The Orange County Endowment was established in 1994 to respond quickly and effectively to Orange County's most pressing needs.  To date, nearly $8 million in grants have been awarded to support the work of Orange County nonprofit organizations, with a focus on strengthening the safety net for vulnerable children and families.

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Hanging By a Thread

Outside appearances paint Orange County as a vibrant community filled with happy, active families and a thriving economy. But what you don’t see on the surface tells the tale for thousands of Orange County residents who are unemployed or underemployed, homeless or insecure in their housing, and hungry or hard pressed to find adequate food for themselves or their children.

Source: Orange County Children's Partnership: The 17th Annual Report on the Conditions of Children in Orange County, 2011
By the Numbers: 133hours
To rent a one-bedroom apartment at minimum wage, an Orange County resident must work 133 hours a week.
Source: Orange County 2012 Community Indicators, page 21

While household incomes for many Orange County residents are well above the six-figure mark, more than 220,000 Orange County children—nearly half of enrolled K–12 students—live in families making the equivalent of $40,000 per year for a family of four.

Significant income disparity coupled with high cost of living challenges many families and individuals to meet even the most basic needs. Oftentimes, multiple families must share crowded living spaces. Seventy percent of Orange County’s homeless are families with children. And one in five Orange County children lives without a reliable source of healthy food.

Facing the Issues

  • Concentrated pockets of high unemployment adjacent to regions of affluence create extraordinary challenges for people trying to make ends meet.
  • Many residents are homeless, unstably housed or living with other families in crowded apartments or homes.
  • Startling numbers of OC residents—including children—go hungry on a daily basis.