Our Approach: Compassion + Personal Responsibility
We exist to give a compassionate hand up. However, our approach requires you to accept most of the responsibility for getting off the streets. You must be motivated. You must be willing to go through an in-depth financial review. You must find your own rental. You must have monthly income to pay rent on an ongoing basis. We will encourage and guide you but you will do most of the work.
These are the key areas that explain how we work, what is expected of you, and your next steps:
Motivation: Are you motivated to get off the streets and into permanent housing? Our approach requires a lot of personal responsibility on your part. We will guide, but you will do most of the work. We also want you to know that you will not receive any money from us. If we do place you we will pay the security deposit directly to the landlord.
Income: Do you have a recurring source of income (job, disability, public assistance, etc.) that would allow you to pay monthly rent if we help you with the initial security deposit? We will not pay your security deposit unless we are convinced you have the ability to pay future month’s rent. To do otherwise would be an irresponsible use of the money our donors entrust to us and it would not help you remain housed over the long run.
Budgeting: Are you willing to work with us to create a budget that will keep your monthly rent below 50% of your total income? If you find a rental at or below this budgeted amount, we help with the security deposit to allow you to move in. This budgeted rent amount will provide a very good foundation for you to stay housed for the long term.
House Hunting: Are you willing to search for your own rented room or apartment on Craigslist, bulletin boards, rental signs, and on the internet within that budgeted amount? This is where you will have to do a fair amount of work finding a rental that fits the budget we built with you. Some of the people we help are able to find appropriately priced rentals within days and others have taken several months to find the right place. Perseverance in this area is key to you getting off the streets and into permanent housing.
Furniture and Household Goods: After you get into your new rental, we will provide the essential household goods and furniture you need to get a new start in life based on the inventory we have available. This includes beds, dressers, kitchen tables and chairs, couches, pots and pans, dishes, silverware, and linens. We are able to provide these items due to the incredible generosity of our donors.
Who We Help
And it’s not just the homeless you see on the street. There are also the “hidden homeless” who are in shelters, hotels, or their vehicles.
Some are homeless due to mental illness or addictions, and these individuals require many services and an entire community of providers to get off the street – it is a very complex problem with no simple solutions. Others are actually homeless by choice because they enjoy the lifestyle and they have no desire to get off the streets or they simply don’t have the recurring income to afford monthly rent.
However, there is another category of homeless that Off The Streets focuses on. These are the “Economically Homeless” who have suffered some sort of crisis (medical, financial, abuse, unforeseen evictions, etc.) and these are the individuals that we strive to help. They have income, just not enough to get out of their homeless situation. They are very motivated to get off the streets but they need a one-time hand up to do so. That’s where we come in.
First we build a budget with them to determine a monthly rent they can afford over the long term. After they find a rental that fits this budget, we help them get housed with the Security Deposit which we pay directly to the Landlord. Lastly, because many in this category have lost all their possessions, we give them a new start by providing essential household goods and furniture free of charge, most often delivered right to their new rental by our volunteers.
IMPORTANT: To receive our services you must complete steps 1 – 8 below BEFORE YOU MOVE INTO YOUR RENTAL.
Your Steps to Receive Our Help
1. Submit your application by clicking the button below. We will contact you within 3 business days. This form can be filled out on a computer, tablet, or smartphone.
Submit Your Application
2. We review your application to determine if you are eligible for our services.
3. If you qualify, we build a budget with you to determine the amount of rent you can afford.
4. You are responsible for finding your own rental. To assist you with your search we have provided the Affordable Housing Resources links at the bottom of this page. Your monthly rent must be at or below your budgeted rent amount. Subleases are not allowed. Month to month leases are not allowed. The minimum lease term must be at least 6 months. Early termination clauses are not allowed.
5. Submit your rental information by clicking the button below. This form can be filled out on a computer, tablet, or smartphone.
Submit Rental Information
6. We request your rental information from your landlord, including proof you have paid your first month’s rent, a signed lease agreement, and other documents that verify you have met all move-in requirements.
7. Your landlord provides us with all the requested documentation.
8. After all the documentation has been approved, we pay the security deposit directly to your landlord based on their preference (electronic or mailed check). We do not pay with cash, cashier’s checks, money orders, or wire transfers. We do not hand-deliver the payment.
9. After you move into your new rental we will provide the essential household goods and furniture you need based on the inventory we have available.
Notice to Clients
We are a 100% volunteer organization that operates entirely on private donations. We don’t accept any government funds. As such, we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone at any time.
Notice to Landlords
Please be advised that the rental contract (lease) is between you the Landlord and your Tenant. While Off The Streets – Huntington Beach may help your Tenant with the security deposit, we are not a party in the contract (lease). In other words, you the Landlord assume all liability and risk should you decide to rent to a Tenant that we help with the Security Deposit.