WHO WE ARE
Thomas House Family Shelter is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization located in the city of Garden Grove that aids and supports homeless families with children by providing rent-free, transitional shelter in 24 safe apartment units with food, supplies, and a full range of supportive services and programs. We ensure that homeless and at-risk families have the potential for long-term sustainability by using the tools and resources provided by Thomas House to make vital decisions and take actions that will allow each family to move forward and have a bright future.
To provide a safe, supportive environment and the resources necessary for homeless and at-risk families with children to remain together while empowering them to become independent and self-sufficient.
MEET OUR FOUNDERS
Over 30-years ago, Mary and Bernie Selz, with one magnanimous thought, changed the lives of hundreds of people in Garden Grove and the surrounding areas. After coming across a young woman and her infant son on the streets holding a homeless sign, their kind hearts immediately lept into action. They accepted the girl and her infant into their home, fed her, and had her call her parents. The next day, they purchased a bus ticket for her back to Oklahoma. A few weeks later, the Selz found themselves aiding another homeless woman and her child, once again, accepting them into their home.
It was then that the couple knew they had to do something about the increasing number of homeless families in their community. With the help of their generous friends and an agreement with an apartment complex owner, the Selz rented a three-bedroom apartment to house homeless families.
Thomas House Family Shelter was officially founded in 1986. With the support of the City of Garden Grove and the County of Orange, Thomas House became the owner of two entire buildings, with a total of 16 apartment units.
In 2018-19, we expanded both our shelter capacity (from 16-24 apartments) and our scope of services to better help the growing number of homeless families with children, including expanded our Homeless Prevention Services to help 25 graduate and 50 low-income families at-risk of becoming homeless; added a part-time Career Development Coordinator position to help adults attain increased employment opportunities, and added both Youth Mentoring, Youth Sports, and Enrichment Programs to further help our youth overcome the cycle of poverty and prepare for a successful future.