in Orange County with shelter, food and clothing. Faith-based organization.

*Salvation Army 714-832-7100. Call the Salvation Army for information on all their programs & services in Orange County.

*Serving People in Need (SPIN) 714-751-1101. Serves the homeless population.

Emergency Assistance/Basic Needs

*Assistance League Assistance League is a national nonprofit organization that puts caring and commitment into action through community-based philanthropic projects.

*Catholic Charities Outreach Family Center Provides emergency assistance for crisis intervention including food, clothing, shelter, and financial assistance to individuals and families at risk of homelessness. Faith-based organization.

*Family Support Network, Emergency Needs Fund This program provides items that a family cannot afford but are needed to keep their special needs child safely at home.

*Share Ourselves (SOS) SOS provides services to Orange County's most impoverished families including the homeless.

*Working Wardrobes Working Wardrobes® serves CalWORKs recipients, clients of social
service agencies, and adults in 55 shelters/programs in Orange County including residents of safe shelters, emancipated and at risk youth and chemical dependency centers in Orange County

*For more info go

Sunday, October 17, 2010



Children Living in Low Income Families Trending Upward

Description of Indicator
This indicator measures Orange County families’ progress toward self-sufficiency and economic stability by tracking enrollment in
core public assistance programs and the proportion of children living in low income families.

Why is it Important?
While most families in Orange County do well, the families
struggling to get by are the focus of this indicator. The
challenges associated with poverty – stress, strained family
relationships, substandard housing, lower educational
attainment, limited employment skills, unaffordable child care,
and transportation difficulties – make it hard for low income
families to obtain and maintain employment. Economic stability
can have lasting and measurable benefits for both parents
and children.

How is Orange County Doing?
Enrollment in cash assistance programs remained steady, while
food and health insurance program participation grew:
• The number of people receiving CalWORKs cash
assistance (38,498 in 2007/08) remained the same for the
first time in more than 10 years of steady declines.
• Welfare-to-Work participation in employment, education
and services remained largely unchanged.
• The number of people receiving Food Stamps continues to
grow, currently at 88,284 people, or 2.8% of the total
county population.1
• Medi-Cal enrollment grew 3% last year, while Healthy
Families enrollment rose 8%.
• The increasing enrollments for programs without time
limits reflects expanded eligibility and increased efforts to
enroll income-eligible people.

While the proportion of children living in low income families
fluctuates each year, the long-term trend is upward:

• 40% of students were eligible for free or reduced price
school meals in 2007/08, an increase of 6% over the past 10
• Wide disparities within the county are evident.


Housing Assistance Scarce; More Families Live Doubled-Up

Description of Indicator
This indicator measures Orange County families’ progress
toward housing stability by tracking availability of rental assistance,
and children that are homeless or living in unstable housing
arrangements. For additional countywide housing trends,
see Housing Demand, Housing Affordability, and Rental

Why is it Important?
High housing costs in Orange County force many families into
living conditions they would not choose otherwise. Living
doubled- or tripled-up with another family due to economic
constraints can place stress on personal relationships, housing
stock, public services and infrastructure. When shared housing
is not an option, or if other factors arise, such as foreclosure,
financial loss, or domestic violence, the result can be homelessness.

How is Orange County Doing?
Most residents seeking rental assistance will wait many years for
a voucher unless conditions or funding levels change:
• At the end of December 2008, there were 11,654 applicants
waiting for a Housing Choice Voucher.
• During 2008, the Orange County Housing Authority used
all of its allocated vouchers to assist an average of 9,619
households each month, and issued 671 vouchers to applicants
on the waiting list to replace families that terminated
from the program.
• The voucher supply remains limited because housing
authorities have not had the opportunity to apply to the federal
government for additional housing vouchers since 2003.
Federal law requires public school districts to report the number
of students living in shelters or unsheltered in cars, parks or
campgrounds, as well as in motels or with another family due to
economic hardship:
• In 2007/08, 17,051 Orange County students (mostly in
grades K-12) were identified as living in one of these unstable
housing conditions.1 This is a 30% increase over the past
• Families living doubled- or tripled-up in a home due to economic
hardship are the largest cohort with 15,817 students
living in these conditions.
• Additionally, 789 students live in motels, 385 live in shelters,
and 60 live unsheltered in cars, parks or campgrounds.

Saturday, October 16, 2010



Description of Indicator
This indicator measures the value and change in value of the
median-priced existing single-family detached home. It uses the
California Association of Realtors Housing Affordability Index
to measure the percentage of households that can afford the
existing median-priced single-family detached home in Orange
County. It also compares homeownership rates.

Why is it Important?
High relative housing prices adversely impact businesses’ ability
to attract and retain workers. A shortage of affordable housing,
particularly for first-time buyers, discourages young workers
from moving to or remaining in Orange County. In addition,
a lack of affordable housing results in longer commutes, leading
to increased traffic congestion and pollution, decreased productivity
and diminished quality of life. Homeownership increases
stability for families and communities and is a significant means
of personal wealth creation.

How is Orange County Doing?
The single-family median home sale price is significantly less
than the previous year, although still out of reach for many:
• In July 2008, the median sale price of an existing singlefamily
detached home in Orange County was $537,570, down
$172,150 or 24% since July 2007.
• This price is still nearly $200,000 more than the state median
price for a comparable home in July 2008.

Housing affordability nearly doubled since last year:
• The minimum household income needed to purchase a median-priced
single-family home in Orange County is approximately $78,100.1
• As of the second quarter of 2008, 41% of households in
Orange County could afford an existing single-family
detached home that was priced at 85% of median (or
• This is significantly higher than the 23% able to afford the
same home in 2007.
• Orange County’s affordability rate is consistent with San
Diego and Los Angeles counties.
• Neighboring Riverside and San Bernardino counties remain
more affordable with housing affordability rates of 59% and
63%, respectively.

Homeownership rates rose slightly:
• Homeownership rates for Orange County rose from 62.4% in
2006 to 62.7% in 2007.
• Orange County has similar levels of homeownership as many
of our peer regions, but still lags behind the national rate by
approximately 4.5%.

[from page 23]
Housing Wage Drops for First Time

Description of Indicator
This indicator measures the Housing Wage – the hourly wage a resident needs to afford “Fair Market Rent” (the median rent in the Orange County market).

Why is it Important?
Lack of affordable rental housing can lead to overcrowding and household stress. Less affordable rental housing also restricts the ability of renters to save for a down payment on a home, limiting their ability to eventually become homeowners and build personal wealth through housing appreciation. Ultimately, a shortage of affordable housing for renters can instigate a cycle of poverty.

How is Orange County Doing?
Orange County’s Housing Wage decreased in 2009:
• For the first time since tracking began, the hourly wage needed for a one-bedroom apartment fell – from $25.57 in 2008 to $24.92
in 2009. This Housing Wage is equivalent to an annual income of $51,840.
• The hourly wages needed to afford two- and three-bedroom apartments also declined.
• Despite decreases in Housing Wage levels, Orange County has the second highest Housing Wage (less affordable rental housing)
compared to state and national peer metropolitan areas.

Renting in Orange County

Fair Market Rent (Monthly)
----------------2008 - 2009
One Bedroom ----$1,330 $1,296
Two Bedroom ----$1,595 $1,546
Three Bedroom --$2,282 $2,188

Amount a Household Earning Minimum Wage
Can Afford to Pay in Rent (Monthly)
2008: $416
2009: $416

Number of Hours per Week a Minimum Wage
Earner Must Work to Afford a One-Bedroom
2008: 128
2009: 125

Source: Orange County Business Council analysis of U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Fair Market Rent ( using the methodology of the National Low Income Housing Coalition (, and California Employment Development Department (

[from page 24]

Friday, October 15, 2010



Largest Clusters Split Between Growth and Decline

Description of Indicator
This indicator shows employment and salaries in 10 major
Orange County industry clusters. The clusters were chosen
to reflect the diversity of Orange County employment,
major economic drivers within the county, and important
industry sectors for workforce development. Approximately
40% of all Orange County jobs can be found in the 10 clusters
described in this indicator.

Why is it Important?
Employment change within specific clusters illustrates how
Orange County’s economy is evolving. Tracking salary levels
in these clusters shows whether these jobs can provide a
wage high enough for workers to afford to live in Orange

How is Orange County Doing?
Between 2006 and 2007, employment grew in seven of the
10 major industry clusters:
• Two of the largest clusters –Tourism and Health Services
– were part of this growth.
• The other two largest clusters – Business and Professional
Services, and Construction – experienced employment declines.
• Computer Hardware also experienced a decline.
• The largest employment gains occurred in Communications
(19.2%), Energy and Environment (11.5%), and Computer Software (6.4%).
Eight of the 10 major Orange County industry clusters
experienced salary increases between 2006 and 2007:
• The largest salary increases occurred in Communications
(11.8%), and Energy and Environment (8.8%).
• The two industries experiencing salary reductions were
Computer Software (-1.1%) and Biomedical (-3.1%).
• As presented in the Housing Affordability indicator, the
annual income needed to purchase a median-priced home
in Orange County is $78,100, affordable only to the top
three paying clusters.
• Despite salary increases, three of the four largest clusters
do not have an annual income high enough to afford
median rent on a one-bedroom apartment (estimated at
$51,840 in the Rental Affordability indicator).

Average Annual Salaries in Orange County Clusters
Orange County, 2007 Job Market

------------------------------------2007------------Change 2006-07
Defense and Aerospace -------------$95,199 -------------------6.7%
Computer Software -----------------$82,630 -----------------(-1.1%)
Biomedical ------------------------$80,198------------------(-3.1%)
Computer Hardware -----------------$70,432 --------------------1.7%
Communications --------------------$69,694 -------------------11.8%
Energy and Environment ------------$59,292 --------------------8.8%
Construction ----------------------$53,581 --------------------7.3%
Business and Professional Services $51,349 --------------------5.2%
Health Services -------------------$47,124 --------------------3.0%
Tourism ---------------------------$20,197 --------------------5.8%

Source: Orange County Business Council analysis of data from the California Employment
Development Department

[from page 21]
Economic Contraction Narrows Housing Gap

Description of Indicator
This indicator shows the ratio of new housing permits divided by new jobs created in Orange County compared with peer metropolitan
areas across the state and the country.

Why is it Important?
When an economy is growing, new housing is needed for the additional workers employed. When the housing demand is unmet, it can drive up home prices and apartment rents beyond what is affordable to many workers and residents. An expensive housing market
affects Orange County’s desirability as a business location partly because businesses have greater difficulty attracting and retaining workers — particularly young workers. In addition, residents face longer commute times due to people moving out of the county or to a small concentration of affordable areas within the county. Orange County’s housing deficit is the result of a long-term chasm between the amount of housing built relative to the number of jobs created. Even when the economy contracts, the gap is so wide that demand for new housing does not disappear. To begin to close a gap of this size, housing construction must increase and remain high in times of economic growth as well as contraction.

How is Orange County Doing?
Despite a significant decline in employment, the long-term housing
shortage that has existed in Orange County since the late-1990s
continues due to weak housing development:
• In 2007, employment dropped by 28,200 jobs while 7,372 new
housing permits were granted.
• The resulting ratio of -3.83 leaves Orange County with a
negative number of jobs (job losses) per new housing permit.
• This is in contrast to peer regions around the country (except for
the Inland Empire and Los Angeles) where job growth continued
in correspondence with housing permit growth.
• Still, since 1999, a total of 162,100 new jobs were created (including
losses) compared with 78,800 housing units permitted.
• In other words, for every 1.8 jobs created since 1999, one housing
unit has been permitted. The standard “healthy” ratio of jobs to
permits is 1.5 jobs per housing unit.
• All peer areas compared granted more housing permits than Orange County in 2007.

[from page 22]

Thursday, October 14, 2010



Housing Continues to Drive High Cost of Living

Description of Indicator
This indicator uses a cost of living index to compare prices of housing, consumer goods, and services for Orange County and peer
metropolitan regions. The weighted index compares local market prices in the following areas:
• Housing (28%) • Groceries (13%)
• Utilities (10%) • Transportation (10%)
• Health care costs (4%) • Miscellaneous items (35%)

The average for all 300 metro areas analyzed equals 100 and each area’s individual index is read as a percentage of the average for
all places.

Why is it Important?
A high cost of living relative to peer markets can make Orange County less attractive
as a destination for businesses and workers. In addition, businesses already operating in Orange County may opt to relocate or expand elsewhere. Current residents – particularly young workers – may decide to move to more affordable areas.

How is Orange County Doing?
In the second quarter of 2008:
• Orange County’s cost of living was the third highest of our peer regions, which are
among the highest of the 300 metro areas analyzed in the index.
• San Francisco and San Jose were the only markets more expensive.
• With 100 being average, Orange County measured 155.8 on the index (up from
154.9 last year).
• Orange County’s cost of living measures for groceries, utilities, transportation and miscellaneous items tended to rank in the middle among peers, but high housing
costs significantly affected the index, making Orange County’s score among the

[from page 19]
High Average Income and Growth Rate in 2006

Description of Indicator
This indicator measures per capita income levels and income
growth. Total personal income includes wages and salaries,
proprietor income, property income, and transfer payments, such as
pensions and unemployment insurance. Figures are not adjusted for

Why is it Important?
A high per capita income for residents is crucial in the context of
Orange County’s high housing costs. In addition, a higher relative
per capita income signals greater discretionary income for the
purchase of goods and services.

How is Orange County Doing?
Orange County boasts fast income growth in recent years:
• In 2006, Orange County’s per capita income of $48,209 was
higher than the state and national averages and up 6.0% from
$44,465 in 2005.
• When compared to peer and neighboring markets, Orange
County has the fourth highest per capita income, trailing only
San Jose, Boston and Seattle.
• Between 1997 and 2006, Orange County posted a per capita
income growth of 5.1%, which is faster than all peer regions
compared except for San Diego.
• Over this same 10-year period, the average inflation rate was
2.5%, which should be taken into account when interpreting
these income growth percentages.
• As the country slips into recession, per capita income is
anticipated to decline.

[from page 20]