For over three decades, Nati's House, now known as Neutral Ground, has been faithfully serving Orange County. Established as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in 2007, we have become a trusted pillar in our community, renowned for our targeted services in prevention, intervention, mediation, and conflict resolution for students and families.
From the very beginning, the health and wellbeing of Orange County have been at the core of Neutral Ground's mission. Our founder, Nati Alvarado, who was born and raised in Santa Ana, personally experienced the challenges of becoming a young father and navigating the juvenile justice system at the age of 15 in 1975. These experiences ignited a deep passion within him to prevent others from enduring the same mistakes and heartache that he and his family faced during his youth. It also drove him to confront the systemic issues that perpetuate the marginalization of our most vulnerable youth and communities.
Neutral Ground is not just an organization; it is an embodiment of the heart and human capital of Orange County. We are rooted in the community, and our dedication to serving the people of Orange County reflects our commitment to effecting positive change at a grassroots level. We are proud to be an agency that is homegrown, intimately connected to the experiences and aspirations of those we serve.
As we continue our journey, we remain steadfast in our mission to empower individuals, break the cycle of poverty and violence, and tackle the systemic barriers that hinder the progress of our community. Neutral Ground is fueled by the collective determination of our team and the unwavering support of our community partners.
Together, we can create a Santa Ana where every individual has the opportunity to thrive, where no one is left behind, and where the potential of each person is realized. Neutral Ground is proud to be on this transformative path, standing shoulder to shoulder with our community, and reflecting the strength and resilience of Orange County's residents.
Neutral Ground’s mission is to create a healthier, safer Orange County centered on its communities most impacted by gang violence; breaking the cycle of poverty, child abuse, academic failure, and teen pregnancy through restorative practice, youth development, academic support, and the strengthening of meaningful relationships.
Neutral Ground visualizes Santa Ana and Orange County in all that they can be–where kids get to be kids, where the streets are safe, a City and County that choose to invest in education before incarceration, a City and County home to schools that meet youth where they are and that spearhead the movement to transition traditional punitive approaches to ones that are restorative and healing, and a community in which every individual has the opportunity to thrive.
And beyond the City of Santa Ana and Orange County, we envision a world in which kids are not touched by the justice system, and in which kids are never subjected to circumstances that might corner them into acting in ways that result in this contact or into a forced resiliency. A world in which kids get to be kids.
Neutral Ground’s vision is schools that invest in mental health resources before metal detectors; parks that are safe for the families they were created for; a city that values its youth wholeheartedly and invests in that value through and through. Neutral Ground is working every single day to turn this vision into a reality.