We are passionately committed to serving our homeless friends living in local residential motels in Orange County, California. We’ve discovered that by staying in our own backyard we are actually serving our neighbors. While we intensely admire organizations who reach out to meet the many needs all over the country and world, we know there’s enough work for us to do, in our own communities.
The children we meet on a daily basis go to the same schools as our children, their parents shop in the same stores as we do (when they have the money, which is in short supply).
They work at the same places as we do. (The majority of our adult clients are not on welfare. They work. They work minimum wage jobs at amusement parks, malls, retail stores, cineplexes, restaurants, gas stations, etc.)We began serving Orange County’s street homeless population in 1991. In 1996, due to the greatest need co-founders Dave & Linda saw right around the corner from their home (literally), Project Dignity redefined its mission to address the needs of the families and especially children living in residential motels.
It has been our experience that people living in motels are the most underserved and misunderstood of all homeless. Most people don’t even realize that families of 4, 5 or more actually live there. In 1998, after shadowing Project Dignity for six months, the Orange County Register published the multi award winning 24 page article entitled “Motel Children”.
We believe that everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect, in a compassionate and caring manner. We orient our volunteers to love and care for the people we serve, who are in great need.
Our main function is to love our homeless friends. It is our mission to assist them and ease their daily burdens. It is our goal to help them successfully move into their own homes.
It’s not our intent to keep families comfortably in the motels, but to help them find the resources, and confidence to get out. We keep in mind that all families develop at their own rates. Some families will require more help, for longer than others. Each case is unique and we treat our clients with the dignity they deserve.
In 1996 we provided services to 35 families each week at two motels. In 2013, this has increased to 500 families at 22 local motels.
Project Dignity is a Gold-level GuideStar Exchange participant, demonstrating our commitment to transparency.