IRVINE : Homeless Task Force to Mark Anniversary
The Homeless Issues Task Force today will celebrate a decade of bringing a collaborative approach to the county’s homelessness problem by honoring members of nonprofit organizations across Orange County.
The guest of honor, Supervisor Marian Bergeson, who founded the task force 10 years ago, was called to Sacramento and will attend only by videotape, Executive Director Tim Shaw said.
“She had the idea that services for the homeless had been fragmented,” Shaw said. “She saw it as a problem that required all sectors of the community to come together.”
The Irvine-based organization operates on an annual budget of $1 million, which comes from donations of money and materials and from state and federal grants. The task force provides research on the demographics of homelessness used by cities across the county for federal housing grant applications.
The organization also runs the Interfaith Shelter Network, a chain of 100 county churches and 8,500 volunteers, and the Orange County Employment Action Network. The programs offer shelter and training to help the homeless return to self-sufficiency.
“If each of our nonprofit agencies had do to all this by themselves, it wouldn’t be feasible,” Shaw said. “Most of our ideas are generated by task force members.”