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Friendship Shelter is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, founded in 1988 to provide year-round shelter and rehabilitation to homeless adults. Today we provide a full complement of services to the most vulnerable homeless people in our community, and are focused on finding the most appropriate permanent housing solution for each individual. We follow the housing first and harm reduction models of care, and have worked with more than 10,000 people to end their homelessness. We are proud that each night more than 160 homeless and formerly homeless people sleep safe, warm, and cared for in one of our programs.
Friendship Shelter's outreach program started in 2017 and has since grown to include a full-time staff and is funded by generous private donors and the City of Laguna Beach. Friendship Shelter outreach workers quite literally meet people where they are, either at the beach, on the street, or somewhere in between. Our goal is to assess each person we meet and connect them to what they need: shelter, physical and mental health care, social services, and whenever possible, appropriate permanent housing.
Located on South Coast Highway in Laguna Beach, the Bridge Housing Program works with homeless adults to secure housing and employment or other income. At this housing focused shelter, all clients receive meals and an array of support services. We emphasize ongoing case management and support clients through a multilayered approach with the goal of securing permanent housing, income, and increased self-sufficiency. Additionally, we provide assistance for homeless men and women who have obtained a housing voucher from the County of Orange. Click here for information on our Voucher Program. And, located on Laguna Canyon Road near the entrance to Laguna Beach, Friendship Shelter operates the City of Laguna Beach's ASL Emergency Shelter. There we provide meals for anyone who needs one, showers, laundry, and resources to connect guests to housing, health care, and mental health care. The shelter is open year-round and the program operates a drop-in day program from 10 AM - 1 PM and overnight shelter for enrolled clients for a renewable 30 day period.
Friendship Shelter's housing program is its newest and fastest growing program, and is intended for clients who are chronically homeless with a physical or mental health condition. This program follows the housing first approach with clients housed in scattered-site apartments. All clients have access to ongoing supportive services from Friendship Shelter staff to ensure they remain safely and stably housed. There are currently 130 formerly homeless men and women in our housing program throughout south Orange County.
COORDINATED ENTRY SYSTEM
In early 2021, the County selected Friendship Shelter to lead the county-wide Coordinated Entry System for individuals. Our focus continues to be on the efficiency and equity of our county's homeless housing system for both clients and providers. We manage the system's flow to positive housing outcomes through ongoing data analysis, diverse stakeholder collaboration, and evidence-based recommendations.
In June 2020, Friendship Shelter accepted an opportunity from the County to lead the southern region of Project Toolbelt. The emergency COVID-19 program employs housing-focused case management to transition medically vulnerable individuals from non-congregate (motel) shelters to permanent housing and/or appropriate programs. Our Toolbelt work has assisted 143 individuals to date and permanently housed 44.
Learn more about Friendship Shelter and our commitment to transparency by clicking on the Guidestar seal below.