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  • Jane O'Connor, Communications Intern

Being able to afford safe and healthy housing for families has been a continuous problem over the past few decades; however, the problem only seems to be getting worse. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people all over the country lost jobs and suffered financial instability, causing housing to become a major issue as well.


As housing prices continue to increase every year, the minimum wage that workers earn does not increase fast enough in order to accommodate the housing prices. In a report conducted by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, “A renter in search of a modest two-bedroom home, who is seeking to stay within the 30% income window, needs to earn $24.90 per hour, the study says” (Source: npr.org). This dollar amount is over 3 times higher than the federal minimum wage of $7.25, which shows how unrealistic and difficult finding and maintaining affordable housing is for people across the U.S.

When looking specifically at California and the Orange County area, the minimum wage is $14.00 per hour. In the National Low Income Housing Coalition report, it was concluded that workers who earn minimum wage here in Orange County would have to work a minimum of 89 hours per week in order to afford and pay rent for a one-bedroom apartment. These conditions show the severity of the housing crisis in our community.


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  • Jane O'Connor, Communications Intern

Aldersgate United Methodist Church, located in Tustin, California, has been a “Spiritual Home for All'' in Orange County for more than 50 years: children, youth, young adults, adults, families – people of all ages connecting through Christ. The church welcomes all people to come learn about and celebrate the teachings of God and Jesus Christ. The congregation is led spiritually by Senior Pastor, Reverend Kenneth K. Suhr, and Teaching Pastor, Reverend Tim Ellington.


The Family Promise host congregation ministry at Aldersgate is helmed by Coordinator Dave Kendall. Dave works alongside a great group of men who have volunteered their time to maintain this amazing partnership and make a difference in the lives of local families. Aldersgate currently hosts our families four times a year, providing shelter and meals for them as they work towards their own stability and self-reliance. Because of the wonderful partnership and support of Aldersgate UMC Tustin, Family Promise has also been able to host events on the congregation’s campus, such as the Chili Cookoff fundraiser event in 2019.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Aldersgate was able to take our partnership even further to make an impact in the local community. Due to the pandemic, the Family Promise shower trailer that was usually used by our families in the Emergency Shelter program was out of commission. Aldersgate was able to connect us with their frequent partner church across the street, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Tustin, and Family Promise was able to lend them the shower trailer in order for them to be able to provide showers for individuals attending St. Paul’s longstanding Sunday Supper ministry. The collaboration and partnership between Aldersgate United Methodist Church, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, and Family Promise of Orange County has truly blessed many in the Tustin community who have needed help in a very difficult time.


Thank you, Aldersgate, for your continued support and leadership for both the families in our program, and the Tustin community!

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  • Jane O'Connor, Communications Intern

Superstar volunteer Jon Peters has dedicated hundreds of hours over the past 20 years volunteering for organizations and serving those in need in the Southern California community.

Having lived in Southern California for decades, Jon spent many years in Pasadena, California, before moving to Orange County. Jon was introduced to Family Promise of Orange County through his church, Trinity United Presbyterian Church Santa Ana, a Family Promise partner congregation. Jon has since spent the past five years volunteering to help Family Promise families. He has volunteered at Trinity when the church has hosted families on their campus, and Jon currently also helps out around the Family Promise office with a wide variety of tasks - whatever is needed to help out!

Jon says he loves working with Family Promise because “they are a national organization that challenges families to get on their feet again, but also provides families with helpful resources to accomplish these goals.” One of Jon’s favorite memories from volunteering with Family Promise over the years is the Christmas festivities. He says that helping with the Christmas presents and decorations always puts a smile on his face knowing that he can help families experience some holiday cheer during a difficult time.


Currently, Jon is selling his business, which means that he will have even more time to volunteer! We at Family Promise could not be more appreciative for the dedication and commitment Jon has shown as a volunteer for our program. Thank you, Jon!


To start your volunteer journey with Family Promise of Orange County, visit www.familypromiseoc.org/volunteer.

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