OCSD helps young homeless couple find housing
A married couple who had been living out of a car for months was placed into housing thanks to help from a dedicated OCSD team tasked with helping the homeless.
Lake Forest Homeless Liaison Officer Deputy Castro, along with OCSD’s South Homeless Outreach Team, came to know Jacob and his wife Jordan in his work with the homeless in the city. Over many months, Deputy Castro offered services from housing placement to job hunting.
“They’re very young – maybe in their early 20s -- and I remember I just kept telling them, ‘we have to help get you somewhere better,’” Castro said.
Deputy Castro said he didn’t know much of their backstory except the two recently were married and had a falling out with family. The couple couldn’t make ends meet and resorted to living in their vehicle and parking it in different locations around the city.
The couple would cycle from one beat-up vehicle to the next, calling each dilapidated car home until it broke down. It was a lifestyle that generated many calls for service from concerned residents.
On multiple occasions, Deputy Castro worked with the pair in an attempt to get them off the streets, but just when progress seemed imminent, plans would fall through or the couple wouldn’t show for a required meeting to move things forward.
“I stayed very patient,” Castro said. “We just kept working and trying to get them help.”
Castro stayed hopeful that the couple would one day take him up on his outreach efforts.
Recently, Castro learned the months of work between him and the Homeless Outreach Team paid off. Their vehicle, which sat immobile on a Lake Forest street, had a note scribbled on the windows in paint marker:
“Tow it. I want to thank Castro for believing in us. Thanks for everything. We got a place.”
“I was very humbled and happy for them,” Castro said. “It’s one of those moments where you see the outcome of all the work we put in. We always want to do outreach before we do enforcement and they are a prime example of that.”