Hope Builders empowers Orange County’s young adults with the mentorship, life skills and job skills training that meet the needs of employers.
Orange County’s strong economy continues to generate jobs, however, it ranks 58th in income inequality among the 150 largest regions in the U.S., and has 37,000 Opportunity Youth who are disconnected from the workforce and educational opportunities (USC, An Equity Profile of Orange County, March 2019). The economic costs associated with these Opportunity Youth are staggering. Arizona State University’s Morrison Institute for Public Policy estimates that Southern California’s Opportunity Youth impose an immediate taxpayer and social burden of $51,350 per person, per year. Major gaps in education and experience prevent impoverished youth from moving on to community college or to employment with a self-sustaining wage.
Hope Builders demonstrates an unwavering acceptance of others for whom and where they are on their life trajectories and is committed to empowering young adults to realize their strengths and positively impact their futures. The Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange founded the organization in 1995 in response to increasing gang violence, high youth unemployment, low high school graduation rates and rising teen pregnancy rates in Central Orange County. Every year, Hope Builders serves more than 550 young adults, who are caught in this cycle of poverty and strives to help them achieve and maintain self-sufficiency.
We are a community.
We provide a loving foundation to start over.
We embrace second chances.
We ignite hope
We demonstrate unwavering acceptance of others for who they are.
We empower others to realize their own strengths.
We inspire change.
We embrace inquiry, challenging the status quo.
We flex and bend and adapt as needed.
We believe opportunities make a difference.
We are Hope Builders.