OC Supervisors Approve Homeless Program

SANTA ANA (CNS) - Orange County supervisors today approved spending up to $5.5 million on a program to help up to 350 people get off the streets.

The money from state and federal grants will provide an array of support services to help homeless individuals get into permanent housing.

The county chose Orange County Housing Services Collaborative to assist transients through the process of finding and securing residences.

Recipients will receive $4,500 for move-in costs, $528 per month for ``navigation services,'' and $432 monthly for ``sustainability services.''

Mercy House Executive Director Larry Haynes told the board that the program ``is something needed in the county across the board ... It puts us in an enhanced position to get people out of shelters and directly into permanent housing.''

Haynes noted that money for housing construction is available, ``but oftentimes what's missing is the funds available for support services.''

Orange County Supervisor Lisa Bartlett said she was ``really excited about this program.''

``This is about the county collaborating with great providers in the community... The wrap-around services (are) so essential to getting people off the streets and giving people what they need for every chance for success ... I look forward to the day when we actually solve homelessness in our county.''

Supervisor Don Wagner said the program was a ``marvelous step forward.''

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