About Us

Our History

1981: Through the vision of General William Lyon and Bill Steiner, Orangewood Foundation is established to build a shelter for abused and neglected children in Orange County; first public-private partnership of its kind in the county; raises over $8 million through the generosity of Harry and Grace Steel Foundation, Junior League of Orange County, La Casa Children’s Assistance Support Auxiliary and many other caring companies, groups and individuals.

1985: Orangewood Children’s Home (now called the Orangewood Children & Family Center) opens its doors, is deed to the county to own and operate.

1986-2012: Orangewood turns its attention to the needs of teens in foster care as they make the transition to adulthood, focusing on four key areas: Health and Wellness, Housing, Life Skills and Employment and Education.

2013: Orangewood opens Samueli Academy Charter High School. The school is the result of a decade of research on improving high school graduation rates in foster youth. The school is open to all students with priority enrollment for those from foster care.

2015: Recognizing the growing problem of sex trafficking throughout the U.S. including Orange County and that 50-80% of the victims come from foster care, Orangewood announces a new transitional housing program called The Lighthouse to help these victims escape “the life” and create healthy futures for themselves.

2017: Orangewood Foundation was selected to receive a five-year grant from the California Office of Emergency Services. With the financial support from this grant, the Foundation is currently working on expanding our outreach and services to youth age 18-24 who are homeless. This effort includes an exciting expansion of our Orangewood Resource Center to include a full clothing closet, an on-site shower, a therapist on site one day a week, expanded space for classes, and more!

2020: In the Fall, Orangewood Foundation establishes the Youth Connected Program which provides a unique, integrated continuum of services for foster youth and support for their caregivers. Central to the program is an on-campus dormitory for students from the foster care system who attend Samueli Academy. The dorm is one of three buildings comprising Phase 3 of the school campus. The additional buildings are a three story Student Innovation Center and a 7th and 8th grade building.