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August 10, 2020

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


The Cooper Housing Institute has awarded grants to South County Outreach, Mercy House and Illumination Foundation

The Cooper Housing Institute, a nonprofit organization that aims to fund research, education and programs related to housing challenges in the United States, has awarded $50,000 in individual grants to South County OutreachMercy House and Illumination Foundation, totaling $150,000. These grants are part of a program by the Cooper Housing Institute to fund community-based organizations in Orange County to address housing crises created by the COVID-19 pandemic. They follow a similar $50,000 grant made to Family Assistance Ministries in July.

“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.

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.

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.

About Cooper Housing Institute
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. To learn more, visit https://cooperhousinginstitute.org/.

Contact: Damon Elder   
Spotlight Marketing Communications
949.427.1377
[email protected]