Orange County United Way Helps Families During COVID-19 Crisis
Monday, April 27, 2020
The Orange County United Way is helping to mitigate the impact of Coronavirus on employment and income for many families across Orange County.
OC United Way reported that requests for help with food and housing keep climbing, week by week.
In March, there were 57,800 claims for unemployment insurance filed in Orange County, according to a report from the California Employment Development Department. Meanwhile, data from 211 Orange County shows there have been 11,124 requests for assistance with Food/Meals and 8,640 for help with housing. These two categories remain as the most significant categories for caller needs.
Through its Homelessness Prevention Pilot Program, in a single week, OC United Way provided 122 families with personalized $500 emergency debit cards to help with rent, food, and utilities to prevent homelessness. The Homelessness Prevention Pilot Program has supported nearly 600 families for a total of approximately $300,000 as of April 21.
OC United Way has distributed 5,000 books since March 23 to help children from low-income families get access to books during the COVID-19 pandemic. Books were either mailed home or picked up by families in need at food distribution centers across Orange County. So far, books have been distributed in Anaheim, Brea, Costa Mesa, Fullerton, Irvine, La Habra, Mission Viejo, and Santa Ana. To support this project, the public is invited to purchase books on the Orange County United Way’s Amazon Wish List and have them shipped directly to: ATTN: Daisy Benitez, 18012 Mitchell South, Irvine, CA 92614.
OC United Way recently kicked off its first Read Aloud Story Time Online. Each week on Thursday at 3 p.m. Through the organization’s Facebook OC Reads Group, a free read-aloud session is available for children and their parents and caregivers to enjoy. Early literacy is essential to the life-long success of students; these online Read Aloud Story Time sessions are aimed at helping children stay on track while schools are closed and to help them and their families share the love of literacy.
Through the newly launched the OC Family to Family Campaign, dedicated entirely to homelessness prevention during the COVID-19 pandemic, the public can help vulnerable families that have had their income impacted by the COVID-19 crisis and are at risk of homelessness. The goal of the OC Family to Family Campaign is to raise $1 million to support 2,000 families.