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Posted on: January 30, 2020

Anaheim extends leadership on homelessness; mayor’s ad hoc committee recommends added shelter beds

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ANAHEIM, Calif. (Jan. 30, 2020) — Some 100 new temporary shelter beds could open in Anaheim in the next four months as part of Anaheim’s ongoing effort to address homelessness.

An ad hoc committee led by Mayor Harry Sidhu and including Mayor Pro Tem Stephen Faessel and Council Member Jordan Brandman is recommending City Council consideration and approval of a proposal supported by city staff that would add 101 beds to the Anaheim Emergency Shelter, operated by nonprofit partner The Salvation Army.

The proposal would address a continuing need for shelter space in Anaheim as we await the opening of several planned shelters in neighboring cities in coming months.

The additional space will allow Anaheim to address lingering issues of homelessness on our streets after opening shelters in early 2019.

“Anaheim has done more than any city in Orange County, but our work continues,” Mayor Sidhu said. “We see that there are still people who need our help, and there are still impacts to some public spaces. These additional beds would allow us to help those in need and continue restoring our parks and neighborhoods for everyone.”

If approved by the entire City Council, the 101 additional beds would be added to the Anaheim Emergency Shelter, a 224-bed shelter that opened in an industrial area in February 2019.

The additional beds would go on an open gravel lot now used for parking.

The proposal calls for four new modular dormitory buildings with beds and personal spaces, along with added restrooms, showers, storage, laundry and office space.

The proposal would include a new roadway, relocating a storage and administration unit and upgrading the kitchen at The Salvation Army’s neighboring Anaheim Adult Rehabilitation Center, which prepares food for the shelter.

One-time construction costs would be $1.8 million. Added operating costs would be $1.7 million annually.

The city expects to fund the construction and operating costs using California Homeless Housing, Assistance and Prevention Program funding from the state.

 The contract with The Salvation Army for shelter construction and operation would be for two years with two one-year extensions.

The ad hoc committee was convened by Mayor Sidhu to address remaining issues of homelessness after Anaheim cleared major encampments at Maxwell, La Palma and Schweitzer parks, along railways and other public spaces. Concerns about these issues were recently brought forward by Council Member Brandman and others.

The city received two proposals after putting out a request in late 2019 for additional shelter beds.

Each proposal was reviewed with input from police, fire, Code Enforcement and Public Works, as well as Anaheim’s nonprofit homeless service provider City Net.

The review looked at the ability to open the shelter within 90 to 120 days, a two-year contract for operation, and a focus on women, couples and families.

The Salvation Army proposal was selected for recommendation as the most viable and most in line with what the ad hoc committee was seeking. A final decision rests with the City Council, which is set to consider the item on Tuesday.

Anaheim opened 326 beds at two emergency shelters in early 2019, helping hundreds get on a pathway out of homelessness and restoring parks, streets and neighborhoods.

Since 2014, Anaheim has helped more than 2,400 people transition out of homelessness.

The Anaheim Emergency Shelter opened in early February 2019 with 224 beds in modular buildings on an industrial lot to house men, women, couples and pets with supportive services and amenities.

Anaheim’s second temporary shelter, La Mesa Emergency Shelter, opened later that same month with 102 beds.

The Anaheim Emergency Shelter is on the site of the future Center of Hope homeless service center.

The proposed project by the Salvation Army would include a 325-bed shelter, longer-term supportive housing with counseling and other resources as part of a comprehensive campus.

The Center of Hope is also slated to include at least 100 affordable, supportive housing apartments, with more potentially coming in a second phase.

The 101 additional temporary shelter beds recommended by the ad hoc committee and staff would be a stepping stone toward our ultimate vision for the site, partnering with The Salvation Army, and our long-term plan for addressing homelessness in Anaheim.

The first phase of the Center of Hope is expected to open by 2022.

For more on our efforts to address homelessness, visit Anaheim.net/homeless.

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