About Us



For the past 29 years, South County Outreach (originally Saddleback Community Outreach), has been a leader in the fight to end hunger and homelessness in Orange County. We believe that helping people help themselves is the most effective way to build a self-sustaining community. Through the implementation of programs like our Transitional Housing Program, which puts a roof over the heads of 17 households every year, along with our Food Pantry, which distributes over 800,000 lbs of food and keeps nearly 2,500 children fed each year, South County Outreach is doing what we do best—housing hope and ending hunger, together. In fact, volunteers are an enormous part of our success; we have over a thousand unique volunteers donate their time for us throughout the year, along with 200 regularly scheduled weekly volunteers. Even though our name may have changed, we still rally behind the strength of community. Together, we can make an impact.

South County Outreach is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) non-profit organization governed by a Board of Directors. Our tax ID is: 33-0330233



We help those in crisis reach self-sufficiency by providing the following services:

HOUSING PROGRAMS

Transitional Housing: Provides subsidized housing in 17 South County Outreach-owned condominiums and professional case management services to homeless families.

Rapid Rehousing: Provides financial assistance and services to house individuals and families and help those who are experiencing homelessness to be quickly rehoused and stabilized

RENTAL & UTILITY ASSISTANCE

As many as 332 families a year receive emergency utility and rental assistance to avoid shut-off and eviction.

  • PLEASE NOTE:
    • Applications can be picked up at the office or downloaded. Click here to download a Rapid Rehousing application. Click here to download a Transitional Housing application.

FOOD PANTRY

Distributes emergency non-perishable and fresh food daily to as many as 3,000 residents a month.

HOMELESS PREVENTION SERVICES

Provides individual coaching, resources, and referrals to promote self-reliance and prevent homelessness.

COMPUTER LEARNING LAB

Instructs more than 400 students annually and helps those who are unemployed and under-employed improve their computer skills to increase job opportunities.

UPSCALE RESALE THRIFT STORE

Supports our mission by providing 400 clothing vouchers each year to families in need to shop at the store.

SEASONAL PROGRAMS

Almost 1,300 families are adopted during the holidays with meals and toys. In addition, back-to-school backpacks filled with school supplies are distributed to more than 750 children annually.

Our programs provide dignity and hope – realistic hope for a better future.

Are you looking for other resources? Please see our list of referral resources – click here.

Our History

In 1989, Saddleback Community Outreach was founded as a non-profit, non-sectarian organization providing emergency assistance to South Orange County residents.

Saddleback Community Outreach was founded by local businessman, Ray Havert. Ray, with the aid of volunteers, conducted food drives and opened a food pantry to assist families and seniors in need.

In the first year of operation Saddleback Community Outreach assisted over 1,500 families. By the second year, the number of families seeking services doubled. In 1991, in order to meet this increasing demand, Saddleback Community Outreach relocated to a facility with a warehouse and office space. In addition, Saddleback Community Outreach expanded emergency services to include rental and utility assistance.

As a community leader, Saddleback Community Outreach has developed programs to address the needs of our less fortunate neighbors. In 1994, in response to the growing number of homeless families, Saddleback Community Outreach developed a transitional housing program.

In 1999, Saddleback Community Outreach created a Computer Learning Lab to help unemployed and underemployed residents improve their computer skills, helping individuals compete for jobs that pay a livable wage.

Like most non-profits, Saddleback Community Outreach struggles to raise funds to support our programs. In 2001, Saddleback Community Outreach opened Upscale Resale Thrift Store to support the mission and provide clothing to those in crisis.

In 2004, Saddleback Community Outreach was re-named South County Outreach to reflect the growing South Orange County community. In addition, our Program Offices & Food Pantry relocated from Laguna Hills to a larger facility in Lake Forest.

With the support of community organizations, businesses and individuals, South County Outreach has grown to a $3.2 million dollar organization. In 2013, South County Outreach distributed almost one million pounds of food and provided 58,836 services to 9,400 South Orange County residents.

In 2014, South County Outreach moved to a new location, 7 Whatney, Ste. B in Irvine.




Ray3

 Ray Havert, Founder

Mission

Preventing hunger and homelessness by helping people help themselves.

Values

Guiding us in our mission are our values:

  • Respect
    Treat clients and co-workers with courtesy and kindness.
  • Trust
    Maintain confidentiality to ensure privacy of all matters.
  • Empowerment
    Inspire both clients and staff to realize their potential by teaching them and allowing them an opportunity to succeed on their own.
  • Stewardship
    Strategically use every resource given for the most responsible and cost-effective achievement of our goals.
  • Volunteerism
    Mobilize the substantial good will of our broader community to enable neighbors to appropriately help neighbors in need.

Vision

End Hunger. House Hope.

 

Cities We Serve:

  • Aliso Viejo
  • Dana Point
  • Irvine
  • Laguna Beach
  • Laguna Hills
  • Laguna Niguel
  • Laguna Woods
  • Lake Forest
  • Mission Viejo
  • Rancho Santa Margarita
  • San Clemente
  • San Juan Capistrano