City of Santa Ana
The Orange County Housing Opportunities Collaborative (OC HOC) is proud to announce that the City of Santa Ana’s WORK Center will receive a Virtual Empowerment Center as part of a network of strategically-located stand-alone computer terminals stretching 120 miles from Santa Ana to San Diego, and as far as San Bernardino.
The new network provides free “real time” access to housing, credit and financial counseling from trusted nonprofit partners and eliminates the need for clients to drive from location to location to receive services.
The VCN is being formally launched at a press event on June 22 at 10 a.m. at the Santa Ana WORK Center (1000 E. Santa Ana Blvd, Santa Ana). The event will include a live VCN demonstration as well as client and partner interview opportunities, with flexibility in media scheduling throughout the day. To view a short 1 minute video on VCN or get additional information, go to www.VirtualCounselorNetwork.org.
“This is the first VCN located in a job center and we are excited to partner with the City of Santa Ana WORK Center to bring access to these vitally needed services to job seekers in Orange County,” said Connie Der Torossian, OC HOC Program Manager. VCN centers are already in place in 25 remote locations in Southern California, Der Torossian said. In addition, more than 120 Virtual Counselors have been trained to counsel clients via the VCN and services are offered in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Korean and more than 55 other languages. “I am excited about the partnership between OC HOC and the Santa Ana WORK Center, the resources that VCN brings will be invaluable to our customers,” said Carlos de la Riva, WORK Center Director.
The VCN has been in use in San Diego, Oceanside, Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties since March 2013 and in Orange County since July 2014, through a generous grant from Citi Community Development. Since its inception, the VCN has already assisted more than 4,000 clients.
OC HOC received funding from Wells Fargo to support the launch of the VCN at the City of Santa Ana WORK Center, which connects the community’s job seekers to the resources, skills and opportunities they need to find better jobs and careers — for a better life. The WORK Center provides job seekers a single, convenient and no-cost access to a wide range of employment services and resources to help them find new jobs or change careers, upgrade skills, get training, qualify for benefits and/or get career guidance.
The first VCN in Orange County was launched in July 2014, and is located at the Delhi Center in Santa Ana, with another VCN location at Abrazar in Westminster. OC HOC worked collaboratively with all of these partners to launch the VCN in Orange County and the organization is currently seeking support to continue creating access points for the VCN and to bring its technology to smart phones and tablets as soon as resources permit.
Local residents and homeowners can learn more and access the Virtual Counselor Network© now at www.VirtualCounselorNetwork.org or by calling 800.826.1502.