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2021 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Serving People in Need, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Homeless & Housing, Homeless Centers, Housing Expense Reduction Support, Housing Support, Human Services

Mission: SPIN''s mission is "Restoring Orange County's homeless families and individuals in crisis to housing and permanent self-sufficiency through SPIN's long-term, proven case management and support services". 

Results: SPIN has had more than 11,000 volunteer hours donated to the organization.

Direct beneficiaries per year: SPIN placed 158 families (196 adults and 345 children) in housing and provided food for 18,000+ individuals

Geographic areas served: Orange County, CA

Programs: Guided Assistance to Permanent Placement Housing Program (GAPP): Offers low-income and homeless families with children (one adult must be working full-time) move-in costs to permanent housing and mandatory, comprehensive case management lasting up to two years; including family advisors, tutors for children, childcare cost subsidies, personal and job counseling, referrals, budgeting skills, etc. All applicants must fill out an application and be interviewed for the program.  A credit report is run on the applicant which reveals far more than the credit score -- it also reveals a great deal about the client's history and what the case manager must work on with the client to clean up the wreakage of their past and whether they have been truthful about the past.  Honesty over the next two years will be very important.  Cleaning up that credit, improving the credit score, learning to budget and increasing job skills are critical to self-sufficiency.  SPIN provides individualized case plans, support services to address and enhance the case plan and to ensure the client is able to maintain his/her own housing and living costs at the end of the program.   

Community Stories

94 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

In March 2015, we were forced to use all of our savings to pay our rent as our roommates abandoned the shared apartment. This situation left us and our one year old with no money and homeless. Through Serving People In Need, we were able to get stably housed in permanent housing with David’s full-time employment. After meeting with SPIN’s Career Coach, I was able to utilize the Resume Building training, do interview training and help me with job search. I knew being in this program was my chance to grow in my profession was able to step away from my seasonal, part-time work into full-time employment. Through my perseverance and help from SPIN’s supportive services, I was accepted at an Orange County Financial Institution. Thanks to SPIN and their life professionals with their sound advice and unending support we have been able to get our life on track for ourselves and our family. Thank you SPIN for being the cushion at the bottom of the mountain. ~ The Denham Family

Client Served

Rating: 5

In March of 2015, I was a full-time employed, single mother to my 10 year-old son and was struggling to look for a better paying job to help improve the quality of life for my son and me. Due to past student loans, my tax refund was deferred to pay off these loans. With no other money saved, I needed help moving into an apartment while we lived in my truck. Through Serving People In Need (SPIN), we were able to get stably housed in permanent housing with my full-time employment. I also attended SPIN's Mastering Money Workshop, which has helped me improve my budgeting skills as well as participating in the Onesight program, which provided eye exams and glasses for my son and I. I cannot express my sincere gratitude for the help SPIN gave to me and my son to have a safe place to call home. THANK YOU!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Hello!
last year i found myself homeless after my husband left me and my 2 children. I had a job that i was working at for about a year but it wasn't enough to cover all my expenses, especially rent! SPIN was able to cover the move in costs to move us into an apartment and assist with a couple months rent. this really helped me get back on my feet. While at my new apartment i was able to find a second job that pays 6 dollars more than my previous job!!!
THANK YOU SPIN! im so grateful
and thank you SPIN donors for all your food donations and birthday gifts for my girls!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a single father to two teenagers and in 2008; we were living in Arizona to care for my sick mother. With a promise of a better job, we made the decision to move back to Orange County in 2014 to build a better live for me and my children. While this job fell through after we returned to Orange County, I was able to find employment with more contacts equaling more work. Having no family in the area, were left homeless. Through Serving People In Need (SPIN), we were able to get stably housed in permanent housing with my full-time employment as well as participating in the Onesight program, which provided eye exams and glasses for my children. SPIN, THANK YOU for the wonderful things you did for my family and I. We are overwhelmed with the kindness of all of you. BIG hugs & love!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've had the honor of working with SPIN through Agency Ingram Micro, helping to design some of their event collateral and have nothing but praise to share from my experience. The success and validity of the organization is greatly apparent through the many families that SPIN has helped in the OC community. Looking forward to working with SPIN for many more years to come!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been an internship at SPIN for three months now and I am very proud to be a part of this non-profit. I have worked in the GAPP program along with the Street Services program, making sack meals and hygiene kits for the homeless. Everyone here is dedicated to providing these families with the stepping stones that they need in order to start a new life for themselves. SPIN works very hard and is very successful, which is proven by their 92% success rate. They are so helpful and caring and I am very grateful for the opportunity to continue working with them.

Board Member

Rating: 5

For over 26 years SPIN has lived up to its name – Serving People in Need. I am proud to serve on the Board of Directors for this wonderful organization. Everyone associated with SPIN – its outstanding staff and dedicated volunteers - is focused on helping families return to self-sufficiency. SPIN doesn't judge - it offers a helping hand to those who for varying reasons have lost their homes - and often their hope. The long-term individualized case management and support services SPIN offers has resulted in 92% of our clients successfully completing the program with renewed self-esteem and the tools to continue rebuilding their lives.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am proud to be on the board of this wonderful organization. Helping people get off the street and into housing and a productive life is the primary focus of everyone connected with SPIN. We run a lean staff with minimal overhead but have had a tremendous impact in our community for 26 years. It is a home grown, grass roots organization where 92% of every dollar is directly benefited by our clients. We believe in giving people a hand up not a hand out and it works.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Over the fifteen years I have volunteered, I have seen how SPIN has provided many basic needs for those whose life has been difficult. Meals for the homeless, apartments and needed furnishing, counseling and encouragement that life will get better are all provided as part of their services.
SPIN is a great community resource!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hope. Hope for the homeless and needy that is what SPIN is all about. I have know about SPIN and their good works for many years but just recently am physically involved in helping on Thursdays making sandwiches for the homeless sacks. The people at SPIN are hard workers with great spirit and compassion for those in need. What I get back from helping SPIN can not be measured, for it is in giving that I receive.

E. Roeder

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have helped nonprofits for over 50 years and SPIN stands out as a unique charity because it truly helps people get-back-on-their feet and they do so frugally with almost 100% of the donated dollars going to helping people in need. Their involvement is immeasurable with caring professionals and an exemplary volunteer base. I'm truly honored to be involved with such a heartfelt and mission-focused group.

Client Served

Rating: 5

3 years ago I lost my job of 20 years, coupled with the economy being in a bad recession I was unable to get a job, my 401k gone and our savings depleted we lost our home , with the little money we had left my wife, my two sons and I went to live to a cheap motel for a few weeks. It did not take much time before we we were living in our car. One day I decided to reach out for help and I went to many non-profit organizations in Orange County , I have never heard so many "NO" when I needed the most help,
But after a few days of searching I knocked on SPIN's door and my guardian Angel Annette Duncan welcome me in and accepted my family in their "Rapid Rehousing Program" , within days my family had a place to live and I got the opportunity to become self sufficient again and provide for my family.
We were homeless for more than a year and there is no doubt in my mind that we would still be homeless without SPIN's help.
I got a great job , my oldest son is back in college , my youngest is a 4.0 gpa honor HS senior student on his way to a major university with an academic scholarship.
Being a college educated man I had never thought that this could happened to my family, but thanks to the beautiful people at SPIN I was able to get back on my feet and be a provided for my family.
Madam Jean, Annette, Rosalyn and Kim: I love you all with all my heart, Thank you and God bless you.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Re: Thursday Night SPIN Truck

My Saturday morning church group are volunteer drivers for the SPIN truck on Thursday nights in Santa Ana California. We have had some unbelievable experiences with serving the Homeless and those that need food, a blanket, a smile and a welcoming handshake. Their necessity for these items drives us there. But, their warm "thank you" brings us back.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering for SPIN,INC for over 10 years to make sandwiches once a week for the homeless. I also donate new underwear and socks and used clothes. SPIN is an organization that helps families get out of the cycle of being homeless.
SPIN,INC really does Serve People In Need.

JACK CREVIER

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Serving People In Need is a organization that has had a direct impact in my life. I was fortunate enough to have had a internship at SPIN. I was able to witness first hand the large impact SPIN had on my community. SPIN provided many individuals and families with valuable services. Many families impacted by this organization were able to become self sufficient and obtain stable housing. The Street Service Program provided food for many individuals that would often go hungry. SPIN reached out to the most vulnerable homeless population in Orange County. I feel honored to have had the privilege to work with such a magnificent organization. They truly change lives and make the world a better place. Thank you SPIN!

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering for SPIN, Inc. since 1990. I have shopped at Sams Club to purchase food for the street services, held clothing and food drives to collect necessities for those SPIN serves, and worked on committees for the annual gala fund raiser. I have had a close association with many charities through membership in National Charity League and I believe that SPIN makes the best impact in the lives of the people it serves. The dedicated staff and passionate director make this organization stand out among the others. Just ask one of their clients and you will be in tears listening to their beautiful "success stories". As an annual supporter, I highly recommend that you consider donating your time or money to the efforts of SPIN.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am currently interning for SPIN and it has been a great experience so far! As Human Services majors, we are required to complete three internships at different sites; SPIN is the third site I've been with and definitely my favorite. The staff are super friendly and helpful, and pleasant to work with. In my opinion, they genuinely love what they are doing and are dedicated to helping their clients and all people who come into contact with the agency. I have a gained much knowledge and experience as the agency has provided me with a variety of opportunity--everything from working with and referring clients, to learning about functions and procedures in the office, and even hands-on work with "Street Services," we actually go out to meet and provide meals for the homeless. I plan to continue on with SPIN as a volunteer, even after my internship is complete.

1 Steph K.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

I WORKED FOR THIS COMPANY FOR 8 MONTHS. IT WAS LIKE BEING IN AN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP. THE HIRE AND FIRE PEOPLE LIKE ITS OUT OF FASHION AND THE HR DEPT ARE SERIOUSLY HAVE NO IDEA THAT THEIR PROGRAM DIRECTORS ARE THE WORST TYPE OF PEOPLE. THEY HAVE HAD MORE 51As FILED ON THEM THAN ANY COMPANY I KNOW. IF YOU STAND UP FOR YOURSELF, AND TRY TO DO THE RIGHT THING, PROGRAM DIRECTOR AND HER MINIONS WILL FIND A WAY TO GET RID OF YOU. IT HAPPENED TO SOOO MANY PEOPLE, I WONDER HOW THE HIGHER UPS ARE SO OBLIVIOUS TO IT. IF DCF ONLY KNEW OF THE NEGLECT OF CLIENTS AND FAKENESS OF THE HORRIBLE WOMAN THAT RUNS THOSE HOUSES, THEY'D BE SHUT DOWN IN A HEART BEAT. WHEN I LEFT SOME STAFF WOULD CALL ME AND ASK ME TO FILE AN ANONYMOUS 51A, OUT OF FEAR OF REPURCUSSIONS IF THEY DID, THEY FELT IF THEY DID, THEY WOULD EVENTUALLY LOSE THEIR JOBS. THIS PLACE IS RUN BY HOODRATS, AND IGNORANT HIGHER UPS.!

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

SPIN has been reaching out to the homeless in our county for over 20 years. I began volunteering when my adult children were toddlers - we would shop at Sams Club for food to take on the van to the homeless in parks, adopt families at Christmas, and prepare hygiene kits. I now offer support as a committee member to help plan the fund raising events. SPIN makes a huge difference in the lives of so many who find themselves homeless due to many reasons.

10

Donor

Rating: 5

I am a native resident of Newport Beach and have been involved in many charitible organizations in the area as a volunteer and donor. SPIN has become our new charity of choice over the last few years. I have organized large drives for warm winter clothing, hygiene kits and food for the homeless and local shelters that they serve. They are a wonderful small group that is professional, organized and friendly. They are truly dedicated to helping others in a hands on manner. Kim Frazier has come to speak to my Girl Scout troops and Assistance League groups as a volunteer. She has shown very impressive videos that share the plight of homelessness in Orange County. I am quite impressed with the operation of the SPIN organization and my family also gives regularly to the group because we strongly believe in the depth of what they are doing. Our daughters have also worked at SPIN for Girl Scouts and our older girls earned their Gold Award which equates to the Eagle Scout award through SPIN. We will continue to support this wonderful organization and are extremely pleased with the impact they are making in our community. I encourage others to see how they are helping to change lives...

9

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteer my time to work with SPIN because I truly believe in what they are doing and know that is is an organization that really helps people. My sister died three years ago from alcoholic cirrosis of the liver at age 42. She was a brilliant and wonderful person but needed help to get her life together. I wish I had known about SPIN earlier but when I finally did learn about how SPIN helps people help themselves I knew it was an organization that I wanted to work with. SPIN's extremely dedicated staff members and volunteers go above and beyond to improve the lives of the disadvantaged. They really care and it shows.

9

Client Served

Rating: 5

My name is Leigh Ann and I am a grateful alcohlic. To date I have over 2 years of sobriety. I LOVE SPIN! They were there for me when no one else was. The support I have received over the past 2 years has been amazing. My case worker Diane Noel went above and beyond for me and was my cheerleader all along the way. When I came to Spin I was broken and lost. I finally came to realization that my life was unmanageable. I gave so much away due to my alcholism, my kids, my job, my family and my self respect. I felt worthless. With Spin's help and guidence today I am a productive employee (same job for 2 years), an active mom, a girlfriend and a daughter. I sponsor other women and it is the bright spot in my life. I am more compassionate and less judgemental today. Spin gave "me" back to "me". I encourgage anyone out there looking for a different path in life to call Spin and see what an awesome life you can have too! They will help you as long as you are willing. THANKS SPIN AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

9

Client Served

Rating: 5

My Story By Lisa Montgomery Good Evening. My name is Lisa and I’m an alcoholic. When Diane asked me to speak on behalf of the SPIN program I leapt at the chance. I’m a huge fan of the program and it, in every sense of the word saved my life. If you were to tell me five years ago that the perfect storm was waiting for me…that I would know hunger, homelessness, despair, death, raging alcoholism, deafening loneliness, a suicide attempt and finally, fighting for my life in the Intensive Care Unit, I would have said you were insane. My best friend called me Martha Stewart. I had everything anyone could want. Now that comparison only conjures up the memories of her messy fall from grace, just like mine. But thank goodness both of us have managed a victorious resurrection. My perfect storm began with the death of my husband, followed by the death of my mother, the loss of my son, my lovely home, my beloved dog and my life as I knew it. As these events in my life were unfolding I just drank the pain away. I drank and drank and drank and drank, hoping that one day I just wouldn’t wake up. I was so ill-equipped to handle such pain that I could hardly breathe. I couldn’t function. I couldn’t work. All I did was cry and drink. My odyssey took me to a place I was very unfamiliar with. My addiction woke me up every morning at 4:00 and it shook me till 6:00 when the liquor stores re-opened. I was blacking out more and more now. My health was deteriorating fast. I was being admitted to the hospital about once a month by this time and each stay was getting longer and longer and more serious. Each surgery to take out a major organ or to put one back together was taking its toll. I weighed 95 pounds. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t sleep. One night I overheard a nurse telling someone I was dying of alcoholism. It stopped me in my tracks. I knew in my heart that she was right. It was no secret I was close to death. One of my surgeons sat down on my bed and said to me in the kindest voice…”please don’t do this, please don’t die”. I thought it so odd at the time but looking back I know now he was a Christian. It’s funny, when someone tells you you’re dying how indignant you can be. NO I’M NOT! Here I was, trying to drink myself to death every single day, but God-for-bid someone TELL me anything. I finally conceded that I needed help. I was released from the hospital and went straight to the Roque Treatment Center to get sober. Only problem was, they were full. That night I slept in the park. I just can’t tell you the kind of fear and terror I experienced that night. I was so sick and scared that I would just never wish that on anyone. When I got up that morning I went straight back to the Roque and begged them to give me a bed. They must have known how scared I was. I can only vaguely remember how bad I actually looked. Just 5 days prior I was recovering from major surgery to stop the internal bleeding. Just three days prior I was getting a blood transfusion. Just days ago I had a blood alcohol level five times the legal limit. Just last night I was freezing and sleeping in the park. Seven days later I was released from the Roque and faced the same dilemma. I had nowhere to go. I knew I couldn’t go back to where I’d come from because I would surely drink again. My legs were still wobbly and I felt horrible. I just stood outside with a plastic bag filled with all my belongings and prayed for someone to help me. Right then and there I met up with LeighAnn, manager of the Lighthouse. It’s hard to say in just a few words what she’s done for me. She has an innate way of knowing when I’m struggling. She has been one of my biggest cheerleaders and allies. I can’t be sure but I think she sleeps with one eye open. We can laugh now about what a sight I was. I often think about what would have become of me if we hadn’t crossed paths that day. LeighAnn told me to call SPIN the next day, which I did. In the next few days I met Diane over at SPIN. I was so scared. Everything scared me back then. She had arranged for me to get a food card and bus passes so I could come see her. I was sure she would notice my comb-over because most of my hair had fallen out. I was sure she would notice the piece-meal outfit I had put together from donations. I was sure she would notice my hands were shaking, my eyes were red and my spirit was broken. But she didn’t seem to. She just smiled and offered me all kinds of hope. She told me I could take as much food as I could carry on the long bus ride home. She told me to look for a job 8 hours a day, 7 days a week. She told me to get a sponsor and work the steps. But most importantly she told me “If you just listen to me and do as I say, in one years time you will not recognize your life as you know it now”. She told me to keep reading the promises and they’ll be mine. She gave me hope. I just started to cry. For the first time in a long time I felt safe. I was just so ready to believe in someone. I had absolutely nothing to lose. Diane told me about the benefits of the SPIN program and if I stuck with it so would she. I’m happy to say we both kept our promise. Diane had me looking for work 8 hours a day, seven days a week. I thought I would die. I was so sick I would literally jump off the bus and heave in the bushes. I had blisters all over my feet and I looked awful. But I didn’t deviate from the program. I just kept plugging away. Finally I found a get-well job, a place where they could appreciate my emaciated look…Sak’s 5th Ave. As my strength and confidence grew Diane would gently nudge me to the next step. She would strongly suggest that I do this or that. I would begrudgedly do as she said, still remembering her words….do as I say for one year. I always felt like I was on the edge of a steep cliff and I was going to fall off any second. But time after time when I felt that I was just about to fall into the abyss, SPIN had this huge feather bed waiting for me to land on. Seven months into sobriety I decided to go after a dream job. To my surprise I got it. An office overlooking Newport Harbor. New friends, new life, everything was perfect. Three weeks later I lost that job. I was devastated. I was terrified I would be homeless again. Then I hear the familiar chirp of Diane’s voice…”OK. get back out there, I want to see 10 job searches a day, I’m going to help you with your rent for two more weeks till you get on your feet, get back on the horse, get going girl, blaa, blaa, blaa”. I could barely get out of bed. How the hell was I going to start over again. Well, I did. I think I was just so petrified of Diane I just did it. She not only made me look for a job she strongly encouraged me to go to grief counseling at the same time. It turned out to be the turning point in my recovery. Erin was my counselor. She is also someone that has been instrumental in my recovery and I am so grateful to her. I can now get through a sentence without a tear when I mention my husband or my mom or my son or my dog scrappy-doo. My grief doesn’t obsessively occupy my thoughts. I can breathe again, and eat again and feel joy. Grief counseling was that last piece of my puzzle. Fast forward a week shy of my first year of Sobriety. I have my dream job and it has nothing to do with yachts and V.I.P.’s and ocean views. I work for a wonderful Christian family who love me. I get to take part in resurrecting two fledgling little bakeries. My boss tells me how lucky he got when he ran that ad on Craig’s List which I answered. I have a home office and make my own schedule. I’m often working quietly into the night driven only by my gratitude for my new situation. But most importantly I have sobriety. I have friends and family who love me. I have my friends at SPIN, with their fold-away feather bed if I ever feel as though I’m falling off that steep cliff again. I can’t wait for the day when I call Diane and tell her my son has come back to me. My best friend that I mentioned earlier recently said to me…”Lisa, what would you have done without SPIN?”. All I can do is shake my head and say “I don’t know, I don’t want to even think about it”. I unfortunately lost my sister Debbie this year to liver failure. My other sister Linda is very sick and her life hangs in the balance. But things are different today. I’ve learned acceptance and more importantly I’ve learned I’m a survivor. And I will survive this too. Thank you for letting me speak today on behalf of the SPIN Program. It’s been an honor and my pleasure. My name is Lisa and I’m a very grateful alcoholic.

9

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am eternally grateful to the people who run SPIN. When I got out of prison, they helped me find a place to stay and get my life back. The counslers helped by guiding me to find a better way of life. I owe them a debt of gratitude for I now have 4+ years of being clean and sober. My heart and thanks to them all.

8

Client Served

Rating: 5

SPIN was an amazing opportunitie in my life. when i was newly sober and adjusting to living life and all its responsibilities, SPIN assisted me in many ways. They found me a place to live, helped me out with food and counseling. Thank you so much to all the emloyees there with out you guys i would of been homeless and hopeless-Sarah

8

Donor

Rating: 5

SPIN has to be one of the most worthwhile causes out there. The ability of this organization to get people on their feet is amazing. Instead of just simply providing hand outs, they produce results via an excellent combination of sustenance, shelter and training. I would highly recommend SPIN to anyone looking for a better place to donate their charitable contributions!

7

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have been indirectly involved with SPIN for several years. I have attended and helped with their fundraisers, helped by contributing whenever possible, and have learned about their efforts through friends. They have provided countless meals and hygiene supplies for the homeless, counseled those who have addictions, and helped those without jobs secure employment.

8

Client Served

Rating: 5

There is much I could say about SPIN, but simply stated, I am here because they were there. I came out of a hospital in July of 2000, homeless, penniless, and hopeless. Diane Noel, got me into a Recovery Home where my life was saved. I had been actively alcoholic for twenty-seven years. Because Diane was such a servant to this poor soul, I was able to get and stay sober. Because of Diane's effort, I now run a recovery facility in Michigan and California, where I own a private enterprise and a non-profit corporation dedicated to recovery, and serve as Executive Director. Because of Diane's efforts, the three children I hadn't seen in twelve years and I were reunited and are an integral part of my life. Because of SPIN I can help those three wonderful young people attend college. Because SPIN and Diane were there for me, I can be there for others. SPIN has directly saved thousands, and now they indirectly save thousands more. This is as good as it gets; SPIN saved my life...then gave me a new life...now we work to restore the lives of others. How many organizations can say that?

9

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am very grateful for the help I received through SPIN. My case manager Diane really helped me to be accountable and grow up. She stuck by me when I thought no one ever would again. Diane taught me the importance of telling the truth and working a 12-step program. SPIN saved my life, I really believe this. Thank you SPIN.

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I work with SPIN as a receptionist through a Senior Community Service Employment Program. I have been out of work about 2 years and was fortunate to be accepted to work with SPIN. I have never been exposed to a non-profit before this experience. I feel so privledged to be able to be associated with such a giving, caring and compassionate group of individuals. It has been a true eye opening experience what a difference this kind of organization can make in a community. I know that I will take this with me the rest of my life and always remember to give to others even when I have very little myself.