| Project Dignity
serving the homeless with dignity, humility & love
WHY WE DO IT
|"We have rules in our Children's Programs--1) 'no kickin', no hittin', no punchin', no cussin'. 2) This is my house and in my house nobody gets made fun of. Everyone's safe. 3) You get one warning, if you ignore it, you're gone until tomorrow. The children know we have these rules because we love them. They know they can count on our love. We expect their best and they give it....." Miss Wally, Children's Programs Director|
Homeownership that is out of reach of the average family in
Southern California is not the root cause of homelessness.
There are no guarantees in life that “entitle” anyone to home
is the fact that low income families can find few places
at all to live that
“American Dream” for them is to find a place where their children can
stay warm and dry for more than a couple of nights in a row.
Contrary to popular belief, the majority of homeless families did
not become so because of bad or immoral decisions, unless they can be
blamed for living in an area of the country where housing costs and
living wages are worlds apart.
The solution is not to move somewhere more affordable because
these workers fill the minimum wage jobs that drive
The majority of homeless families in
There are few apartment owners willing to rent to a family with a gross
income of $1,200 a month and so the families end up in the motels.
Here at least they are not
submitted to credit checks, deposits or first & last month rents.
With approximately 35,000 homeless individuals in
With little incentive for developers and property owners to build low income properties, added to the attendant government paperwork, subsidized housing and Section 8 vouchers are not the solution to the problem. Families currently wait an agonizingly long time to be eligible for their housing vouchers, only to have them expire after a heartbreaking search, because of the lack of subsidized housing available in the county.
Loss of income and housing through either financial, employment or medical disaster, coupled with a profusion of minimum wage jobs in Orange County has caused a habitation crunch for low income families. They cannot afford to pay the median rents of $1500 a month, but they also cannot afford to leave the county because this is where their jobs are. In the absence of a readily available supply of low income housing, our solution is to assist our clients in the boosting and reallocation of their resources until they are able to afford those median rents. Because of creditworthiness problems, this is not a speedy process. Low income families need the caring and support of an organization that is committed to being with them for the “long haul”. They need to know that their value and self worth is not tied up in where they live, but how they live. Project Dignity has a commitment to making a human connection with each and every person we serve. We feel that this intangible is the greatest service we will ever provide.
To say that life is “difficult” when you are poor is a great understatement. It is unimaginably difficult. The financial loss for a family is only one small component. The larger issues are the emotional and spiritual losses that occur. Adults are not the only ones who suffer these losses. Children are much more aware of their situations than they are ever given credit for. A child with a broken spirit is a disaster waiting to happen. Project Dignity attempts to address their issues now, by helping the entire family, in whatever way serves them best. It is heartbreaking to hear a parent say, “We had a home. We had it all. We never expected to be here”. It is our greatest victory, when we have successfully assisting a family in transitioning out of the motels to be able to hear a child say, “Now I have my own bed, in my own place. I’m just like everyone else.”