Press release

CalOptima Health Awards $52.3 Million to Build 706 Permanent Housing Units for the Unhoused
Grant funding awarded to 15 organizations will add affordable and permanent supportive housing units to serve low-income families across Orange County

ORANGE, Calif. (October 11, 2023) - Reflecting CalOptima Health’s ongoing commitment to Orange County’s vulnerable population of people experiencing homelessness, the Board of Directors approved awarding $52.3 million in grants to accelerate the creation of affordable and permanent supportive housing units. Fifteen organizations were selected to receive funds that will be used to acquire, construct and upgrade a total of 706 housing units. 

CalOptima Health’s grants are tied to participation in the Department of Health Care Services’ Housing and Homelessness Incentive Program (HHIP), which allows the health plan to fund affordable and permanent supportive housing. HHIP aims to prevent and address housing insecurity for Medi-Cal members by ensuring those experiencing homelessness have a clear path into housing and can access the services needed to remain housed. 

“Our partnership with community organizations dedicated to expanding housing resources will transform the lives of thousands of Orange County residents,” said Michael Hunn, CEO ofCalOptima Health. “Having a home provides the security and peace of mind people need so they can strengthen their health and wellness. Housing is health.” 

“Awarding more than $52 million to support Orange County’s response to homelessness is a laudable investment by a health plan,” said Kelly Bruno-Nelson, Executive Director ofMedi-Cal/CalAIM at Cal Optima Health. “This housing will have a generational impact on hundreds of families, giving them hope and better access to the neighborhoods that have the resources needed to build a healthy life.” Bruno-Nelson is leading the team spearheading these efforts in support of whole-person health. 

By proposing a variety of project types, the grantees represent diverse communities and geographies across Orange County. For example, the Anaheim Housing Authority was awarded $3.8 million to convert 89 units at a former Motel 6 site into permanent supportive housing. “In Anaheim, we know what works,” said Ashleigh Aitken, Anaheim Mayor. “A place to call home with help and support brings belonging, stability and dignity for those overcoming the challenge of homelessness. This help from Cal Optima Health will allow us to continue changing lives in Anaheim.” 

Jamboree Housing Corp. will use its $4.7 million award to convert an existing motel in Santa Ana into 89 units for veterans and other people experiencing homelessness. Jamboree Housing President and CEO Laura Archuleta said: “We’re immensely grateful for the groundbreaking partnership with CalOptima Health, whose commitment to funding innovations to address the housing needs of our unhoused population marks a pivotal moment in their health care leadership. At Jamboree, we firmly believe that housing is health care, and this collaboration exemplifies that principle. Together, we are changing lives, one home at a time, and we are excited about the possibilities this alliance holds for the future.” 

Families Forward was awarded $2.5 million to build up to eight affordable housing units in Tustin for families with minor children. All residents will have access to Families Forward’s comprehensive supportive services to build economic mobility and create a healthy, nurturing environment for their children. “Families Forward is thrilled to be a recipient of this grant from CalOptima Health to further our joint efforts to prevent and end family homelessness,” said Madelynn Hirneise, CEO of Families Forward. “Every night, there are thousands of Orange County children without a safe place to call home, and this funding will allow us to build new affordable housing for families experiencing homelessness, ensuring they have a roof over their head, access to wraparound services and the opportunity to thrive.” 

Please see below for the full list of grantees and funding awards. 

Grantees Funding Award
Anaheim Housing Authority $3,878,420
C&C Development $8,000,000
City of Anaheim – Housing and Community Development Department $1,500,000
City of Brea $6,028,492
City of Yorba Linda  $3,100,000
Community Development Partners  $8,000,000
Families Forward $2,500,000
Illumination Foundation  $3,000,000
Jamboree Housing Corp. $4,721,241
Kingdom Causes dba City Net $1,337,170
Mercy Housing California  $1,500,000
National Community Renaissance of California $1,334,677
Shelter Providers of Orange County Inc. dba HomeAid Orange County $1,400,000
The Eli Home  $5,000,000
WISE place  $1,000,000
Grant Total $52,300,000

About CalOptima Health 

A county organized health system, CalOptima Health provides quality funding health care coverage for low-income children, adults, seniors, and people with disabilities in Orange County, California. CalOptima Health’s mission is to serve member health with excellence and dignity, respecting the value and needs of each person. Cal Optima Health serves more than 990,000 members with a network of nearly 9,900 primary care doctors and specialists and 43 acute and rehab hospitals. 

Janis Rizzuto 
Director, Communications