"Be the change that you want to see in the
Programs and Services
Homeless Support Activities in Laguna Beach
Currently, the homeless support activities in Laguna include:
Officer Jason Farris - Community Outreach.
Mari Hill - OC Mental Health nurse.
The Cold Weather Shelters provided by the Churches each
winter, staffed by volunteers, and supported by the city.
Volunteer mentors and case managers working with the homeless
on a one-on-one basis to help them solve the problems that
trap them in homelessness.
- Three dinners per week by church volunteers (Heisler
- Saturday breakfast from Christ
Fellowship Church (Main Beach).
- Wednesday and Saturday lunches (at various locations
by various volunteer groups).
Our most important resources are our outreach volunteers.
Review of the homeless statistics for the last ten years show
that more Laguna Beach homeless individuals (including chronic
homeless) have been returned to a home or shelter-based stable
life by outreach volunteers working on the streets then by
any of the other activities listed above.
To best understand the plan for our homeless outreach program,
we should understand the categories of volunteers that are
needed to implement the program. There are four important
categories. They are:
- Volunteers to continue to help prepare and serve meals,
to volunteer at the Cold Weather Shelters, and to assist
in the acquisition and distribution of food and clothing.
- Case Managers.
- Information Specialists.
Mentoring is the backbone of homeless outreach. It is performed
on a one-on-one basis with each client over a long period
of time. The cornerstone of mentoring is to develop a close
personal relationship with the client that is based on respect,
understanding, knowledge, and love. A mentor must have a significant
capacity to listen and the capability to encourage the client
to talk and to share. The mentor works with the client to
- A mutual understanding and agreement on the client's problems
- A plan for achieving an agreed-upon goal or set of goals.
The mentor works with the client through each step in the
plan. This direct support can involve such things as:
- Attending meetings with the client, including court appearances,
AA meetings, medical appointments, etc.
- Providing transportation.
- Helping the client to fill out forms.
- Practice for interviews.
- Being available on-call if necessary.
- Develop family contacts for various purposes.
- Provide access to food, clothing, medical support, and
- Assistance with finding jobs and living accommodations.
- Helping the client acquire vital documents such as birth
certificate, ID, driver's license, social security card,
- Assistance in obtaining access to special care, such as
health clinics, hospital care, legal aid, SSI, etc.
The purpose of case management is to coordinate and track
each client's recovery process and progress toward their desired
goals. The Case Manager also works with the Mentor and the
client to develop each client's individual recovery plan.
Then the Case Manager uses knowledge and understanding of
the local resources available to match the client's needs
with the appropriate program, service, or organization. Mentor
and Case Manager work closely together to coordinate and organize
activities aimed at helping the client achieve their goals.
The benefit of case management is efficiency by quickly facilitating
each client's efforts to follow-through on their desired goals.
Case managers may engage in any of the following activities:
- Coordinate solution activities carried out on client's
- Schedule appointments.
- Interact with key contacts within local programs and organizations.
- Use computer to maintain accurate information on various
Use of Information Specialists
Information specialists are volunteers who become experts
in one or more specialty areas. This is an activity that is
vital to the successful implementation of both mentoring and
case management as described above. These experts work with
the mentors and case managers as needed. They add value to
the client's recovery process by providing accurate, up-to-date
information to help the client and case manager implement
their plan of action.
Areas of specialization can include:
- Procedure for acquiring SSI for our clients.
- Jobs availability, types, and locations.
- Housing availability of various types and locations.
- Detox locations and contacts - both alcohol and drugs.
- Post-detox facilities, contacts, and details of acceptance.
- Mental health assistance capabilities in OC, including
organizations (and capabilities and limitations), facilities,
locations, coverage, key people, interrelationships, etc.
- Job and skill training opportunities.
- Emergency shelters, including all aspects of location,
capabilities, and limitations.
- Dental support.
- Legal support.
- Specialized Veterans support.
- Homeless Court operation.