Homeless Services

The City of Laguna Niguel is committed to doing its fair share to provide assistance and resources to individuals experiencing homelessness in the City of Laguna Niguel.

In 2018, The City formed a Homeless Taskforce that focused on the need to identify local service provider resources and groups that could assist the Laguna Niguel homeless population.  The taskforce also identified members of the local faith-based community that could provide assistance to those in need.  The existing partnership with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department was also further identified as a key component to addressing any safety and/or health related issues occurring within the community, specific to homelessness.

In 2019, the County of Orange conducted what is known as a “Point-in-Time Count.”  Every two years, the County of Orange conducts a “Point-in-Time Count” to identify the total of sheltered and unsheltered homeless individuals in all of Orange County’s 34 cities and in County unincorporated areas.  All 34 Orange County cities are separated into three Service Planning Areas (SPA’s), North/Central/South, with Laguna Niguel falling into the South SPA. 

During the 2019 Point-in-Time Count, Laguna Niguel recorded a total of 7 unsheltered and 3 sheltered homeless individuals (10 total). 

Everyone Counts 2019

In late 2019, the City’s commitment to provide assistance and resources to individuals experiencing homelessness further increased through the formation of a new partnership with local homeless service provider, Mercy House.  This partnership included the incorporation of homeless outreach and diversion services that aimed to assist homeless individuals with securing temporary and/or permanent housing through the completion of a housing plan tailored towards each individual’s needs.  The City was fortunate enough to utilize the award of County of Orange H.E.A.P. grant funding to subsidize the expense related to these critical services.

Throughout 2020 and at current, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for critical resources and outreach services has increased.  To support this need, the City Council approved the award of additional federal grant funding (CDBG-CV) to Mercy House as well as to other local service providers including Family Assistance Ministries (F.A.M.) and South County Outreach.  This funding has provided Laguna Niguel with increased resources for homeless outreach and diversion services, residential rental assistance, utility assistance, emergency transportation and nutrition/food needs. 


 


Logos Part of Homeless Services Outreach


     


The City’s efforts to end homelessness focus on a 3-pronged, collaborative partnership that includes City Administration, Local Service Providers and Behavioral Health Liaisons (BHL’s), formerly known as Homeless Liaison Officers.  This collaborative approach towards providing resources and outreach & diversion services to individuals experiencing homeless is one that is safe, supported, and dignified.  The ultimate goal of this partnership is to secure temporary and/or permanent housing for individuals that are in need while maintaining the safety of the community.
3-pronged Approach

City Administration:
The City Manager’s Office is the lead Department on items related to homelessness in the City of Laguna Niguel.  Collaboration between local service provider partners and Behavioral Health Liaison (BHL’s) is a key responsibility of the Deputy City Manager.  The public can contact Deputy City Manager, Justin Martin, at jjmartin@cityoflagunaniguel.org.  

Key Local Service Provider Partners:
The City’s Key Local Service Provider Partners play a pivotal role in providing ongoing services and resources to individuals experiencing homelessness and to community members that may be on the verge of homelessness.  Local service providers work with youth, families, and single adults to identify and meet their needs related to housing, mental health, nutrition, government programs, subsidy assistance, substance abuse, relocation transportation, etc.  Key local service providers include:

  • Mercy House   
    • Providing comprehensive homeless outreach and diversion resources and services to individuals located in the City of Laguna Niguel
    • Collaborate with Homeless Liaison Officers (HLO’s)

  • Family Assistance Ministries
    • Providing rental assistance, utility assistance, food subsidy programs and job skills training to Laguna Niguel residents
    • Collaborate with Mercy House

  • South County Outreach
    • Providing rental assistance, utility assistance, food subsidy programs and outreach services to Laguna Niguel residents
    • Collaborate with Mercy House

Behavioral Health Liaisons (BHL’s):
Behavioral Health Liaisons, formerly known as Homeless Liaison Officers (HLO’s), are Deputies from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department that are assigned to Patrol and other assignments, who recognize the need in the community for the rapid provision of resources to individuals experiencing homelessness in the community. BHL’s receive additional training on mental illness and how to connect the homeless population with available services and resources. This is done by communicating and collaborating with multi-disciplinary service providers and partnering governmental agencies including, but not limited to Mercy House, Family Assistance Ministries, South County Outreach, Orange County Mental Health, Veterans Services, and Families Forward to name a few. These organizations help provide the individualized and specific support needed to address unmet life necessities. These necessities include short-term and long-term housing, employment opportunities, mental health services, food gift cards, gas cards, socks, clothing, and hygiene kits which the BHL's have access to for those in need. BHL's work closely with the City’s key local service provider partners to help secure transportation to the local Department of Motor Vehicles, the Social Security Office, and to various courts and government offices to assist individuals with navigating the system to receive Identification cards, renew driver licenses, pay court fines, and setting the individuals up with employment opportunities to help them get life on track and to move through a housing plan and into temporary and/or permanent housing.

  • The public is encouraged to call the Laguna Niguel Police Services Non-Emergency phone number to report non-emergency issues related to homelessness:  (949) 770-6011
  • The public is encouraged to call 911 in the event of any emergency.
  • Email:  HLO@cityoflagunaniguel.org
     

Additional Resources and Partners:

    • Families Forward exists to help families in need achieve and maintain self-sufficiency through housing, food, counseling, education, and other support services. For more information on receiving family assistance please call, (949) 552-2727.
  • StandUp for Kids
    • StandUp for Kids is a national non-profit organization dedicated to ending the cycle of youth homelessness in local communities. This organization serves unaccompanied homeless and at risk youth - and young parents with children of their own - up to their 25th birthday. For more information about a nearby program, please call 1-888-365-4543.  
  • Local Orange County Emergency Shelter Resources:
      • Providing shelter and supportive services for single men and women age 18+.  The Friendship Shelter helps homeless adults achieve self-sufficiency and become more productive members of the community.  The program includes providing a home, three meals daily and a wide range of support services for 32 men and women.  For more information on securing a daily reservation please contact the Friendship Shelter directly, or call (949) 494-6928.
      • The County of Orange has contracted with service provider City Net to provide a transportation based, inclement weather shelter for Orange County adults (18+).  Services include, sleeping mat, blanket, warm meal, and showers/restrooms.  For more information on securing a daily reservation please contact City Net directly, or call (949) 988-1239.
      • WISEPlace for Women in Santa Ana entered into contract with the County to provide up to 60 beds for single women and will be able to accommodate women with small to medium size pets. The new program SAFE Place for Women is a low barrier shelter with supportive services and offers and opportunity for the women to enter into transitional housing also operated by WISE Place for Women.  For more information on securing a reservation please contact WISEPlace directly, or call (714) 542-3577. 
      • Providing single women and mothers with children emergency shelter, transitional housing, and permanent housing opportunities.  For more information on securing a reservation please contact Colette’s Children’s Home directly, or call (714) 596-1380.
      • A comprehensive resource guide including services throughout the County of Orange, including:
        • Housing Resources:  Long-term/Independent Living; Single Room Occupancy Facilities; Roommate Referral; Rental Assistance Programs; Shelter and Transitional Living; Residential Recovery/Detox Programs; Skilled Nursing/Assisted Living; Adult Day Centers; residential Services for the Mentally Ill.
        • Homeless resources Quick Reference Guide
        • Supportive Resources:  Utility Assistance; Landlord/Tenant Issues; Transportation Assistance; Miscellaneous.
        • Meetings and Organizations
        • Commonly Used Housing Terms
        • 211 is the most comprehensive source of information about local resources and services in the country.  Call lines are open 24 hours per day.