Watch this video to learn how to receive our services.
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, their vehicles, and others who are couch hopping from house to house with friends and relatives just to stay sheltered.
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 all the steps below BEFORE YOU MOVE INTO YOUR RENTAL.
Your Steps to Receive Our Help
1. Submit Your Application and we will contact you within 2 business days.
Submit Your Application
Note: This form can be filled out on a computer, tablet, or smart phone.
2. We qualify you to determine if you are eligible for our services.
3. We build a budget with you to determine the amount of rent you can afford.
4. You find a rental:
NOTE: Please see the “Affordable Housing Resources” links at the bottom of this page for assistance in finding a rental.
a. Find Your Rental: Find a rental at or below your budgeted rent amount that meets the following conditions:
1. We do not accept subleases.
2. We do not accept month to month leases. We require the lease to be a minimum of 6 months.
3. We do not accept early termination clauses that allow the tenant to terminate the lease before 6 months.
4. We will not accept your application if you move into your rental before you complete all the steps in our process.
b. Submit Your Story: Email or text us a detailed description of your homeless situation and explain why you need our help. We share these personal stories with our donors and supporters via email and social media so that they know how the money they have donated is being used to help house the homeless. We may use your story to determine whether we are able to help you or not, so please ensure you provide enough detail so that we can make a good and fair decision. If we have to come back to you to get more detailed information, then our decision on your case will be put on hold until you provide the the information we need.
c. Submit Your Photo ID: Email or text us a copy or picture of your photo ID so that we can match this with your picture below and with the name that will appear on the rental agreement.
d. Submit Your Group Picture: Email or text us a recent group picture of everyone who will be living with you. This picture can be taken anywhere and does not need to be taken at the rental. This must be one picture with everyone in it, not separate pictures or a collage of pictures. If you do not send a recent single picture of everyone who will be living in your rental then our decision to help you will be put on hold until you do so. This picture must be appropriate to share with our donors and supporters via email and social media. Pleasant smiles are great, but no goofy faces or poses and everyone should be in appropriate dress. The picture of the family below is an excellent example to follow. IMPORTANT: when you text or email us this picture please provide the name of each person in the picture, from left to right.
e. Submit Your Rental Information: After you find a rental that fits the budget we built with you, click this button to submit all the required rental information to us.
Submit Rental Information
Note: This form can be filled out on a computer, tablet, or smart phone.
5. We verify all information with the landlord.
6. We pay the security deposit directly to the landlord:
a. Your Landlord Provides Us Proof That You Have Paid Your First Month’s Rent: In order for us to pay your security deposit we require that you pay your first month’s rent with a check made out to the landlord, a money order made out to the landlord, or a cashier’s check made out to the landlord so that your landlord can provide us proof you have paid your first month’s rent. Cash or any form of payment not made out to the landlord are NOT acceptable forms of payment for your first month’s rent because your landlord will not be able to provide us proof you have paid your first month’s rent. Your landlord will then contact us to provide us proof you have paid your first month’s rent and all other move in fees.
b. We Mail Your Security Deposit To The Landlord: Then, on the day you move in we will mail your security deposit directly to your landlord via regular U.S. Post Office mail. We will pay the security deposit directly to the landlord with a regular business check only. We do not pay with cash, cashier’s checks, money orders, or wire transfers.
7. Congratulations, you move in to your new rental! 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.
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.