Ware Malcomb announced March 5 that its employee philanthropic giving arm, WM Community, has contributed more than $1 million to Orange County United Way since it began fundraising for the nonprofit organization in 1999.

“Our longstanding partnership with Orange County United Way has provided our team members with a platform to celebrate our culture of giving and drive positive change across the communities in which we live and work,” said Lawrence R. Armstrong, chairman at Ware Malcomb and chair of the Leadership Council at United to End Homelessness. “This annual fundraising campaign empowers our team to make a meaningful impact and help create a better future for communities in need.”

“We are very thankful to the team at Ware Malcomb for their unwavering dedication in supporting our mission to improve lives in the Orange County community,” said Susan B. Parks, president and CEO of Orange County United Way. “As our fruitful 24-year partnership reaches a remarkable milestone of $1 million in donations, we extend our appreciation for their pivotal role in enabling us to ensure every person receives a quality education, is financially stable, is healthy and thriving, has a place to call home and is connected to health and human service resources.”

Orange County United Way Event

Photo courtesy of Ware Malcomb

One of Ware Malcomb’s collaborations with Orange County United Way is through leadership and assistance with its United to End Homelessness initiative, which seeks to end homelessness in Orange County in a humane and dignified way by providing long-term housing with supportive care to those who need it the most. Through its WelcomeHomeOC housing navigation and landlord incentive program, more than 1,000 individuals have gained access to housing. The program was launched in 2019 to help individuals, veterans and families experiencing homelessness with housing vouchers in-hand to secure housing in private-market apartments, reducing barriers and risk for both tenants and landlords. This includes streamlining the process for apartment owners by providing incentives and support, including funding for security deposits, unit holding costs, furnishings and access to a damage mitigation fund. The program also ensures that 12 months of case management and support services are provided for newly housed clients. WelcomeHomeOC has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development as a national best practice.

Ware Malcomb’s support for the nonprofit also includes the recent in-kind architectural design for the Varanasi Equity Workspace, a new meeting and event space resource at Orange County United Way’s corporate office that provides opportunities for organizations to meet, advance their purpose and capacity, and work together to affect equitable change in the community.

Ware Malcomb encourages its team members to become involved in their local communities and charitable organizations as well as the design and commercial real estate industries. Its team members participate in pro bono projects, provide free and at-cost design services, volunteer hours to numerous charitable organizations and raise funds for nonprofits. The firm supports organizations to fight against hunger, fund cancer research and serve children in underprivileged communities, among many others.

“We take great pride in our partnership with the United Way and active participation in various organizations that help us serve important causes,” said Ruth Brajevich, vice president of strategic initiatives at Ware Malcomb. “Giving back to our communities has been and will always be one of our core values.”