Orange County

With Donations Down, OC Rescue Mission's Village of Hope Needs Help for Christmas in July

Gone are the donations that would supply the annual Christmas in July party scheduled for Friday.

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The Village of Hope is run by the Orange County Rescue Mission and is not a typical household. It is home to 265 people, who all live, work and even play together--yes, in the middle of a pandemic.

Organizers knew early on they would have to approach stay-at-home orders in their own way, so they did.

"We’re allowed to interact with each other," Jim Palmer, of the OC Rescue Mission, says. "We have this rapid testing program place, and we have a system in place to self-isolate on site. Anyone that get, be exposed, to the virus."

Also, a thermal imaging screen tracks the temperatures of anyone walking into the facility.

Rooms can be separated off which came in handy when two new residents tested positive for COVID-19 last month. A total of 60 people had to be quarantined for two weeks.

Now, officials are building classrooms on the site, since the dozens of children who live here will not be able to leave to go to school.

The goal at Village of Hope is to get the formerly homeless back on their feet, officials say. But now, even getting them employed is a challenge.

"They have spent their whole program dealing with addiction or mental health issues, other things they’ve overcome, and they’re so excited to get a job and then all of a sudden that job is temporarily not there," Palmer says.

Also gone are the donations that would supply the annual Christmas in July party scheduled for Friday.

Officials say donations of diapers, baby food and even hand sanitizer are down 60%.

"I know the work they’re doing," Estelle kim, a donor, says. "They do a lot of different kind of help in the community great place to partner with."

Officials are still hoping for donations to the OC Rescue Mission, hoping they will have a Christmas in July. Click here to make donations.

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