The Villas Neighborhood


In 2011, Dave Solt, Housing Commissioner for San Juan Capistrano, brought together a roundtable of community stakeholders to brainstorm ideas on how to improve the quality of life of the Villas neighborhood, a low-income community located close to downtown San Juan Capistrano. At this meeting, NeighborWorks Orange County was assigned the task of gaging the perspective of the Villas residents through our Community Building Program. With the help of local organizations, we identified a group of residents eager to participate in our resident leadership development to revitalize their community.

Project Spotlight

In the spring of 2013, the Villas resident leaders partnered with Mission Hospital with the goal of fighting childhood obesity in this overpopulated and land-locked community. They identified the need to motivate children to play by investing in infrastructure that would activate the Villas. An assessment for barriers to play was conducted in the form of a community survey. The resident leaders,applied for a competitive KaBOOM! Grant, in which they were the recipients of $15,000. Mission Hospital matched the grant 2 to 1, for a grand total of $45,000 to install a new playground. The KaBOOM! playground projected included 5 days of community-driven efforts, totaling in over 500 volunteer hours. The playground grand opening was celebrated in May of 2014.

Community Partners