ORANGE COUNTY, CALIFORNIA — Today, Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley highlighted the release of the 2023 Orange County Homeless Survey, led by the OC Office of Care Coordination. The survey’s key findings provide data to guide the County’s next steps to end homelessness.
“To effectively end homelessness, we must work together across government, the health care system, community-based organizations, and the private sector to directly address the root of the problem," said Supervisor Foley. “This report expands on the results of my office’s survey of District 2 last year. The data clearly shows that many residents experiencing homelessness in Orange County have deep ties to Orange County. These neighbors need substance abuse support, medical and mental health resources, direct engagement with caseworkers, and want to feel safe until they get housed. I look forward to using the findings of this survey to further guide our comprehensive approach to serve our unhoused neighbors and finally end homelessness in Orange County.”
The survey provides a window into the needs, challenges and propensities of our chronically homeless residents. The survey engaged a total of 642 respondents. Of those, 31 were at risk of homelessness, 25 experiencing sheltered homelessness, and 586 experiencing unsheltered homelessness. Read the survey findings here.
Supervisor Foley highlights the following findings:
The vast majority of people experiencing homelessness have roots in Orange County:
- 80% reported current or past employment in Orange County
- 77% reported a last permanent address in Orange County.
- 57% reported a connection to family in Orange County
Fear, perceptions of safety and security risks, and lack of beds prevent individuals experiencing homelessness from staying in shelters:
- 16.7% expressed concerns about feeling unsafe.
- 25.4% shared that they did not stay in shelter due to lack of available spots in shelter.
Unsheltered residents want help, hygiene services, housing, and treatment.
- The service most helpful while experiencing homelessness was “Hygiene Services” at 82%
- 77% of unsheltered residents want Housing Search Assistance
- 61% want Medical Services
- 51% want Behavioral Health Support
- 45% want Substance Use Disorder Support
More than half of the residents surveyed experience addiction.
- 47% respondents said yes to substance use.
- 47% responded yes to substance abuse
More than half of the residents surveyed never spoke to an outreach or case worker.
- 51.5% answered that over a three month period no street outreach worker or case manager contacted them
This year’s report reflects Supervisor Foley’s continued work to evaluate how Orange County effectively addresses the homelessness crisis. In 2021, Supervisor Foley commissioned a census count and survey of individuals experiencing homelessness in Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach, and Newport Beach, which found the urgent need for substance abuse and opioid addiction services. These survey findings remain consistent with this year’s report.
In 2022, Supervisor Foley led a series of panels with local mayors, homeless service providers, and nonprofits to focus on a countywide strategy for homelessness.
For more information, read the survey findings here.
Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley was elected to the Board of Supervisors in 2022 to represent the newly established District 5, which includes the cities of Aliso Viejo, Costa Mesa, Dana Point, a large portion of Irvine, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Newport Beach, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, as well as the unincorporated areas of Coto de Caza, Emerald Bay, Ladera Ranch, Las Flores, Rancho Mission Viejo, Stonecliffe and Wagon Wheel. This is her second term on the Board of Supervisors, where she previously served District 2.
Supervisor Foley’s Board appointments include the Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA), OCFA Legislation & Public Affairs Committee Chair, Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA), Transportation Corridor Agency (TCA), TCA Joint Environmental Committee, Coastal Greenbelt Authority, Newport Bay and South Orange County Watershed Executive Committees, Ocean Institute, San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) Community Engagement Panel, Spent Fuel Solutions Coalition Co-Chair, Law Library Board of Trustees, Orange County Housing Finance Trust Chair, Local Agency Formation Commission (alt), Orange County Juvenile Justice Coordinating Council, and OC Public Libraries Advisory Board.