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Posted on: November 20, 2018

Anaheim Shelter Plan: City considering alternative site for second temporary shelter

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ANAHEIM, Calif. (Nov. 20, 2018) — Anaheim is looking at an alternative site in industrial east Anaheim as a potential second, temporary homeless shelter to open by early 2019.

Based on direction Tuesday from the City Council, we are looking at a potential purchase of a 12,500-square-foot building at 3035 E. La Mesa St. for $3.9 million.

The move puts on hold for now Anaheim’s consideration of buying an alternative proposed shelter site at 3431 E. La Palma Ave., also in industrial east Anaheim.

The La Mesa Street site is in the Anaheim Canyon industrial area near the Riverside (91) Freeway and across the street from the county-run, 200-bed Bridges at Kraemer Place Homeless Shelter that opened in May 2017.

As was planned with 3431 E. La Palma, Anaheim would enlist Orange-based nonprofit Illumination Foundation to run a shelter at the La Mesa site.

If the La Mesa building is purchased, current tenant Piano Empire Megastore would relocate in coming weeks, clearing the way for conversion to a temporary shelter.

Improvements would include partitions, restrooms and showers, furniture, fencing, pet kennels, fixtures and other equipment.

The La Mesa site, which now serves as a piano showroom, already has carpeting and other features that could be used as part of a shelter.

Should Anaheim decide to buy the La Mesa site, a final purchase agreement would come back before the City Council.

A second, temporary emergency shelter would come online in early 2019 and operate for two to three years.

Tuesday’s action follows the Nov. 13 approval of a 200-bed shelter in partnership with The Salvation Army Orange County in an industrial area along Lewis Street south of Ball Road.

Development of the 1.7-acre site at 1340 S. Lewis St. is planned for December, with the shelter coming online in January or February.

The site will include temporary, modular buildings for men’s and women’s dorms, restrooms, showers, dining and security, as well as areas for pets and personal property storage.

In the long term, The Salvation Army plans to develop a comprehensive homeless care center called Center of Hope with 400 to 600 beds on the site.

Extensive security and operational planning and a location tucked away from neighborhoods will ensure both the temporary shelters and permanent facility will be a good neighbor for all of Anaheim.

You can learn more at Anaheim.net/shelterplan.

The two shelters are part of a settlement agreement signed by Anaheim on Nov. 2 that requires the city to build 325 additional beds by early 2019.

The settlement resolves what is known as the Orange County Catholic Worker lawsuit, which carried the risk of losing our ability to enforce rules against public camping, public property storage.

The agreement allows Anaheim to uphold park hours, park rules and other city ordinances, with some conditions until additional the additional shelter space comes available in coming weeks.

While never the answer to homelessness, enforcement is one component in a larger, comprehensive strategy that is focused first and foremost on outreach, services and changing lives.

To learn more about all we are doing to address homelessness, Anaheim.net/homeless.

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