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Staff report

As the homelessness crisis continues in San Juan Capistrano, a local nonprofit said it has helped more than 300 homeless and displaced individuals get off the streets.

Our Father’s Table assists the homeless in San Juan through its program OFT Project: Restoration by connecting them to relevant services and agencies. The organization’s Care Navigators understand the system of services and providers, the nuances for their points of entry, and criteria for acceptance and eligibility into programs, founder Gina Seriel said.

Our Father’s Table has reportedly helped end chronic homelessness for over 300 people. This photo was taken prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo: Courtesy of Our Father’s Table

The Care Navigators also try to understand the unique reasons for why each person falls into homelessness, and then works with them to create an individual plan to end their plight.

“Our unique approach puts us in the center of their lives as mentor, advocate and mostly genuine friend giving unconditional friendship and guidance,” Seriel said. “Our work is based on accountability for one’s own actions; honesty with us, themselves, the choices they’ve made and the part they’ve played in their homelessness; and an unfiltered reality check looking at real time choices in front of them to end their life within homelessness.”

Our Father’s Table works with homeless people on substance abuse treatment needs, mental health services, ongoing support and progress reviews, as well as accompanying them during appointments and interviews.

“We stay with them until their short-term goals are completed, their long-term goals are being maintained, and they are sustaining their life out of chronic homelessness,” Seriel said.

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