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Illumination Foundation

 2691 Richter Ave, Suite 103
 Irvine, CA 92606
[P] (949) 273-0555 x 252
[F] (888) 517-7123
[email protected]
Nicole Connolly
 Printable 1 Page Summary
 Printable Profile
Organization DBA --
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the community foundation in the past five years Yes
Employer Identification Number 71-1047686 00000


Mission StatementMORE »

Breaking the Cycle of Homelessness in Orange County
The mission of Illumination Foundation is to provide targeted, interdisciplinary services for the most vulnerable homeless clients in order to break the cycle of homelessness. 

Our services include housing, medical and mental healthcare, substance abuse intervention, recuperative care, outreach, and childhood enrichment services. These services fill a critical gap in the continuum of care for the homeless with a focus on assisting families into stable housing.

Mission Statement

Breaking the Cycle of Homelessness in Orange County
The mission of Illumination Foundation is to provide targeted, interdisciplinary services for the most vulnerable homeless clients in order to break the cycle of homelessness. 

Our services include housing, medical and mental healthcare, substance abuse intervention, recuperative care, outreach, and childhood enrichment services. These services fill a critical gap in the continuum of care for the homeless with a focus on assisting families into stable housing.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year 2019
Projected Expenses $17,705,414.00
Projected Revenue $18,033,387.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Micro Community
  • Housing
  • Children's Resource Center
  • Recuperative Care

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Mission Statement

Breaking the Cycle of Homelessness in Orange County
The mission of Illumination Foundation is to provide targeted, interdisciplinary services for the most vulnerable homeless clients in order to break the cycle of homelessness. 

Our services include housing, medical and mental healthcare, substance abuse intervention, recuperative care, outreach, and childhood enrichment services. These services fill a critical gap in the continuum of care for the homeless with a focus on assisting families into stable housing.

Background Statement

The Illumination Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation with a mission to provide targeted, interdisciplinary services for the most vulnerable homeless clients to break or prevent the cycle of homelessness. The organization primarily serves low-income and homeless families and individuals in Orange County.

After visiting the Orange County emergency homeless shelter and witnessing children trying to complete homework under extenuating circumstances, Paul Leon (the current CEO) worked with fellow students at UC Irvine's Healthcare Executive MBA program to form Illumination Foundation. Established in 2008, the organization’s innovative healthcare and housing models fill a critical gap in the continuum of care for the homeless.

In Orange County:

· 17.6% (123,045) of children lived in poverty in 2017

· 3.4% of children were uninsured in 2015

· 5.8% (28,450) of students were unstably housed in 2016

· An individual earning minimum wage has to work 133 hours/week to afford a two-bedroom apartment

· 47.7% (226,745) of students were eligible for the Free and Reduced Price Lunch program in 2016/17

Over the last decade, Illumination Foundation has created a number of programs that address the needs of homeless and unstably housed children residing in the region. Uninsured children receive medical care through Illumination Foundation’s partnerships with local hospitals. The Families Program provides wrap-around services and emergency, bridge, and permanent housing to homeless and unstably housed families. Wrap-around services offered to these families include health monitoring and management. The Children's ResourceCenter (CRC) provides free services that help alleviate the effects of childhood poverty and break the cycle of intergenerational homelessness. Services provided by this program include tutoring, nutritional meals, early childhood education, art therapy, drama workshops, counseling (for both children and adults), field trips, recreation, parental involvement activities, and speech therapy. In addition, Illumination Foundation holds children’s events throughout the year where children can play games, build crafts, and ride amusement rides. Donated school supplies, food, toys, and Halloween costumes are offered at these events.

Impact Statement

The Illumination Foundation has provided over 40,000 people with housing and medical needs since July 2008. Based on these assessments, we have provided them with these vital services:

Housing Services: 3,272 Families Provided Housing Services
Utilizing an extensive inventory of housing stock, the foundation provides emergency housing, bridge housing, permanent supportive housing, and Micro Communities to our clients. We combine housing placement and rental assistance with a complete range of services to encourage long-term housing stability.

Educational Services: 2,271 Children Served
Illumination Foundation provides early childhood education and after-school programs for the homeless and at-risk children to overcome the effects of homelessness.  The crisis prevention curriculum facilitates children’s enrichment, financial literacy, and life skills to break the cycle of inter-generational homelessness.

Healthcare Services: 22,651 Patients Provided Care
Illumination Foundation provides the homeless, uninsured, and underinsured access to medical care, vision care, and mental health services through a dedicated clinic and several remote neighborhood clinics.

Recuperative Care Services: 3,675 Recuperative Clients Treated
Illumination Foundation provides homeless patients discharged from hospitals with Recuperative Care to help them successfully transition back into the community. Without recuperative care, homeless patients find themselves unable to care for their condition or fill prescriptions necessary to maintain their health requiring re-admittance to the hospital often to the emergency room.

Needs Statement

Children’s Resource Centers need volunteers to lead activities and help students with their homework. The program provides tutoring, meals, early childhood education, recreation, art therapy, drama workshops, counseling, field trips, parental activities, and speech therapy.
Please help our children’s events by donating food, school supplies, toys, or Halloween costumes. You can also help by hosting a donation drive or activity or food booth. Events include Carnival for Kids, Spooky Halloween, Holiday Carnival, and one-time special events.

Illumination Foundation works with nonprofits and hospitals to help facilitate care of the homeless. Volunteers are needed to provide medical services such as health monitoring and medication management.
MICRO COMMUNITY SUPPORT: Furniture, linens, and toiletries are needed for this program. The program provides the chronically homeless with housing and supportive services such as counseling, benefits acquisition, systems navigation, interpersonal skills, and life skills training.
Furniture, linens, and toiletries are needed for homeless and at-risk families. The program provides emergency, bridge, and permanent housing and supportive services.

CEO Statement


Board Chair Statement


Other Ways to Donate/Volunteer

We accept checks made out to Illumination Foundation at our Headquarters: 2691 Richter Ave. #103, Irvine, CA 92606. To request further information, schedule a tour or speech, or make a phone donation, please call (949)273-0555. For more information on how to get involved, please visit  

Geographic Area Served

Central Orange County
West Orange County
North Orange County
South Orange County
Primarily Orange County, with Recuperative Care services in Los Angeles and Inland Empire/San Bernardino areas.

Organization Categories

  1. Human Services - Homeless Services/Centers
  2. Housing, Shelter - Housing Support
  3. Health Care - Community Health Systems



Micro Community

Micro-communities were developed to increase housing stability for chronically homeless individuals who have mental or physical disabilities or require additional support to transition to permanent housing. Illumination Foundation master leases 8 multi-room houses in Central and North Orange County and offers independent leases per room to chronically homeless individuals who have a preference for communal housing. The goal of the program is to provide chronically homeless individuals with stable housing and supportive services such as counseling, benefits acquisition, systems navigation (obtaining essential documents including birth certificate, state ID), interpersonal skills, life skills training, and mental health assistance. The rent clients pay does not exceed more than 30% of their gross income.

Budget  $7,300,323.00
Category  Housing, General/Other Affordable Housing
Population Served Homeless People/Families with of People with Disabilities At-Risk Populations
Program Short-Term Success  Clients will feel less isolated in their new homes and have access to wrap-around services. 
Program Long-Term Success  The Micro Community program will result in increased permanent housing stability or retention among chronically homeless participants. It will also result in increased life skills and mental well-being among participants who take advantage of the social services offered in the micro-communities. 
Program Success Monitored By  Program success will be monitored by HMIS (Homeless Management Information System) and our internal system called KIPU
Examples of Program Success 
Jon is a 60-year-old man who has experienced extreme highs and lows in his personal and professional paths. Before becoming homeless, he held a top management position with an aviation company. After becoming homeless and meeting with his case manager for the first time for an intake, he revealed that he had lost his teenage son to a drug overdose and his wife to suicide a couple of years after that.
Jon turned to drugs and alcohol to cope with the pain of his loss. He also gambled away large sums of money, including an inheritance. Understandably, his grief was considerable, but he could not recover while experiencing homelessness. When he was housed with Illumination Foundation, he was finally able to process his grief.
Illumination Foundation decided to place Jon in a Micro Community last November. Illumination Foundation started the Micro Community program in 2016 to help the most vulnerable homeless clients, who sometimes face obstacles moving into independent, permanent housing after living in shelters or on the streets. For these clients, adjusting to household chores, the feeling of being within four walls, and the isolation of being separated from communities formed with other people experiencing homelessness can lead to relapses in substance abuse, declines in mental health and wellbeing, and even voluntary returns to homelessness. In a Micro Community, every individual—such as Jon—is given a private room within a large home where other previously homeless clients live and share the kitchen, living room, and other communal areas. From this hub of stability and community, staff provide wraparound services, such as case management and training in living skills.
For Jon, the Micro Community program provided a safe transition into independent senior living. Jon loves that his new residence is near a large park, and he is grateful for Illumination Foundation’s assistance. Since becoming housed, he has accepted behavioral and substance use counseling with Illumination Foundation’s staff. Though he still has some health challenges, Jon is motivated to eat well to improve his health.
Before coming to Illumination Foundation, he woke up feeling sad and not wanting to live. Now, he wakes up in the morning happy and with a sense of purpose. Jon is transitioning well into independent housing, and agrees with his case manager that “some things about yourself you only know by being with yourself. Of course, we need community to know ourselves too, but there are certain things we only know when we’re on our own.” Jon is determined not to dwell on the past and is eager to move forward and find forgiveness and love. Jon also wants to find new friends and enroll in classes again, perhaps finishing his studies in sociology. Overall, Jon is grateful for Illumination Foundation’s work. He has said, “it’s good work you guys are doing here. I thought you were a small thing but you guys are all over the place!”


The Illumination Foundation's Housing Service program connects homeless families with children to emergency housing, bridge housing, and permanent housing, along with comprehensive social support services with the goal of placing families in permanent housing as soon as possible. Utilizing a low-entry threshold and the Foundation's large inventory of available housing, these support services ensure that families are able to obtain and retain permanent housing.

Budget  $1,234,116.00
Category  Housing, General/Other Homeless Shelter
Population Served Homeless Families Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent
Program Short-Term Success  The short-term goal of these programs is to provide stability to each individuals served so that they can focus on permanently breaking the cycle of homelessness.
Program Long-Term Success  The long-term goal of these programs is to break the cycle of homelessness in each client's life by placing them in or connecting them to permanent housing.
Program Success Monitored By  The Illumination Foundation utilizes the HMIS program to track and measure each client's progress in the following objectives and more.
Examples of Program Success 
Sam, Michelle, and their daughter, Sophia walked into the armory's winter shelter resigned to sleeping on the floor when they were referred to the Illumination Foundation.  Once enrolled in our housing services, the family received:
  • Housing assistance and placement
  • Case management
  • Budgeting and financial literacy
  • Mental health counseling
  • Workforce development
  • Children's enrichment services
  • Medical referrals
  • Dental work referrals
Sam recently completed a laborer's apprenticeship and Michelle has graduated from our Medical Assistant Training Program.  Sophia, a member of the Illumination Foundation Children's Choir, looks forward to attending school daily.  The family now helps manage one of our emergency houses and finds it rewarding to serve others in need.

Children's Resource Center

In July 2013, a dedicated Children’s Resource Center was opened to provide homeless and at-risk children with services necessary to overcome the effects of homelessness. These services are offered at the Center by a team of highly trained staff and are designed to ensure the children grow into healthy, self-sustainable adults.

Every weekday afternoon, after-school tutoring, outdoor activities, and dinner (donated by Second Harvest Food Bank) are provided to the youth. Children may also participate in volunteer led group classes throughout the week, including dance, art, and music, among others. Additionally, bilingual parenting classes are offered for the parents in the neighborhood.  

Budget  $627,041.00
Category  Education, General/Other Early Childhood Education
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) Homeless Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent
Program Short-Term Success  Children increase their mastery of grade level skills including reading, writing, and math. They also improve their behavior at school and in the program, and reduce their risk of later developing behavioral and emotional disorders.
Program Long-Term Success  Through early intervention and enrichment programs our aim is to empower the children to grow into healthy, self-sustainable adults, thereby breaking the cycle of inter-generational homelessness.
Program Success Monitored By  Through close collaboration between Anaheim and Santa Ana School Districts and our Children's Resource Center we are able to track the progress of the children in various measures of performance, such as academic success, behavior, and attendance at school. Center staff also track student behavior on site, and risk of developing emotional and behavioral disorders with the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire.
Examples of Program Success  When Denise began the Children's Resource Center's pre-k program, CRC staff noticed that she would not speak. Her mother revealed that Denise did not speak to anyone other than her mother, father, and older brother. Thanks to the CRC's partnership with Chapman University, Denise was able to start speech and language therapy, and received a diagnosis of Elective Mutism, which means she would suffer from severe anxiety when she had to speak with someone she had not elected to speak with. After months of speech therapy, Denise slowly began to use her voice. At first, Denise only spoke with her speech therapist, then her other teachers, and then her peers. Denise is now in kindergarten and thriving. She speaks, laughs, giggles, and loves to read! She loves to read aloud to her teachers in the CRC afterschool program. Her case exemplifies the interdisciplinary approach of the Chidren's Resource Center, and the program's multi-faceted approach to addressing children's unique obstacles.

Recuperative Care

Recuperative care provides homeless patients discharged from hospitals with a place to safely recover and receive integrated medical oversight, intensive case management, behavioral health and substance use services, housing services, and other social services. Without recuperative care, homeless patients find themselves unable to care for their condition or fill prescriptions necessary to maintain their health requiring re-admittance to the hospital, often to the emergency room.

Budget  $1,200,336.00
Category  Health Care, General/Other Health Care, General/Other
Population Served Homeless People/Families of People with Health Conditions
Program Short-Term Success  To provide a safe and caring environment for the homeless clients to fully recover from their medical condition so they do not need to return to the hospital.
Program Long-Term Success  Our aim is to help our clients not only to fully recover from their medical condition but through our wraparound services find permanent solutions to their challenges, thereby breaking the cycle of homelessness.
Program Success Monitored By  Program success is determined by comparing the number of hospital visits one year prior to admission to Recuperative Care to one year subsequent to discharge.
Examples of Program Success 

Homeless patients who are discharged to the recuperative care program experience 50% hewer hospital readmissions within 90 days of being discharged than patients who are discharged to their own care.

Before becoming homeless, James, a Recuperative Care client worked for a catering company. When he was initially referred to Illumination Foundation’s Recuperative Care Program, he was withdrawn and struggled to find his center and could not express himself. When clients had the opportunity to cook their own food, James was able to tap into his creative side. He prepared his own food and presented it in a uniquely professional way that to staff it looked like something that would be served in a restaurant. James’ story of self-expression and personal empowerment through cooking is a testament to the importance of stimulating activities assisting with the transition into stability and wellness.


CEO/Executive Director Paul Leon
CEO Term Start Jan 2008
CEO Email [email protected]
CEO Experience

Paul Leon obtained his bachelor’s degree in nursing and a Public Health Nurse Certificate at the University of Phoenix. He served as the Director of the Critical Care Units at San Clemente Medical Center and developed a Nurse Preceptor Program for the Intensive Care Unit. While attending UCI’s Healthcare Executive MBA Program, Paul spearheaded a grassroots movement to address the issue of homelessness in Orange County, establishing the Illumination Foundation in 2008. His experience includes emergency, home health, critical care, administration, and public health nursing. Over the past few years, Paul has utilized his skills in case management, health teaching, outreach, and advocacy to provide public health nursing services as well as bringing together public and private agencies to address the homelessness crisis in Orange County.

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
-- -- --

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
Pooja Bhalla -- --
Paul Cho CFO --


Award Awarding Organization Year
Premier Cares Award Premier Cares 2016
Irvine Leadership Award Irvine Foundation 2014
Leadership Circle PIMCO Foundation 2014


Affiliation Year
-- --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --



Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 176
Number of Part Time Staff 11
Number of Volunteers 2,000
Number of Contract Staff 15
Staff Retention Rate % --
Staff Professional Development Yes

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: --
Asian American/Pacific Islander: --
Caucasian: --
Hispanic/Latino: --
Native American/American Indian: --
Other: --
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: --
Male: --
Not Specified --

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has Strategic Plan? Under Development
Years Strategic Plan Considers --
Management Succession Plan Under Development
Organization Policies And Procedures Yes
Business Continuity of Operations Plan No

Risk Management Provisions

Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes

Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Semi-Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Semi-Annually

Government Licenses


CEO Comments


Foundation Comments



Board Chair Virginia Ripslinger
Board Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Chair Term July 2017 - June 2019
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Ripu Arora Physician, Pain Management and Anesthesiology Voting
Mark Costa -- --
Michael Cupps Golden Eagle Foundation Voting
Jacqueline DuPont -- --
Alison Gokal -- Voting
Lawrence Haynes Leidos Voting
Michael Haynes Specialized Bicycles Voting
Scott Kelly Kaiser Permanente Voting
Nikan Khatibi California Medical Association Voting
Paul Leon Illumination Foundation Voting
Walt Lynch Lynch Ambulance Voting
Beth MacLean PIMCO Voting
Howard Mirowitz -- --
Mary Niven Disneyland Resort Voting
Ginny Ripslinger -- --
Marc Scher -- Voting
Jack Toan Wells Fargo Voting
Robert Warren -- --

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Additional Board Members and Affiliations

Name Company Affiliations Status
Imran Currim -- --
Paul Feldstein -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 2
Caucasian: 14
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 2
Other (if specified): Mixed
Gender Female: 4
Male: 14
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 2
Board Term Limits --
Board Meeting Attendance % --
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 100%
Board Orientation Yes

CEO Comments


Foundation Comments


Standing Committees



Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Fiscal Year July 01, 2018 to June 30, 2019
Projected Revenue $18,033,387.00
Projected Expenses $17,705,414.00
Form 990s

2017 Form 990

2016 Form 990

2015 Form 990

2014 990

2013 990

2012 990

Audit Documents

2017 Illumination Foundation Audit

2016 Illumination Foundation 2016 Audit

2013 Illumination Foundation Audit

IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Total Revenue $8,818,186 $6,142,025 $2,429,242
Total Expenses $8,050,560 $5,629,812 $2,253,378

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Revenue By Revenue Source
Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$1,172,649 $1,325,285 $355,147
Government Contributions $0 $0 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- $0 --
Individual Contributions -- -- --
Indirect Public Support -- $0 --
Earned Revenue $5,716,890 $4,150,111 $1,366,973
Investment Income, Net of Losses -- $0 --
Membership Dues $5,000 $5,000 $9,650
Special Events $655,749 $559,141 $442,994
Revenue In-Kind $1,216,483 $617,682 $242,768
Other $51,415 $-325,477 $11,710

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Expense By Type
Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Program Expense $6,854,778 $4,708,005 $1,975,047
Administration Expense $1,035,276 $655,706 $151,907
Fundraising Expense $160,506 $266,101 $126,424
Payments to Affiliates -- $0 --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.10 1.09 1.08
Program Expense/Total Expenses 85% 84% 88%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 9% 14% 16%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Total Assets $3,738,790 $2,335,739 $1,129,357
Current Assets $1,633,390 $1,004,698 $824,981
Long-Term Liabilities $1,045,289 $766,667 $458,137
Current Liabilities $1,261,271 $904,468 $518,829
Total Net Assets $1,432,230 $664,604 $152,391

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 1.30 1.11 1.59

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 28% 33% 41%
Endowment Value --
Spending Policy --
Percentage(If selected) --
Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? No

CEO Comments


Foundation Comments

Illumination Foundation was fiscally sponsored by OneOC for 2010 and 2011. 2010 and 2011 Form 990s belong to OneOC. Years 2012 and beyond have Illumination Foundations 990 Forms.  Summary financial data is per year-end financials and consultation with the organization.


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.