STANTON (CBSLA.com) — Thousands of homeless children in Orange County, who don’t have anywhere to go after being discharged from the hospital, now have a place to call home.
On Thursday, the media was granted a tour of the new Theriault Emergency House in Stanton.
The nine-bedroom facility was designed to serve homeless families with children up to 5 years old while they recuperate from their illness.
It is Orange County’s first children’s emergency house, which opened eight weeks ago by the nonprofit Illumination Foundation.
There are more than 4,000 children who are known to be homeless in Orange County’s healthcare system, according to Home Aid Orange County.
“Providing post-hospital recovery care for homeless patients discharged from hospitals across the US, remains a major gap in the homeless continuum of care spectrum,” Home Aid’s website said.
Besides offering critical assistance to caring for the sick children, the facility provides mental health counseling, life skills and other services to help parents get back on their feet.
Each family has a case manager to help with transitioning into long-term housing. The longest one family can stay is 28 days.
The Theriault Emergency House is expected to give temporary shelter to more 100 families in its first year.
“I think it’s a wonderful way for them to start that second chance at getting stable again,” said Paul Cho, CFO and COO of Illumination Foundation.
This facility was built with funds raised at the 2016 OC Chef’s Table culinary gala.
There are 55,000 homeless people in Orange County, Los Angeles and the Inland Empire, and one in four children live in poverty, according to Illumination Foundation.