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Homeless housing: OC to pay non-profit $1.6 million to help 60 of the most vulnerable




A line of homeless people at the Santa Ana riverbed wait to get connected with a motel room or shelter. on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018.
A line of homeless people at the Santa Ana riverbed wait to get connected with a motel room or shelter. on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018.
Jill Replogle/KPCC

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Back in February, officials in the OC dislodged about 700 homeless people who were camped along the Santa Ana Riverbed. In April, another 200 were moved from the city's Civic Center. Many were housed in motels before getting placed into shelters. 

Now, Supervisors in Orange County will set aside $1.6 million over the next six months to put about 60 of those people on track for permanent housing. But the way they're doing it is a little bit different.

The funds will go to an Irvine-based non-profit organization called The Illumination Foundation — a group that Supervisor Andrew Do says touts a 90% success rate after a year of treatment. 

To track their progress, the county set a goal: if the group can get 36 people, or about 60%, into permanent housing by late October, the county could renew the program for another six months.

Supervisor Do says they'll target the people who are most challenging to help.

Most of them an interplay of multiple conditions, whether it be a physical ailment, or substance abuse, or addictions, or mental, behavioral health issues. When we treat individuals with occurring conditions, it's hard to tease out if we have to go to separate providers to provide different kinds of care. There is no coordination, and so the patient ends up being caught in between. 

The concept with the Illumination Foundation is recuperative care, meaning wrap-around services, doing whatever it takes to overcome their conditions.