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Cooper Housing Institute Awards Three Orange County Nonprofits with Grants to Help Fight Homelessness

$150,000 total funding awarded to Mercy House, Illumination Foundation and South County Outreach.

By: Tim Houchen
August 12, 2020 —

Irvine, CA — The Cooper Housing Institute, a nonprofit organization that aims to fund research, education, and programs related to housing challenges in the United States, announced on Monday, August 10th that it has awarded three Orange County nonprofits individual awards totaling $150,000.

Mercy House, Illumination Foundation and South County Outreach were each awarded $50,000 grants individually to address housing crises in Orange County created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Family Assistance Ministries was awarded a similar $50,000 grant in July.

The Cooper Housing Institute is a private 501(c)(3) foundation founded in 2018 by the Cooper family, whose commitment to affordable housing spans 50 years. The foundation strives to make housing a priority in the United States by supporting research, education and programs that address housing affordability and homelessness. The organization focuses on the root causes of the shortage of affordable housing and chronic homelessness across the nation, and aims to focus on objective, fact-driven research that brings often divergent groups together to embrace common sense solutions. The Cooper Housing Institute was formed by Will N. Cooper Sr. and Will N. Cooper Jr., leaders of Irvine, California-based WNC, a leading provider of investment, asset management and development services in the affordable housing industry.

Larry Haynes, Executive Director of Mercy House, expressed his gratitude for the partnership between his organization and CHI.

“We are so grateful for the opportunity to once again partner with the Cooper Housing Institute. This money couldn’t come at a more critical time. We know how great the need for rental assistance is right now, and with this generous funding opportunity we will be able to help support families and individuals who would otherwise be homeless,” said Haynes. “We appreciate their support and we look forward to preventing the homelessness for those in need, during this uncertain time.”

“Before the COVID-19 pandemic even began, many adults and children throughout Orange County were already fighting to keep a roof over their head and food on their table,” said Cooper Housing Institute Co-Founder Will Cooper Jr. “We are proud to present three deserving nonprofit organizations with grants to support a cause that we have been championing for decades – the fight to end homelessness.”

Co-Founder Will Cooper Sr. added, “The Cooper Housing Institute is passionate about making housing a priority in the United States and believes that every person should have a place they can afford to call home. Our organization understands the importance of programs like those provided by Illumination Foundation, Mercy House and South County Outreach, and are appreciative of the hard work they put in day-in and day-out to help those in our community who are in need.”

For more than 30 years, South County Outreach has been a leader in the fight to end hunger and homelessness in Orange County. Through the implementation of programs like its Transitional Housing Program for homeless families, along with its Food Pantry, which distributes more than 800,000 pounds of food and keeps nearly 2,500 children fed each year, South County Outreach is doing what it does best — housing hope and ending hunger, together.

South County Outreach – provides transitional housing for homeless families and a food pantry that distributes more than 800,000 lbs. of food and feeds nearly 2,500 children each year.

Mercy House provides housing and comprehensive supportive services for a variety of homeless populations which includes families, adult men and women, mothers and their children, persons living with HIV/AIDS, individuals overcoming substance addictions, and some who are physically and mentally disabled. The organization strives to assist residents in the areas of economic, emotional, and spiritual well-being in order to enhance self-esteem and a sense of personal pride.

Mercy House – The Orchard is an innovative project involving the rehabilitation of a Santa Ana motel that now provides 71 one-bedroom units serving chronically homeless individuals and small families.

Illumination Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) that provides targeted, interdisciplinary services for the most vulnerable homeless adults and children in order to disrupt the cycle of homelessness. The organization assesses clients in order to identify needs and provide immediate relief when necessary, followed by care that combines housing assistance, case management, medical care, mental health services, and workforce training and placement services to decrease community dependency.

Illumination Foundation – The Theriault Emergency House in Stanton serves homeless families with children up to five years old after they are discharged from the hospital.

Very special thanks to the Cooper Housing Institute


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1 Comment on "Cooper Housing Institute Awards Three Orange County Nonprofits with Grants to Help Fight Homelessness"

  1. How do they determine which non-profit is most worthy because of the quality and number of OC people living on the streets affordable housing was provided. Like to see a comparison study. How do they track their giving….

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