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City News - Press Releases

Posted on: February 27, 2019

Anaheim completes La Mesa Emergency Shelter

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ANAHEIM, Calif. (Feb. 27, 2019) — Anaheim, in partnership with Illumination Foundation, celebrated the completion Wednesday of the La Mesa Emergency Shelter, the third homeless shelter the city has opened in the past two months.

The shelter, built in just 47 days in an industrial area of east Anaheim, will offer beds and services to 102 people living in homelessness in Anaheim. It will welcome its first residents on March 6.

The shelter includes living areas for men, women, couples and families, as well as a lounge, kitchen and dining, bathrooms and showers, administrative offices and counseling rooms, and an outdoor space for residents and their pets to get some fresh air. Each resident will have an individual sleeping area with personal storage space.

There’s also a laundry room where residents can wash and dry their clothes — a luxury they didn’t have readily available living on the street.

Shelter operator Illumination Foundation will provide services and support for residents to help them transition out of homelessness, including career resources and job opportunities by Anaheim-based nonprofit Chrysalis.

The shelter will have onsite private security and an extensive security plan with Anaheim Police to ensure it is a good neighbor.

People will be referred into the shelter through our partners at City Net, Anaheim Police, Orange County Healthcare Agency and other Anaheim outreach workers.

The opening of the La Mesa Emergency Shelter will start the winding down of the 200-bed Interim Emergency Shelter on State College Boulevard, which opened in December. Illumination Foundation, which also operates the interim shelter, will transition residents from there to the La Mesa shelter.

Many people have already moved from the interim shelter to the Anaheim Emergency Shelter, run by The Salvation Army, since it opened on Feb. 1. The Interim Emergency Shelter is set to close by March 14.

The La Mesa Emergency Shelter marks the culmination of Anaheim’s shelter plan, which committed the city to building 325 new shelter beds by early 2019.

The shelters have allowed Anaheim to continue efforts to help people get on a pathway out of homelessness, while also addressing impacts we have seen on our parks, streets, commercial areas and other public spaces.

"All of this represents promises made and, more importantly, promises kept," Mayor Harry Sidhu said. "We pledged that we would help those in need in our city. We pledged to our residents and businesses that we would restore our parks, streets, neighborhoods and commercial spaces. On behalf of the city of Anaheim, I’m proud to say we have fulfilled those promises, and we have bettered lives in the process."

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