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2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Orange County Community Housing Corp.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education, Elementary & Secondary Schools, Homeless & Housing, Housing Development, Construction & Management, Literacy, Scholarships, Scholarships & Student Financial Aid

Mission: Founded in 1977, OCCHC is committed to getting local, state, federal and private funds invested in housing for extremely low income large families and to providing the necessary tools to those families to enable them to get an education and job training.  The foundation of a neighborhood, community, city, state and nation begins with the family.

Target demographics: very low income students go to college

Direct beneficiaries per year: over 500 students

Geographic areas served: Orange County, California

Programs: the College Awareness Program which provides the student with a well-trained competent Academic Advisor and associated programs

Community Stories

108 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

Hello, my name is Lizbeth Ramirez and I am a junior at Ocean View High School. I have been in the program for about four years now and I have learned many many things. As the first in my family to be going to college, I knew nothing about how to get to college and what I needed to be able to apply. SteppingUP has taught me the difference between privates and public colleges, they have taught me how to be able to pay for college even if you don't have the money. From how to get to college, to learning about credit/debit, and having a healthy life style, SteppingUP has taught me many valuable lessons that will be very useful in my future. I am very grateful to have SteppingUP in my life. I don't know what my future would look like without it.

Valerie S.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am from Ocean View High School and I have been part of SteppingUP since freshman year. I like SteppingUP because they provide educational support and skills that I do not have at home. My favorite is career day because I meet professionals and have the opportunity to ask them any questions about their career that can help guide me through my future. The advisors are amazing: Stephanie, Maggie, Oscar, Mayra along with other advisors that are dedicated to all their students. I appreciate all the advisors hard work and everything they continue to do for us.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been part of STEPPINGUP since I was in 7th grade. I am now a senior in high school. This program has informed me about the higher levels of education and have given me opportunities that my parents could not.

Advisor

Rating: 5

OCCHC/ SteppingUP has helped and given low income families the opportuniuty to give them a better life. Not only are they helping many families with their living situation, but they are also helping the children continue their education. SteppingUP is giving these children the motivation and knowledge to further their education. This program teaches the children the different kinds of fields they will be able to study for in the future. I am very happy to be a part of OCCHC/SteppingUP and seeing these families thrive for a better life!

Advisor

Rating: 5

Orange County Community Housing Corp helps to change the lives of so many families by providing quality housing at affordable prices for families in their community. In addition to housing assistance, OCCHC, through their College Awareness Program, SteppingUP, also provides education and mentoring services to the young residents. I am impressed with the enthusiasm and excitement of every employee, volunteer, and mentor at this organization. It is obvious that they love the work they do, which is why OCCHC continues to impact so many lives in a positive way.

Donor

Rating: 5

Orange County Community Housing Corp is truly a caring organization. The passion that the Board and staff carry to fulfill it's mission is admirable. I've had the pleasure to be involved with OCCHC for the last 17 years and I am very proud of everything they have accomplished. I'm lucky to be part of their Advisory Committee and I will continue to support OCCHC for many years to come. It is extremely touching to see how their labor impacts the lives of many families in need. Through their mission, OCCHC has been able to provide a safer environment to low income families and through their programs provide an opportunity for children to succeed in their education.

The programs available for students are priceless and are life changing as well. The best part is that the results speak for themselves and seeing the transformation of families and positive impact it has on the children is very rewarding.

Thank you to the donors and supporters that have supported OCCHC carry out is mission throughout the years. This would not be possible without your support. Orange County Community Housing Corp is an outstanding non profit that is making a significant difference in our community and I will encourage everyone to support this organization.

Sincerely,

Mayra Soto

Advisor

Rating: 5

OCCHC has provided safe, suitable affordable housing for low- and very low-income children and their parents for 40 years, plus programs for them to gain access to health education and a pathway to college for high school students. OCCHC continues to grow its operation, making it a point to hire from the community, support local school systems and moreover, maintain its own self-sufficiency. Why? Because its high performance team has a steeled dedication to serve vulnerable communities, and frankly, because its leadership team has a razor sharp focus on what matters most in lifting children out of poverty.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have had the pleasure of serving on the board of directors for OCCHC for over 7 years. Without doubt every board member and employee is dedicated to our mission of transitioning extremely low income families towards greater self sufficiency by assisting them with housing and education. This is accomplished through the dedication and leadership of our executive director Nora Mendez and our deputy director Monica Cardenas. They and their dedicated and competent team work tirelessly to improve our communities by providing a safe and clean environment for our residents while assisting them and their families with educational assistince helping to break the cycle of poverty.

I couldn't be more proud of what Orange County Community Housing Corporation and their Stepping Up programs have done to improve our communities throughout Orange County. OCCHC is also a leader among many other non-profits offering assistance and resources that allow them to fulfill their missions as well.

Please consider supporting this incredibly successful organization in continuing their mission to meet the needs of our communities through housing and education.

Sincerely,

Jon Timmons

Advisor

Rating: 5

Success and OCCHC go hand-in-hand! Hundreds of high school seniors made college a reality thanks to the tireless efforts of OCCHC. Its staff is committed to each student they serve and for many of the students this may be their first experience of having a strong mentor show them support and encouragement and that anything is possible!

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am a higher education professional and on the advisory board. The amount of talent, passion and dedication of each and every staff member to the mission of Orange County Community Housing Corp. is exceptional. Serving the under served and providing housing options in Orange County motivates staff every day.

Stepping Up, the college awareness program is an important part of what this organization does to help children not just dream but plan and be prepared to go to college. Providing tutoring, financial aid counseling and road trips to visit colleges is just some of what this great organization is able to accomplish.

Funds are spent very wisely and invested in the programs that change lives. One of the best organizations I have been a part of over the years.

Advisor

Rating: 5

Orange County Community Housing Corporation is changing lives of families in Orange County not only by providing access to affordable housing, but by moving low-income families towards great self-sufficiency by assisting them with Housing and Education.

They are braking the cycle of poverty for these families through their SteppingUP program, which is a program that provides youth living in the affordable housing projects access to higher education.

Rossina Gallegos

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a previous board member of this organization, I remain deeply impressed with its continued progress to fulfill its mission of providing quality housing and supportive services for those in need. Since its inaugural days in the late 1970's when it became one of the first non-profits in Orange County to address the critical need for affordable housing for lower income households, it has steadily increased its inventory of housing. At the same time it added services such as "Stepping Up" which sought to provide education and mentoring services so its younger residents could achieve success in higher education and gainful emploment. All told, OCCHC has succeeded in breaking the bonds of poverty and improving local neighborhoods--exceeding expectations and the hopeful desires of the founding members.

Client Served

Rating: 3

My name is Alex I'm in ninth grade I go to Cypress High School. I've been in stepping up for 2 years and 10 months. Thanks to this program, I have been able to attend many Universities, like Cal State Fullerton and I have been able to take a peek at life on campus and I am able to see myself there one day. I have also been able to attend many educational CAP meetings. where we talk about topics that are related to college and things students experience . My only issue is that they give the same CAP meetings every year.

Client Served

Rating: 4

My name is Cristian Arellano I am in 9th grade and i have been in the program for 3 years. Something that I like about SteppingUP is that every year we go to Cal State Fullerton during their career day event, where I got to meet different professionals and I had the chance to ask them questions and also I had the opportunity to practice my Interviewed skills. This has impacted my life because now I know what questions they ask in Interviews and also how to answer them and feeling more prepared for when I grow up.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Hi i'm Michael Hernandez and i'm a sixth grader in Vista View Middle school. I've been in SteppingUP for 3 months. I have learned to talk in a interview and learned what to say in the interview so I have a better chance getting the job. What makes Steeping UP great is that it has given me lots of opportunities.
Happy holidays,
Michael Hernandez

Client Served

Rating: 5

Hi my name is Jesse Camacho, I am in the 6th grade and I go to Vista View Middle School. I've been in this program for 3 months. SteppingUP has taught me how to prepare for an interview when i apply for a job. SteppingUP also has taught me of several ways to stop bullying. Stepping \UP is a great program because they have a lot of funny advisers and because they teach you things that you don't already know.
Sincerely,
Jesse Camacho

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My name is Sergio Rodriguez and I am an 8th grade, currently attending Vista View Middle School. I have been in SteppingUp for almost 4 years. What I have learned from stepping up is learning the A-G requirements. What makes SteppingUp great is the college field trips because we can learn what college actually feels like and experience what kind of classes there is.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My name is Jesus Torres, I am in 8th grade and I go to Vista View Middle School. I've been in SteppingUP for about a year now. I learned how to do a resume because so it can prepare us for when we apply for a job and get an interview.
What makes SteppingUP great is the amazing field trips like the one where we went to Cal State Fullerton.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My name is Vanessa Flores I am an eighth grader at Vista View Middle School. I've been in SteppingUP for three years. I've learned many important things about collage and about life. For example we have learn the A through G requirements and many useful things we might need for the future SteppingUP has brought in many different professionals to teach us how to save money and to treat everyone equally. What makes SteppingUP great is that it not only teaches about school but also about things that might happen throughout our life.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Hi my name is Mark Garcia. I am a sixth grader at vista view middle school in Fountain Valley. I have been in SteppingUP for 2 months. I have learned many things in SteppingUP. One thing I have learned was knowing how to communicate with other people. I like everything in SteppingUP. It is a very fun and amazing program.

Client Served

Rating: 4

Hi my name is Brenda Sotero. I'm an 8th grader at Marine View Middle School. I've been in SteppingUP for 3 years and I've learned a lot of useful things about collage and other things that I may need to use in my future. All these events such as the CAP meetings that have been prepared for us students is what makes SteppingUP great.