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.
The OCCH has been dedicated to providing a step up to low income households in Orange County for many years. Through education, housing, and caring, the organization positively affects the lives of thousands of people every year. The leadership and team is energetic, sincere, and follows through on commitments.
Over the 20+ years with OCCHC I have witnessed lives changed, families healed, opportunities for personal growth and development blossom and HOPE spring forth.
And that's just what I've witnessed among the Staff and Volunteers!!! There is an even more fundamental change among those families who have come off the streets or overcrowded situation and moved into stable housing with a caring and compassionate team to support them. What an incredible gift has OCCHC been privileged to be through both its housing and support programs, particularly SteppingUP Mentor Program.
As a manager of a community reinvestment department for a large bank, I look for community organizations that are well run, have a mission that is impactful to underserved communities and individuals, are strongly supported by their board, and use a high percentage of donated funds towards their mission. OCCHC is committed to serve very low- and extremely low-income families through housing and education. County agencies count on OCCHC when looking to place families in desperate need. A forward looking organization, they also look to improve a family's financial position by assisting their children (and surrounding communities) get a higher education. They do this with SteppingUp, their signature program, which includes tutoring, college preparation courses, mentors, and scholarships. Indeed, OCCHC is not just a place called HOME, its an opportunity for a bright future for entire families. As a board member, I recommend you consider checking them out and offering your support.
Orange County Community Housing Corporation is not just your typical affordable housing nonprofit. Not only do they support affordable housing for very low-income families, provide financial empowerment sessions for their families, and provide college preparedness for their students, they continuously adapt to the needs of the community. For instance, through their SteppingUp program, OCCHC realized the missing gap between high-income students and their SAT score and low-income students and their SAT score. OCCHC had decided to implement a new program for SAT testing to provide their students with the same equity in SAT scores. Students who have gone through the program have seen dramatic increases in their score that provided them a scholarship or college grant. OCCHC is innovative and continuously support their families by providing them a pathway of success. I am proud to be a board member.
Review from Guidestar
OCCH is a great organization empowering youth in low income housing to achieve impressive academic results through their SteppingUp program available to tenant families and the surrounding communities. Serving on the Board is privilege allowing the benefit of advocacy and promotion of a grassroots program that works and continues to give back.
For 35 years OCCHC has been a leader and advocate for affordable housing in Orange County. But they are more than a home builder and landlord; all staff members are also angels for the extremely low income families in the county. As a board member I am astonished at each meeting with the level to which they serve their tenants. From services to help improve job skills and job seeking opportunities; to help and support for advanced education. Unlike a typical landlord, OCCHC’s mission is to help improve their tenant’s financial position through education. It is no surprise that former OCCHC tenants and employees are now leaders and affordable housing advocates in the community. In fact, several nonprofits and for-profit community development and housing entities in Orange County received initial support from OCCHC. What an awesome opportunity to serve!
The OCCHC has proven over the years to know how to directly impact the lives of people who simply need assistance in finding affordable housing. This is the first step to improving our economy, as a stable living environment allows children and whole families to flourish and pursue educational advances. OCCHC has a skilled team that is dedicated to helping people achieve a better life, and I have seen the results on a daily basis crossing paths with their tenants.
Review from Guidestar
The combination of secure and safe housing along with targeted educational programs provides an incredible foundation that helps entire families transition toward self-sufficiency. Not only is this organization addressing the root causes of generational poverty, they are also giving their residents the tools to create their own futures.
Review from Guidestar