WISEPlace is a community of housing and hope for women in crisis. Formerly the South Orange County YWCA, WISEPlace has an 85 year history of caring for local women, children and families. By meeting basic needs such as housing, food, clothing, physical and emotional nourishment, as well as vocational and life skills training, the WISEPlace Hotel for Women is one of the few places homeless women can go to begin again.
For thousands of women, the commitment to change a life filled with abuse comes by completing an emergency treatment for victims of domestic violence, or drug or alcohol addiction. At WISEPlace, these women benefit from the "Steps to Independence" program, which provides support services such as individual counseling, resume writing, interviewing support, affordable housing assistance and more. This program also serves women who have survived a traumatic experience or devastating financial reversal.
To be a teenager without a family, a home or career training is no way to start a new life. Yet for the countless number of 18 year-old women that are emancipated from Orange County foster homes every year, there are few choices. The Steps to Independence program added First Step, a program designed to address the special needs of former foster care children. The program provides life skills and mentoring, along with affordable housing, meals, clothing, counseling, employment development, scholarships for college tuition, books, and more.
Through Senior Step, women who are over age 55 and without shelter obtain the means to manage on their own by providing solutions to the health and income-related challenges facing older homeless women. These include assistance with securing adequate healthcare, employment development, transportation services and more. The goal of the Senior Step program is to assist women in creating a secure lifestyle for the future.
In addition to transitional housing, WISEPlace prevents very low income Santa Ana women from losing their existing housing. Having a 3-day notice to pay or quit is terrifying when you know that you can't prevent ending up on the streets. It is immeasurably worse when you have children in your care. The goal of our Prevention and Rapid Re-housing program is to offer targeted assistance and case management to prevent new instances of homelessness in Santa Ana.
To meet our Steps to Independence eligibility criteria, program participants must be employable, drug and alcohol free, aged 18 or over, and living as a single woman striving for a stronger sense of self and independence. Applicants may contact our Program Manager for intake interviews.
To apply for our Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing program, contact WISEPlace and ask for HPRP.