Howard Kirk was living in a temporary shelter at an Anaheim motel, waiting for a voucher through the Department of Veterans Affairs to qualify him for permanent housing. After living on Maui for a decade, Kirk returned to California to start a gallery in Laguna Beach, only to lose his livelihood when the pandemic hit.

His luck turned on Jan. 29, when he received word from the Orange County United Way’s WelcomeHomeOC that an apartment was available.