Our mission: Preventing hunger and homelessness by helping people help themselves. South County Outreach is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization governed by a board of directors. Our tax ID number is 33-0330233.
We help those in crisis reach self-sufficiency by providing the following services:
Distributes emergency non-perishable and fresh food daily to as many as 3,000 residents a month.
HOMELESS PREVENTION COUNSELING
Provides individual coaching, resources, and referrals to promote self-reliance and prevent homelessness.
UTILITY & RENTAL ASSISTANCE
As many as 332 families a year receive emergency utility and rental assistance to avoid shut-off and eviction.
Provides subsidized housing in 17 South County Outreach-owned condominiums and professional case management services to homeless families.
Provides financial assistance and services to house individuals and families and help those who are experiencing homelessness to be quickly rehoused and stabilized
Instructs more than 400 students annually and helps those who are unemployed and under-employed improve their computer skills to increase job opportunities.
Supports our mission by providing 400 clothing vouchers each year to families in need to shop at the store.
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.
Ray Havert, Founder
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.
September 5, 1989
Ray Havert opened Saddleback Community Outreach in Laguna Hills
1,500 residents received food
1990 – Initiated the Housing Assistance Program
1991 – Expanded services to include Rental and Utility Assistance
1993 – Approved for the Orange County Rental Assistance Loan Program
1994 – Launched a Transitional Housing Program
1999 – Established the Computer Learning Lab in Laguna Hills
2001 – Opened Upscale Resale Thrift Store
2001 – Ray Havert became Chairman Emeritus
2004 – Saddleback Community Outreach was re-named South County Outreach
2004 – Moved offices from Laguna Hills to Lake Forest
2013 – 260 volunteers completed 47,628 hours to assist 9,200 residents through 60,000 services, 28 families were housed, 370 households received rental or utility assistance, 641 students completed computer classes
2014 – Relocated to Irvine with all client services under one roof
Preventing hunger and homelessness by helping people help themselves.
Guiding us in our mission are our values:
Treat clients and co-workers with courtesy and kindness.
Maintain confidentiality to ensure privacy of all matters.
Inspire both clients and staff to realize their potential by teaching them and allowing them an opportunity to succeed on their own.
Strategically use every resource given for the most responsible and cost-effective achievement of our goals.
Mobilize the substantial good will of our broader community to enable neighbors to appropriately help neighbors in need.
End Hunger. House Hope.
Citites we serve:
- Aliso Viejo
- Dana Point
- Laguna Beach
- Laguna Hills
- Laguna Niguel
- Laguna Woods
- Lake Forest
- Mission Viejo
- Rancho Santa Margarita
- San Clemente
- San Juan Capistrano