Updates from FSC

May 2022

Hello Members, Partners and Stakeholders,

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and we are focusing our social media efforts on educating the community on how children and families who experience homelessness are more at risk of mental health issues, trauma and adverse childhood effects. In Orange County, more than 40% of the children experiencing homelessness are aged five and younger and at any given time, OC has more than 500 homeless families, that we know of.

Research from the NASP Center indicates that 43% of homeless students repeat a grade, 25% are placed in special education, and 50% are failing academically. This is due to many factors, but one that’s not talked about is trauma, and how it affects a person’s day to day functioning. According to research done by First 5 LA, children who experience homelessness are three times more likely to encounter trauma— both as a result from their homelessness and the situation that caused them to be homeless. By age of 12, 83% of children experiencing homelessness have been exposed to at least one serious, violent incident, and almost 25% have witnessed intimate partner violence. Trauma therefore makes it more difficult for children who have these experiences to lead healthy, stable lives, making it harder to break out of the cycle of homelessness.

Investing in homeless prevention strategies are key to ensuring children, parents and families are able to reduce trauma and mental health challenges and break the cycle of homelessness. We are proud of the system-level, best practice work our 24 members agencies and community partners who are engaged and invested to help prevent and end family homelessness in Orange County!

For the families,

Nikki Buckstead, Executive Director

Family Solutions Collaborative

May 2022: Member Agency Spotlight

Project Hope Alliance

Project Hope Alliance is an FSC member whose mission is to End the Cycle of Homelessness - One Child at a Time.

Project Hope Alliance (PHA) deploys a long-term, on-site intervention model for children, youth and their family's experiencing homelessness, who face obstacles that prevent them from accessing resources and achieving educational and life goals. For children experiencing homelessness, Project Hope Alliance works to solves the unique issues that prevent them from achieving their full potential.

The story of PHA’s CEO Jennifer Friend’s background is also very impactful to their work. As a youth who experienced homelessness herself, she is able to speak from a first-person perspective about the issues of homelessness. Her passion, skills and experience trickle down through their entire team.

Learn more about PHA

Would your agency like an in-person or virtual presentation regarding the Family Solutions Collaborative? If so, contact Rachel Berge, the FSC Community Engagement Coordinator at

House of Ruth

a Collaborative Project

Family Promise OC and HomeAid OC

Two of our member agencies, Family Promise OC and HomeAid OC, have partnered together with the City of Tustin to build House of Ruth.

House of Ruth will be located in the City of Tustin and will have 40 beds for long-term housing and support for homeless families. This is a wonderful resource for our community and the families in need! #collaborationworks

Learn more here

Take the Pledge - Stigma Free OC

About the Stigma Free Orange County Movement

Stigma Free OC is a county-wide movement which aims to clear the stigma associated with mental illness and addiction. Stigma can make it difficult to see people for who they really are beyond the conditions they are living with. The campaign is dedicated to raising awareness of these illnesses by creating an environment where people are seen and supported in their efforts to achieve wellness and recovery.

Show your support – Agree to be Stigma Free!

Complete the pledge to make a statement of support and show that you are taking an effort to reduce the impact of stigma in Orange County for your agency, family, friends and yourself.

Take the Pledge

2022 Point in Time Count

What the numbers say - and don’t say

It was a massive undertaking this last February, that even included a delay due to the surge in the Omicron variant, but hundreds of volunteers and homeless service provider agencies were committed to getting the best Point in Time Count or snapshot, of those experiencing homelessness in Orange County.

We are grateful to our member City Net, for once again leading the charge, under tight timelines and a pandemic - brought together the community for this important cause. A big THANK YOU to the FSC Family Access Points who dedicated time and staff to make sure families were included in this important report.

One thing we know is that family homelessness in Orange County is invisible. Homeless families are resilient and do their best to make sure they stay out of public places to protect their children and try to stay safe. The PIT Count focuses on finding those experiencing homelessness in homeless encampments, but we know most families will not be found there.

In 2017, the FSC undertook the Family Awareness Week as a result of the lack of families included in previous years’ PIT Counts - and knowing that the number of families was unrepresented. That spearheaded the work of the FSC to ensure that families didn’t get left behind. During the same month as the 2022 PIT Count, over 500 families requested services through the Family Solutions Collaborative who were experiencing homelessness.

The PIT Count is crucial as it helps the Federal Government determine how much funding communities and specific populations in each community should receive. Our goal is to continue to work with all involved in the PIT Count and find ways in which we can ensure families are indeed being accurately counted.

Thank you to Supervisor Doug Chaffee and the Orange County Health Care Agnecy for holding a Press Conference detailing the Point in Time and talking about its importance! We are honored to be mentioned with the other incredible organizations who worked so hard on this event.

Watch the Press Conference
2022 PIT Count Summary Report

Orange County 2022

Affordable Housing Needs Report

The California Housing Partnership’s 2022 Affordable Housing Needs Report shows that increases in the cost of living continue to push affordable housing out of the for many families in Orange County. Read the key findings and local policy recommendations in the report which also includes pertinent information from the Kennedy Commision.

Read the Report

Interested in the impact the Family Solutions Collaborative has made to help prevent and end family homelessness in Orange County? Check our 2021 report HERE

FSC Training Series

for FSC Members

We are launching our FSC summer training series, to include Motivational Interviewing, Diversion/Problem-Solving for Shelter Staff and more!

Trainings are free and available to FSC staff members who work within the family homeless response system. Space is limited - watch for details!

Just a few years ago, the OC family homeless response system was confusing, inequitable with little cooperation and collaboration. Now, our community partners and FSC members work together to make sure families experiencing a housing crisis are able to access coordinated, equitable and timely resources. #collaborationworks

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Family Solutions Collaborative Member Agencies

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Family Solutions Collaborative · 1505 E 17th Street · Suite 220 · Santa Ana, California 92705 · USA