A homeless man moves his belongings to La Palma Park in Anaheim after taking down his tent of tarps he used to sleep in Friday night. Teams of volunteers descended on all parts of the county early Saturday morning to count and interview as many people as they could in areas where homeless individuals are known to congregate. ////ADDITIONAL INFO: - 07_homelesscount.0126.ks. - Day: Saturday - Date: 1/26/13 - Time: 7:30:25 AM - Original file name _KSB1455.NEF - KEN STEINHARDT, ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER -- This is the biannual Point in Time Count and Survey of the Homeless, which is mandated by the U.S. Department of Housnig and Urban Development in order for the county to quality for $16 million in Federal Continuum of Care funding for homeless services. *(EDITOR'S NOTE)* -- Contact John Viafora Orange County Housing and Community Development Manager, (714) 480-2820
A homeless man moves his belongings to La Palma Park in Anaheim after taking down his tent of tarps he used to sleep in Friday night.

After so many years of drought in Southern California, I think we are all thankful for and enjoy the rain. That is, we if we can stay dry.
Our regions’ miles of cement river beds are ideal places for homeless encampments, until the waters suddenly rise. What seems to be the only option, living homeless, becomes even less safe when the rain pours. The discomfort of being wet and cold, all of the time, can become unbearable for even the most resilient.
At Orange County Rescue Mission, we are called to love the least, the last and the lost. We send out outreach teams with compassionate gifts to those in need with a warm bowl of chili, a tarp and an umbrella or hygiene kits. During the winter months the armories and other short term shelters serve as a refuge for the homeless from the rain. But most of these places do not have the capacity to prepare the meals needed for the increase of people coming in for relief. To help, the Rescue Mission’s Village of Hope kitchen provides the meals.
The rain, along with acts of compassion, is often the impetus for someone homeless to accept the offer of a hand up. The offer of a hand up is to receive not just the immediate relief from the rain and hunger for a day, but for a life time.
My heart breaks especially for those homeless that are not so weather worn, the families that have slipped through the economic cracks and on to the streets, and the wayward 19-year-old that has already become so disillusioned by his pain and life experience.  I pray that they come out of the rain, and into the warmth of God’s hope offered at Orange County Rescue Mission.
Please remember, not a single umbrella, bowl of chili or opportunity for change happens without the support of donors. May the rain be a reminder to give from the overflow of your blessings.

Giving online is easy, safe, and quick. Your donation will make an immediate impact to provide meals, shelter and services for a homeless family in desperate need of a hand up to self-sufficiency.