I was thrilled to read coverage regarding the Orange County Board of Supervisors’ meeting yesterday in the Orange County Register and even more interested in the opinion of the article. With more and more people aligning in the belief that “shelter cannot be a revolving door – where success is measured by the number of those fed or housed, rather than by the numbers who have risen out of homelessness,” we will continue to see homeless men and women transition off the streets and stay off of the streets.
With mention in the article to the strategy and programming of the Orange County Rescue Mission, I am overwhelmed with gratitude to all of our donors who also believe in achieving these meaningful results and investing in our Mission. Because of the advantageous and thoughtful donors of Orange County and beyond, our organization has the privilege of being 100% privately funded and debt free to invest in the lives and bright futures of the least, the last and the lost.
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Read the article below or click here to read online.

Buy building to house shelter, then step aside

The Orange County Board of Supervisors’ afternoon agenda today contains only one item, the purchase of a warehouse at 1000 N. Kraemer Place in Anaheim intended to become the county’s first year-round homeless shelter.
We support the county in this endeavor. But, while four walls, a roof and 200 beds are important first steps in facing up to a problem inadequately addressed in this county for far too long, the commitment to a shelter also must come with a plan to reduce homelessness in the community.
This shelter cannot be a revolving door – where success is measured by the number of those fed or housed, rather than by the numbers who have risen out of homelessness.
As such, we were happy to read that the county staff report contains a provision for handing over shelter operations to nonprofits, as the private sector has long proven itself better at matching resources to needs than has government.
Organizations like the Orange County Rescue Mission, a faith-based operation working since 1963 and 100 percent privately funded, are motivated to continue showing meaningful results.
Ultimately, this shelter must be about connecting the extensive private support network that exists in this county with those who most urgently need it. The homeless are not a monolith, and this shelter not the sole solution. It is a home base for an outward push to reduce homelessness countywide.
The county has shown admirable leadership, but transitioning to a support role with the shelter will make it easier for organizations with records of success to advance their good works.

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