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Posted on: December 6, 2018

Anaheim approves interim emergency shelter to address impacts on parks and help those in need

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ANAHEIM, Calif. (Dec. 6, 2018) — Anaheim’s City Council Thursday approved moving forward with an interim emergency homeless shelter to help people out of homelessness during the critical winter months and address growing impacts on the city’s parks and neighborhoods.

The interim emergency shelter will have up to 200 beds, and will be at an industrial building on State College Boulevard just north of Orangewood Avenue.

It is expected to come online by the end of December and operate for up to 90 days, closing once two planned temporary shelters open in January and February.

“Homelessness is both a humanitarian and civic crisis,” Mayor Harry Sidhu said. “Our streets and parks were never meant to be places for people to live, and we have seen the toll it has taken on our residents, businesses and neighborhoods. At the same time, we have the urgent need to help those living in homelessness with the cold and wet weather of winter upon us.”

The interim emergency shelter is the result of a public-private partnership to benefit our neighborhoods and the homeless between Anaheim and Visit Anaheim Cares, the nonprofit arm of Visit Anaheim, which promotes tourism and represents the city’s visitor industry.

“Anaheim is, first and foremost, our home,” said Jay Burress, president and chief executive of Visit Anaheim. “We’ve seen the impact homelessness has had on our city and the tragedy of people living in homelessness. We want to do what we can to help those in need and to assist in addressing the biggest issue facing Anaheim’s neighborhoods.”

Visit Anaheim Cares will facilitate a lease for 15,000 square feet of space at 2040 S. State College for the interim emergency shelter.

The group is also seeking help from Anaheim businesses for both financial and in-kind support. Angels Baseball, Anaheim Ducks, LT Global Investment, The Disneyland Resort, Westside Building Material and Republic Services are among those that have already offered to help.

The city of Anaheim will contribute $1.4 million for the interim shelter and expand our partnership with nonprofit Illumination Foundation to operate the facility.

The donations from the business community will help offset the use of city resources for the shelter construction and operation. Any unused funds from the $1.4 million will go back to the city.

Anaheim is already partnering with Illumination Foundation on the planned 100- to 125-bed shelter at 3035 E. La Mesa St. in an industrial part of east Anaheim that is set to open by February.

The La Mesa site is one of two facilities that will provide a total of 325 shelter beds for those living in homelessness in Anaheim.

The other site, in an industrial section of central Anaheim, is in partnership with the Salvation Army. Construction at 1340 S. Lewis St. began this week and the 200-bed shelter is set to come online in January.

The site at 2040 S. State College will help address an urgent need for beds in the next two months before the other shelters open. Some beds, furnishings and other resources from the State College site are likely to transfer over to the La Mesa site.

The 2040 S. State College shelter will be similar to one recently opened in Santa Ana, as well as the county’s Bridges at Kraemer Place, which opened in industrial east Anaheim in 2017.

The site will include extensive operational and security planning to ensure it is a good neighbor. Anaheim Police will oversee security planning and conduct regular patrols of the site, supplemented by onsite security and rules barring loitering, walk-ups and drop-offs.

The site will help us transition people off Anaheim’s streets and out of our parks through the work of Anaheim Police, nonprofit outreach partner City Net and Illumination Foundation.

You can learn more about the shelters at Anaheim.net/shelterplan.

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

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