WISEPlace’s $20,000 in grant funds will be used to support case management, housing assistance, financial planning and employment readiness for 100 women through WISEPlace’s  “Steps to Independence” program.

Description of the overall organization (purpose, goals): WISEPlace’s goal is to end homelessness for Orange County‘s unaccompanied women. WISEPlace provides women with safe shelter, counseling and mental health service, case management and addiction recovery, and employment services to help them rebuild their lives.

Description of Project/Program that seeking Impact Giving funds for (what makes it compelling, and the specific needs it will address):

WISEPlace seeks funding to support its “Steps to Independence” program (SIP) which offers transitional housing and trauma-informed supportive services for unaccompanied women. This program provides a path from homelessness to employment for Orange County’s most vulnerable residents. Homeless women are 5-10 times more likely to die or be assaulted than the general population. Through WISEPlace women are taken off the street and led through the “Steps to Independence” program to self-reliance.

Description of how the Impact Giving grant funds will be used:

Funds from Impact Giving will be used to support case management, housing assistance, financial planning and employment readiness for 100 women through WISEPlace’s  “Steps to Independence” program.

 

High Impact & Life Transforming

Of the almost 7000 homeless people in Orange County, 1 in 3 is an unaccompanied woman.  WISEPlace has helped over 8,100 women on their path to permanent housing and self-reliance. The SIP Program truly transforms these homeless women’s lives.  One hundred percent of the women that completed the SIP program gained employment, 80% moved to permanent housing, 74% reduced drug/alcohol use, 68% left the program with savings, and 26% decreased mental health symptoms.

Education

Women will receive case management services and education on addiction recovery, physical and mental health, career counseling, financial empowerment, technology and navigating systems on their own with regards to benefits, employment and healthcare. WISEPlace also provides financial assistance for secondary, certificate, or vocational education.

 Sustainability

WISEPlace has been serving Orange County homeless since 1924. WISEPlace has long-standing support from funders, foundations, the county and the local community.

Community Building

WISEPlace believes that community is a key component to healing and to one’s success. Often after living on the streets, a woman can feel disconnected from society and from herself. WISEPlace strives to foster an environment where women reconnect through group workshops, activities, interactions with volunteers and communal living. In this way, women form lifelong bonds and feel needed again.  WISEPlace participates in the county’s Coordinated Entry System, working with partners including Jamboree Housing, WHW, Serve the People, OC Continuum of Care, OC United Way, First Foundation, Chapman University, Mariposa, Mercy House, Union Bank, the Santa Ana Work Center, and Working Wardrobes to end homelessness.

 

Innovative WISEPlace’s quick response to COVID-19 was inspirational and innovative, moving from dormitory shelters to motel rooms and investing in technology for virtual support and case management thereby improving the women’s safety as well as their technology skills. In addition, the CEO’s innovative approach to expansion will provide an additional 72 permanent supportive housing units through partnering with Jamboree Housing and utilizing grants instead of capital fundraising.    

Measurable WISEPlace tracks reductions in drug and alcohol use, mental health symptoms, all client interactions plus statistics on employment placements, savings increases and transitions to permanent housing through the county’s Homeless Management Information System.

Organization’s Mission Statement: WISEPlace’s mission is to lead the effort of ending homelessness for unaccompanied women through housing solutions and empowering wrap-around services that provide a path toward personal self-reliance.

Link to the website:  www.wiseplace.org