Helping the Homeless & Volunteering in Orange County

These organizations welcome volunteers and provide different ways to give assistance.

American Family Housing (Midway City) offers multiple programs and operates 63 affordable housing sites. It has an array of volunteer opportunities, from cooking and serving dinner to families and individuals, to more in-depth service projects. Photos of past volunteer opportunities are at 714-897-3221, ext. 115 or email

Casa Teresa (Orange) houses women and their children. They accept women’s professional clothing and children’s outfits for residents, and also have a used-clothing store, The Collection. Drop off your clothes or call if you would like to volunteer: teach nutrition, hold resume workshops, cook meals, or even babysit. 714-538-4860 or email

 Coast to Coast (Yorba Linda) accepts monetary and material donations, but volunteering is especially encouraged. The Homeless Liaison Officer Program connects volunteers with police officers (Fullerton, Huntington Beach, Anaheim), as well as deputies from the Sheriff’s Department. Volunteers and officers provide information about resources to homeless individuals and also distribute sack lunches, backpacks, hotel vouchers, and California ID fees. 888-275-5160 or

Friendship Shelter (Laguna Beach) provides emergency, interim, and permanent supportive housing, and also offers a self-sufficiency program. They accept donations of supplies and also have opportunities to volunteer, including in a “guest chef” program. 949-494-6928 or

Grandma’s House of Hope (Santa Ana) has volunteer opportunities in its transitional housing program, a children’s nutritional program, and a women’s workforce development program. Volunteers are needed for graphic design, food drives, and for teaching classes for women in the transitional housing program. 714-558-8600 or

HomeAid Orange County (Irvine) is a nonprofit organization started by the Orange County chapter of the Building Industry Association of Southern California. It partners with other homelessness advocacy organizations on programs and it has completed more than 60 building and renovation development projects to provide facilities for the homeless, including the HomeAid Orange County Family CareCenter in Orange. Between May 5 and 14, HomeAid will be collecting basic essentials such as diapers, wipes, and food, which will directly benefit the Family CareCenter as well as other family shelters across Orange County. 949-553-9510 or

Jamboree (Irvine) works to build affordable housing that will get people off the streets. Volunteers are needed for a variety of tasks and donations are welcome. 949-263-8676 or

The Illumination Foundation (Irvine and Stanton) has provided services to more than 27,000 individuals. Direct donations are accepted and volunteers assist the organization at multiple sites, including at the San Clemente thrift store and the Children’s Resource Centers. 714-507-2459 (Stanton housing office) or 949-544-0372 (corporate office) or

Mary’s Kitchen (Orange) feeds an average 200 people each day, Monday through Saturday. Volunteers are needed from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., and can help sort and distribute clothing (distribution is on Thursdays), help prepare food, and pack sack lunches for clients. Monetary and material donations are also accepted. 714-633-0444 or visit

Mercy House (Santa Ana) is the operator of the first county-funded year-round shelter in Anaheim, which opened 100 beds this month and is scheduled to open 100 more later this year. Volunteers 18 and older are needed to prepare the shelter in the evening and to help clean up in the morning. Donations of travel-sized personal hygiene items, bus passes, and underwear are also needed. Contact Irene Mendoza at 714-836-7188, ext.142, or

O.C. Food Bank (Garden Grove) works with nearly 400 local organizations to end hunger and malnutrition. They have many volunteer opportunities, such as organizing a food drive, spending a few hours packing food boxes, and volunteering in the administrative offices. 714-897-6670 or

O.C. Rescue Mission (Tustin), a faith-based organization, has a Mobile Feeding Program that distributes an average of 2,900 hot meals each month. They also accept donations, including money, food, household items, and vehicles. 714-247-4300 or

The Orange County Burrito Project (Santa Ana) has delivered more than 4,000 freshly made burritos to homeless individuals through monthly events that began in November 2015. Volunteers meet on the third Friday of each month to assemble and deliver burritos, hold their own fundraisers, or make a monetary donation. 657-229-3725 or 

Project Hope Alliance (Costa Mesa) focuses on homeless children, students, and families by providing rapid rehousing and education. Bright Start Mentor volunteers work to inspire self-worth in children from kindergarten through third grade and Outreach Liaisons coordinate recruitment efforts. Volunteers are also needed to hold fundraisers, perform administrative tasks, and create art projects. 949-722-7863 or




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