OC United is just that… Orange County, United. They are driven to unite north Orange County and provide a place for restorative relationships and life skills training to create empowered lives for OC’s most vulnerable. Founders Jay Williams and Amy Gaw are currently participating in the Launch phase of FLDWRK’s Startup Programs, and we’ve been inspired by them since day one… in the unique way they are pursuing the common good, their humility and solidarity in standing with the vulnerable, and in the way they invite and unite the communities they live and work in.
“We’re all neighbors. We live in the same space and share the same resources. But some of us don’t have homes. Some of us don’t have families. Some of us are isolated despite being surrounded by others. We were tired of feeling helpless when presented with heartbreaking needs, so we decided to do something about it.”
The OC United team is made up of a collection of citizens, non-profits and churches that believe they can accomplish more working together than apart. They are based in Christian faith but “welcome anyone with a pulse”. They currently work with the vulnerable in 4 different contexts: those from foster care, those experiencing homelessness, victims of domestic abuse, and families in under-resourced neighborhoods.
A lot of organizations exist to serve vulnerable groups and individuals through various programs and services, but few address the root issue of the problem. OC United believes that people become vulnerable because they are experiencing the breakdown of the family unit. The ramifications of this breakdown are all around us in society, and OC United seeks to rebuild and restore the family units by loving support and transitional empowerment.
“We believe that lasting change occurs by coming alongside the vulnerable in long-term relationship, not through programs alone. As we continue to make strategic decisions, we want to ask ourselves: How are we helping to heal and restore those affected by broken family units?”
OC United serves the vulnerable in a variety of contexts. Some of their programs include facilitating family fun nights and kids clubs for motel families, mobile laundry and showers for the homeless, after school tutoring and ESL classes, empowering homeless with life skills and career building, supporting foster families with errands, childcare, encouragement, & tangible goods, mentorship, and so much more.
They are committed to building a strong foundation for the future and sustaining long term impact. Their vision for the future, as a direct result of their mission, is that by June 2017 they will further their impact by working in relationship with 500 individuals/families providing place for connection, support, and empowerment to build into healthy family units.
Join them in empowering the vulnerable by visiting OCUnited.org & by attending Pitch Night on Thursday, November 10th from 7-9pm at FLDWRK’s new location in Fullerton, CA. RSVP here to hear Jay & Amy share their mission & vision and opportunities for partnership. Hope to see you there!