Steadfast Companies is Doing Good!

I like to take every opportunity I can to recognize the partnerships that are so vital to the success of Orange County Rescue Mission.  One such partnership is with Steadfast Companies. Doing good as we do well, is the inspiring motto of Steadfast Companies. This international corporation has kept its focus on serving the communities in which they do business, living out their core values of supporting families.

Orange County Rescue Mission is blessed to be one the recipients of Steadfast Companies’ care and support of families.  It has been wonderful to see our relationship with Steadfast grow.

Groups of community-minded employees from Steadfast have been serving with the Rescue Mission since 2013.  And, out of those group service opportunities, many individual employees now serve with us on a regular basis.

Recently, Steadfast Companies made a generous donation of $5,000 to support the Rescue Mission!  This incredible donation will impact the lives of so many homeless men, women, and children in Orange County. Through their generosity and service, Steadfast Companies is truly making a difference in our community.

Thank you Steadfast Companies for your generosity and heart for the Least, the Last, and the Lost of our community!

Giving online is easy, safe, and quick. Your donation will make an immediate impact to provide meals, shelter and services for a homeless family in desperate need of a hand up to self-sufficiency.


Volunteer Spotlight: Jacqueline Klein

I would like to introduce you to another Orange County Rescue Mission superhero volunteer: Jacqueline Klein!

Jacqueline Klein exemplifies genuine compassion and kindness in all that she does.  Miss Jacqueline, as everyone affectionately calls her, has been serving for more than 6 years with Orange County Rescue Mission in various capacities.  She has worked in our Admissions Department screening calls and conducting phone interviews for homeless people who need our services.  Miss Jacqueline offered a kind and patient ear to those struggling and in need. Her heart of compassion allowed her to endure many long phone calls, recounting stories of suffering and hopelessness. She was able to offer a glimpse of hope through her kind words.

Currently, Miss Jacqueline can be found in our Parent and Child Enrichment Center spending one-on-one time with our toddlers.   She also does many creative crafts and activities with the older children. The children who work with her boast of their beautiful projects that she helps them create. We cannot imagine our community without the loving care of Miss Jacqueline

Thank you for your service, Miss Jacqueline!

Giving online is easy, safe, and quick. Your donation will make an immediate impact to provide meals, shelter and services for a homeless family in desperate need of a hand up to self-sufficiency.


The Journey on the Road to Success

Orange County Rescue Mission’s primary goal is not simply to provide a roof or a meal.  It is to bring lasting change and transformation to someone’s life so that they will have the tools and resources to remain self-sufficient even after they leave us.  One of the most important factors is employment: both finding and maintaining a job.

So what does it take to transform someone who once was homeless and broken into a confident and successful employee, that would be an asset to any company?  I have learned that it requires many steps, details that many would just overlook. But our program believes on giving people every tool possible to become employable. And it works!  Take a look at some of the tips and skills we teach Rescue Mission residents through our Road to Success employment workshop.

Here are a few of the steps our residents learn in the Road to Success: A Job Readiness Workshop:

From day one on our campuses to the start of job search, the transformation is undeniable. With only 7 seconds to make a first impression, maintaining a professional appearance while job searching is essential. Moreover, part of your success in an interview is based off of how you are perceived by the employer. With that in mind, it is important to always look your best throughout your job search journey, dressing one step above your targeted position.

  • Clothes: Avoid tight fitting or transparent clothes; as well as low cut shirts, and short skirts. Also avoid wearing sweats and clothes that are too big and baggy, as they create an impression of untidiness. Jeans are never considered professional attire and make sure to iron.
  • Shoes: Make sure your shoes are clean and polished. Do not wear tennis shoes; however, your shoes should be comfortable enough to walk with ease.
  • Hair: Your hair should be neatly combed and styled. Avoid a hair style that requires you to constantly brush or flick your hair back during a job interview. Remember to remove sunglasses and avoid pushing them up in your hair.
  • Makeup & Fragrances: Wear understated makeup. Heavy and dark makeup can be distracting for the interviewer. Avoid wearing fragrances to interviews.
  • Tattoos: Before your job interview cover up tattoos as much as possible.
  • Hands: Make sure you have clean and trimmed fingernails. Opt for an understated, natural colored nail polish.
  • Jewelry: Wear understated jewelry. Don’t wear flashy jewelry, including big, dangling earrings and jangling bracelets. Take out all body/facial piercings, including earrings if you are a man. Men should avoid wearing necklaces or bracelets; no more than one ring per hand and a watch.
  • Hygiene: Maintain good hygiene. Be sure to shower and have fresh breath. Never smoke prior to meeting with an employer or before submitting an application in person

Learning how to dress professionally and create a positive first impression is just one valuable lesson our residents learn through the Road to Success workshop.  Throughout this workshop, our residents are able to work through old, unhealthy work habits or perspectives that may be hindering them from moving forward professionally.  It is truly a special time as these individuals realize not only are they employable, but they are uniquely valuable.

I want to give a special thank you to Working Wardrobes, one of our non-profit partners that helps to provide our residents with professional attire. With so many people going through Road to Success each year, we would not be able to provide residents with the ability to dress for success without Working Wardrobes!

Giving online is easy, safe, and quick. Your donation will make an immediate impact to provide meals, shelter and services for a homeless family in desperate need of a hand up to self-sufficiency.


Lindsay’s Story: Finding Fulfillment in Christ

It is an experience we are all familiar with:  looking for love in the wrong place.  So often, we search for a satisfaction in people or things that only God can give.  We look for affection and approval from others that can only truly be satisfied in Christ.

This is how Lindsay’s story begins.  Denied affection and attention as a child, she began to look for that satisfaction elsewhere, a painful journey that led her to drugs and unhealthy relationships.  But through her time at the Rescue Mission, Lindsay is now a transformed woman, rooted and satisfied in the Lord.

This is Lindsay’s story.

Lindsay woke with a start. She was numb with cold. Gradually, her mind grasped that she was lying on the hard ground along the riverbed that had been “home” for the past few nights.

And then came the flood of memories. Her mom not noticing or caring about where her children were going or what they were up to. Her dad, with a drink in his hand, sitting for hours on end.  She remembered craving his attention as a little girl, and how he masked his pain from the horrors of Vietnam. Most days, she had felt invisible. No one knew her heartache.

From the outside, her family seemed perfect. But with no one at home to care about what was happening in her life, Lindsay had begun looking for approval and acceptance elsewhere.

And she began a painful journey that stripped Lindsay of everything: her home, her children, her dignity and self-worth.

At 13, with no one to stop her, Lindsay began experimenting with drugs. “I ended up in a group home by the time I was 16,” Lindsay says. “But it didn’t help my addiction and it didn’t heal the damage done to my heart.”

And when her dad died, she fell deeper into the spiral of her addiction.

She also fell into the arms of a man who became toxic. Eventually, she lost control of her life, and of her two young daughters. Lindsay knew she couldn’t go on the way she was living.  Lindsay recalls, “I was trying to survive digging through trash cans and dumpsters, getting bottles and cans to live through the day.”

With little hope left, Lindsay went through not one, but two rehab programs to get clean. But she still didn’t have anywhere to live after the programs ended. So, Lindsay turned to Orange County Rescue Mission.

And for the first time in a long time, Lindsay found the courage to “let go.”

At the Rescue Mission, Lindsay is starting over. Her first step was to let go of everything that was destroying her life — and not just the drugs.

“I had to let go of everyone I knew,” Lindsay says. “They weren’t good for me.”

Today, Lindsay is reunited with both of her daughters and deepening her relationship with God. She is even training to run a half marathon!

“The thing that runs through my mind is, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” Lindsay shares. “I was living in a riverbed, eating out of dumpsters . . . now I’m clean and sober, have my two children with me, a roof over my head. I’m accomplishing things and setting goals and running marathons and getting job experience. I’m going somewhere. I’m not stuck anymore.”

Because of you, hurting and homeless neighbors can break the destructive cycle they’re in and find hope to begin again!

Giving online is easy, safe, and quick. Your donation will make an immediate impact to provide meals, shelter and services for a homeless family in desperate need of a hand up to self-sufficiency.


Miguel’s Story: Finishing High School for His Son

On Tuesday, I was privileged to stand on-stage and shake the hands of 14 Orange County Rescue Mission residents as they received their high school diplomas.  For many, this was a very emotional moment – one they thought they would never experience because of years of  hardships, mistakes and hopelessness.  But on this day, they beat the odds and achieved what they had believed to be impossible.

Our partnership with Tustin Unified School District is what makes it possible for the Rescue Mission to offer high school diploma and completion programs. We appreciate the district’s  support and the vision they share for helping homeless adults get the education they need to achieve self-sufficiency through a WASC accredited program.  TUSD’s commitment to partnership begins at the top with Board of Education President Mr. Jonathan Abelove, Superintendent Dr. Gregory Franklin, and Chief Academic Officer, Mrs. Kathie Nielsen.  A special thanks to Tustin Adult & Hill View School faculty, Principal Tim O’Donoghue, Assistant Principal Dr. Dustin O’Malley, Adult Education Coordinator Mrs. Virginia Burrows and Counselor Mrs. Hannah Pickerill for their support.

One of this year’s graduates is Miguel Rodriguez.  Miguel’s rough childhood led to a chaotic adolescence in and out of juvenile detention centers.  But two years ago, Miguel found out he was going to be a father, and from then on things were different.  Motivated by his son and the desire to give him a better life, Miguel made the decision to go back to school for his high school diploma.

Please click here to read the article for more of Miguel’s inspiring story.

Giving online is easy, safe, and quick. Your donation will make an immediate impact to provide meals, shelter and services for a homeless family in desperate need of a hand up to self-sufficiency.


Volunteer Spotlight: Cricket Hong

I would like to introduce you to another Orange County Rescue Mission superhero volunteer: Cricket Hong!

Every Thursday afternoon, Cricket Hong ends her busy work day as a Judicial Assistant for the Santa Ana Courthouse by joining Orange County Rescue Mission for our Chili Van Outreach to the homeless, just down the street from the courthouse.  Without fail, Cricket is there to help serve chili and bread to the hundreds of people that are homeless and seeking a warm meal.

She has faithfully dedicated herself over the years to the Chili Van Outreach.  Cricket’s dedication to serving makes a big impact in many ways. We can always count on Cricket to get new volunteers excited and ready to serve!  She even brings her own supplies to help serve and clean, just in case anything has been forgotten or gone missing.

Cricket doesn’t just serve food; she also takes it upon herself to reach out and talk to people who may need help.  You can find her in crowds of people with flyers and newsletters in hand, kindly explaining the services available through Orange County Rescue Mission.  Cricket’s desire to see homeless people get off of the streets is inspirational.

Thank you for your service Cricket!

For more information about serving with our Chili Van Outreach, please click here.

Giving online is easy, safe, and quick. Your donation will make an immediate impact to provide meals, shelter and services for a homeless family in desperate need of a hand up to self-sufficiency.


You Can Give a Child a Summer to Remember!

Summer is upon us and that means that the Village of Hope campus will be full of children with days free from school.  Nearly 38 percent of the residents currently living at the Village of Hope are children.  This is more than one-third of the Rescue Mission’s population and something that we can’t take lightly.

Orange County Rescue Mission is in immediate need of the community’s help to fund its annual children’s summer program, “Summer to Remember,” a comprehensive nine week camp for homeless children living at the Village of Hope, a transitional living facility for homeless individuals and families. This year, the donations for the program are at an all-time low, and the Rescue Mission is seeking support from the community to ensure that no child is left behind.

This unique program is designed for school aged children between the ages of 5 and 12, and provides opportunities to grow intellectually, socially and emotionally through hands-on learning activities and field trips. Since the program was started in 2011, it has served countless young children at the Village of Hope and features activities that include academics, social engagements, recreation, sports, and fine arts, among many others.

Summer programs for homeless children are extremely important.  As a result of their chaotic life experiences, these children often face many disadvantages including social and mental obstacles, and are twice as likely to have a learning disability or repeat a grade. We as a community cannot continue to overlook these children. Let’s give them this opportunity to learn, improve their math and reading skills, and be prepared for a successful 2017-18 school year!

The weekly cost to send one of the 45 children to summer camp is $75.00, and with the support of the local community, each child at Village of Hope can have a “Summer to Remember.”

These children are the innocent victims of the harsh reality of homelessness and providing them with the necessary tools to fuel their growth is pertinent to their future success. The children living at the Village of Hope look forward to this program every summer, and we don’t want to let them down this year.

Please donate now at

to give a child a Summer to Remember!



Honored by a Community Partner, Trinity Law School

On May 13, Trinity Law School, of Trinity International University, conferred the degree of Doctor of Laws, Honoris Causa upon Jim Palmer.  This amazing honor comes in perfect timing with his 25th anniversary as President of Orange County Rescue Mission.  Over the past 25 years, he has lead this ministry, and has seen God bring healing, restoration and self-sufficiency to so many.

Dean Halvorson shared the following statement of recognition: “James Edwin Palmer III has demonstrated a lifelong commitment to Christian service through his dedication to Orange County’s homeless population.  He has provided exemplary leadership as President of the Orange County Rescue Mission, Orange County’s largest non-profit, faith-based organization.  He is respected as an innovator for his entrepreneurial approach to rehabilitation and is widely known as an expert on issues affecting the homeless.  As President of the Orange County Rescue Mission, James Palmer established many ministries including the Village of Hope, Hurtt Family Health Clinics, the Double R Ranch, and the Corona Norco Rescue Mission.  He pioneered mobile care services for the homeless which included the establishment of Trinity Law School’s Mobile Legal Clinic.  In 2007, he became the first person in the United States to serve in three levels of government simultaneously as Tustin City Councilmember, Commissioner for the Orange County Housing and Community Development Commission, and Presidential Appointee to the Board for the Corporation for National and Community Services.  He has been honored for his work by multiple individuals and organizations including President George H.W. Bush, President George W. Bush, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, the California State Senate, and the California State Assembly.  James Palmer is a friend of and ambassador for Trinity Law School and Trinity International University. Be it therefore resolved that the Administration, Faculty, and Board of Regents at Trinity International University are pleased to recognize and honor James Edwin Palmer III with the Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) on this 13th day of May, 2017.”


Inherent to the growth of the Rescue Mission’s reach has been the vital partnerships with organizations that have the same convictions to serve the Least, the Last and the Lost. One such partnership is with Trinity Law School of Trinity International University.

Trinity Law School has honored our leader; we would now like to take a moment to honor and recognize their amazing work.  Through our unique partnership with Trinity, the Village of Hope is home to an on-site legal clinic that serves each of our residents.  In addition to the on-site clinic, there is also a mobile Law Clinic that travels to highly populated and marginalized areas of Orange County to offer legal services.  Since its opening in 2009, the Trinity Law School Legal Clinic has helped over 1,095 people become free of the mistakes of their past and move forward into a self-sufficiency.

We are so thankful for the friends like Trinity International University, who have shared in this ministry.  Because of Trinity’s heart for the Least, the Last, and the Lost, and the desire to share their talents and skills, hundreds of people are being freed from their past and seeing hope for their future.  The legacy of lives changed is staggering.  We have witnessed the tears of mothers and fathers as they are reunited with their children, we have witnessed prosecutors that have dropped charges and judges have expunged criminal records.  All of this would not be possible without Trinity Law School.

Thank you, Trinity International University, for honoring Jim Palmer, and for the invaluable role you play here at the Rescue Mission.  We look forward to many more years of serving our community together!

Giving online is easy, safe, and quick. Your donation will make an immediate impact to provide meals, shelter and services for a homeless family in desperate need of a hand up to self-sufficiency.


Serving Those Who Serve Our Country

I am writing this today to acknowledge and thank all of the fellow citizens that have given themselves to defend our country. We have an amazing heritage of service in our country. I am grateful to every veteran for their willingness to serve and defend.  And now we are ready to serve them, ministering the love of Jesus Christ, and giving those that need it a hand up, to become strong and capable men and women once again.

Homeless veterans, the men and women who were always at the ready to defend us, but slipped through the cracks between military and civilian life, are among the Least, the Last and the Lost. Donating and volunteering with Tustin Veterans Outpost is a great opportunity to serve, and give to those who have served us. Click here to serve our veterans.

Let’s continue to strengthen our nation by living Jesus’ words to “Love your neighbor as your yourself.”

Giving online is easy, safe, and quick. Your donation will make an immediate impact to provide meals, shelter and services for a homeless family in desperate need of a hand up to self-sufficiency.


Homelessness isn’t a government problem. It’s a problem for all of us.

Recently, the Orange County Register printed an editorial piece that greatly resonates with my thoughts on the issue of homelessness. Quoted in the following article, I have often said that for far too long, our society has dropped its social ills at government’s doorstep, relying on the government to fix problems that we as a community should be stepping up to face.

This piece is a great reminder and challenge to each of us as members of Orange County communities to come together to provide the manpower and resources to truly make an impact on homelessness. I encourage you to read the article for yourself:

5/19/2017   |     EDITORIAL: Community effort needed on homelessness, ­ Orange County Register

A woman was found dead along the Santa Ana River trail on Tuesday. She had been living in one of the tents that line the riverbed. She was 18 and homeless.

While a cause of death hasn’t been confirmed, it is hard to believe her station in life didn’t play a role.

It is another reminder that more must be done to combat homelessness in our community, which is up almost 8 percent since the last count. But for many, especially on city councils across the county, it is someone else’s problem. It’s Santa Ana’s problem. It’s Anaheim’s problem. It’s the county’s problem.

For far too long, our society has dropped its social ills at government’s doorstep and, after nearly 53 years of the federal “war on poverty,” it has little to show for it. But government has a strange way of measuring success, where increases in the welfare rolls are seen as a success, rather than focusing on boosting the numbers of those who no longer need a handout.

In speaking with Supervisor Todd Spitzer, County Executive Officer Frank Kim, Director of Care Coordinator Susan Price and other representatives of the county health agencies recently, they are keenly aware of the issues.

At the recently opened Bridges at Kraemer Place homeless shelter in Anaheim, the county looks to prove us wrong. The name “Bridges” is important, because it is seen as a bridge between homelessness and self-sufficiency, a place where the individual reasons for homelessness can be identified and people can be connected with the proper services. It’s just one piece of a larger countywide strategy.

“We’re not perfect, but we’re out there every day,” Frank Kim told us. “We’re trying to make a difference.”
But, despite their best efforts, homelessness is a multifaceted problem, likely beyond the resources of even the county. Cities, too, must come together and share the burden. It also requires more than government directives. The private sector has long proven itself better at matching resources to needs than central planners, so it should be included as much as possible.

Todd Spitzer seems to understand that. “As an elected official, I’m asking people to come together to solve this problem,” he told us.

Homelessness isn’t a government problem. It’s a problem for all of us.

Giving online is easy, safe, and quick. Your donation will make an immediate impact to provide meals, shelter and services for a homeless family in desperate need of a hand up to self-sufficiency.



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