Nationally, more than 6.7 million youth, between the ages of 16 and 24, are both unemployed and out of school. These youth suffer high rates of chronic poverty, exposure to violence, and diminished health and wellbeing, contributing to a future lifetime taxpayer burden of $1.56 trillion.

In Orange County, where we enjoy a thriving economy, more than 55,000 youth, ages 18 to 28, live in poverty. Despite an eagerness to work, these youth lack access to employment and education pathways. Meanwhile, businesses struggle to find entry-level workers with the right skills and personal attributes to meet their workforce demands.


Currently, Hope Builders works with 350 youth annually at its Santa Ana facilities; yet, this is only a small percentage of youth who need our help. For this reason Hope Builders is embarking on a plan to nearly double the number of young people it helps annually.

In Orange County, where we enjoy a thriving economy, more than 55,000 youth, ages 18 to 28, live in poverty.

Experience has proven that to be successful Hope Builders needs to establish itself within communities where there are large numbers of young people with a demonstrated need for Hope Builders’ services. That is why at the invitation of leaders from the city of Anaheim, in September 2015, Hope Builders will bring its proven model of vocational and life skills training to Anaheim,the largest and one of the youngest cities in the county, where:

  • 25% of youth are actively searching for, but unable to find,
  • 3,675 youth between the ages of 18 and 28 were arrested last year
  • 12.1% of youth drop out of high school each year — the highest
    rate in the county
  • The poverty rate in some neighborhoods exceeds 32%

Hope Builders plans to start serving Anaheim youth this fall. In preparation for its opening in Central Anaheim, Hope Builders is hiring instructors, outreach workers and case managers to provide the same innovative programs in Anaheim that it has successfully managed for 20 years in Santa Ana.

While Hope Builders is prepared to make this expansion a reality, we need your help to do it. An investment in Hope Builders’ capacity will allow us to replicate our successful Construction and Medical Careers Academies. Within three years, Hope Builders will nearly double its current capacity, impacting the life trajectories of more than 700 Orange County youth each year, by helping them transform their lives and achieve economic stability.

For more information, contact Christa Sheehan, Senior Director of Strategy and Advancement at (714) 543-5105 ext. 112 or csheehan@tsjhopebuilders.org.