Recovery at the Santa Ana Riverbed

Bringing our recovery model to life: ؼ partners with Orange County Health Care Agency in helping the homeless relocate from the Santa Ana Riverbed.

In Orange County, 30 Telecare staff members showed up to help the county’s provide clinical assessments to more than 700 individuals experiencing homelessness who were being transitioned from the Santa Ana Riverbed to motels throughout the county.

“We were proud to be able to respond to their call,” said Ed Bienkowski, ձ𳦲’s Regional Director of Operations in Orange County. “I got a request on Saturday night over President’s Day weekend to see if we had anyone available to assess the mental health needs of people being moved the next week. I texted our administrators, and within an hour they all got back to me with staff lined up to help.”

That Sunday and Monday, staff members and interns from ձ𳦲’s , , , and programs came with their cars and trucks to assist the county with moving belongings and providing clinical assessments.

"I was there to offer compassion and support for those who wanted to take advantage of the opportunity of getting into a motel," said Jyoti Gustafson, Personal Service Coordinator (PSC) II at Orange County AOT. "Some had jobs, some had pets and family, others had not been homeless for long and just needed a place to regroup. They were people in their community who would benefit from linkage to a variety of resources. By us being there on a united front with the county and interacting with those who needed placement, we may be a familiar face down the line if that person is ever referred to our program or in need of services."

Humans Need Help Pull Quote.png

"Going to the riverbed was a reminder of why it is so important to do what we do every day," said Angela Pierce, PSC II at TAO South. "It was a humbling experience and a great reminder of the cultural diversity of both our members and Orange County in general, and the need to provide resources and the support to allow people to have fulfilling lives. It was also a reminder to be mindful of each other's uniquenesses and to be present when engaging with individuals—comforting people when they express sadness, celebrating people when they achieve their goals. We were able to show people we are there to support as best we could, even if it was just to ease the stress, anxiety, fear, or whatever they were experiencing at the time."

We are grateful to have such a committed team of Telecare staff members who respond with great heart to help others in times of need. We are honored to be a helpful resource to our customers and in our local communities.

Humans Need Help Pull Quote_v2.png

SHOP/TRAC/TMRS Participate in Stanislaus County’s Point-In-Time Count


The mandates an annual Point-In-Time count and survey of individuals and families experiencing homelessness. ձ𳦲’s SHOP/TRAC/TMRS, initially just SHOP, was asked by Stanislaus County in 2003 to assist with the Point-In-Time count and have assisted every year since then. There are various other county and community agencies that either volunteer to participate in the count or donate bags of goodies to include snacks, socks, blankets and lists of local resources. The Point-In-Time count is an important effort that ensures the voices of people experiencing homelessness in our communities are heard and efforts are made to provide appropriate services. It also helps Stanislaus County develop more effective plans and measure progress towards ending homelessness.

The Performance Improvement Team has provided a survey tool that provides a means for gathering information directly from the individuals and families that are experiencing homelessness about their needs and causes of homelessness. One of the most prominent issues is the lack of stable and affordable housing options. Efforts to target this area are evident with the creation of the .

ձ𳦲’s Outreach & Engagement Team enjoys participating in the annual count to build and maintain relationships, listen to the amazing stories told and to better understand the needs of this population. Huge shout-out to this team for never complaining about such an early start and always being willing to serve others the best way they can!