FAMILY PROMISE OF ORANGE COUNTY RAISES $214,000 FOR FAMILIES EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS AT 2021 “HELP, HOPE, HOME GALA”
The nonprofit also announces $3.7 million House of Ruth building campaign
to construct new short-term transitional housing and community resource center.
Gemma Stewart – Rocket Launch PR
Orange, Calif. (October 27, 2021) – More than 100 Orange County philanthropists, business leaders and community champions gathered on Saturday, October 23 for Family Promise of Orange County’s (FPOC) annual Help, Hope, Home Gala. The event raised more than $214,000, enabling FPOC to continue providing emergency shelter, short-term transitional housing and holistic services to help families overcome homelessness, end the cycle of poverty and rebuild their lives.
Since its inception in 2012, FPOC has served more than 300 families and continues to grow. During the gala, the organization announced its House of Ruth building campaign, which will construct and staff a new housing community and comprehensive center that will triple the organization’s overall capacity. Developed in partnership with HomeAid Orange County and the City of Tustin, House of Ruth will support more than 200 struggling families each year. The campaign seeks to achieve a total of $3.7 million by the end of 2022 and has already raised half of the total amount needed to date.
Built on land donated by the City of Tustin, seven apartment-style housing units will provide short-term transitional housing for homeless families. The House of Ruth’s Community Center will also offer vital support programs that promote stability, health, healing and self-sufficiency for resident families and other vulnerable families from the region.
According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Orange County’s homeless population in 2020 was nearly 7,000, including more than 440 families. With the effects of the pandemic, those numbers are likely to skyrocket with the next census expected to happen in January 2022.
“The past two years have made raising a family even harder and taken an unthinkable toll on housing stability. We are overwhelmed by our supporters’ generous donations and that of so many others in our community,” said FPOC Executive Director Cyndee Albertson. “With the sharp increase in homelessness in Orange County throughout the pandemic, a housing community like House of Ruth is needed more than ever.”
The 1920s-themed annual benefit, held at The Villa in Orange, was sponsored by The Kenneth H. Dart Foundation, Wright Ford Young & Co., Tom & Tammy Hunt, and Barbara Berkowitz. In attendance at the Help, Hope, Home Gala were FPOC Board of Directors, including Daniel Griset, Cathy Threadgill, Rebecca Christiansen, Jodi Ristrom, Melody Mosley, Sue Currie and Barbara Mazeau. Also, in attendance were some of Orange County’s top business and community leaders, including Carl Greenwood, Bill Steiner, Bill Groves, Jonathan & Laurie Alelove, Curt Clemens, Pasha Mirhadi, Malcolm Thomas, Dan Young, Doy Henley, Dan Stone, Reverend Steve Ranney and Reverend Kim Skilling.
The evening kicked off with a cocktail reception featuring a red carpet, guests dressed to impress in their best 1920s attire, dancing flappers, lively music and tray passed hors d'oeuvres. The dinner and program offered a special presentation of the House of Ruth campaign and Reagan’s story, a single mom and her son who were in crisis and now are graduates of FPOC.
As part of the event, FPOC presented three awards – Volunteer of the Year: Jodi Ristrom, Caring Heart: Sandee Rogers, and Congregation Recognition: Tustin Presbyterian Church. In a moving tribute, attendees toasted Ristrom, Rogers and Tustin Presbyterian Church’s impact as FPOC supporters.
“These remarkable honorees have embraced our mission and are important partners in ensuring that every family has a home, a chance for a better future and that no child sees homelessness twice in their lifetime,” said Albertson. “Throughout the years, these award recipients have supported Family Promise not only financially but also through their valuable donated time. Because of them, hundreds of families’ lives have changed.”
The gala fundraiser provided many opportunities to support FPOC with items donated by community partners such as Anaheim Ducks, Six Flags Magic Mountain, Aquarium of the Pacific, Spirit Cruises and The Broad. The live auction featured two tickets and hotel stay for any choice of an MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL regular season game, as well as a three-night stay at the Stoller Family Wine Estate in Oregon. The silent auction featured getaways to Panama, The Grenadines and Antigua donated by Elite Island Resorts.
For more information on the nonprofit’s services and how to donate to the House of Ruth campaign, please visit https://www.familypromiseorangecounty.org/house-of-ruth.
About Family Promise of Orange County
Family Promise of Orange County’s mission is to help families experiencing homelessness to achieve housing stability. We are an interfaith organization that partners with and mobilizes volunteers from the faith-based community to end homelessness for Orange County’s families and their children. Families in our program receive a full complement of resources, support and training as they work towards their own stability and self-reliance. We help, we give hope, we bring families home!
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