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City News - Press Releases

Posted on: November 7, 2018

Anaheim settles homeless lawsuit, to add 325 shelter beds and restore parks, streets, neighborhoods

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ANAHEIM, Calif. (Nov. 7, 2018) — Anaheim has settled a lawsuit and is moving forward on a shelter plan that will allow the city to continue addressing the impacts of homelessness on parks, streets and neighborhoods.

Under the settlement, Anaheim is required to provide 325 additional shelter beds. We are advancing plans for two shelters at industrial sites located away from parks, schools and neighborhoods to fulfill this requirement.

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

The move puts to rest what’s known as the Orange County Catholic Worker lawsuit, filed in January against the county of Orange and the cities of Anaheim, Costa Mesa and Orange.

Anaheim finalized settlement terms on Friday, Nov. 2.

The lawsuit carried the risk of losing our ability to enforce rules against public camping, public property storage.

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.

Anaheim’s City Council is set to consider items related to the city’s shelter plan at its meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 13.


Shelter site: 3431 E. La Palma Ave.

This site in an industrial area in east Anaheim alongside the Riverside (91) Freeway near Kraemer Boulevard would serve as one of two sites making up Anaheim’s 325-bed commitment.

A 16,900-square-foot industrial building at the site is set to serve as a temporary, 125-bed facility.

Anaheim’s City Council on Nov. 13 will consider an acquisition of the site as well as an operating agreement to run the shelter and supportive services..

Anaheim would oversee remodeling of the building with an expected opening in early 2019.

The site is expected to serve as a homeless shelter for about two years until Salvation Army’s Center of Hope comes online.

The operational and security planning for the site will ensure the facility is a good neighbor to surrounding businesses and all of Anaheim.

 

Shelter site: 1300 S. Lewis St.

This site, on the Salvation Army campus in an industrial area south of Ball Road, would see 200 beds in temporary, modular units by early 2019.

The Salvation Army Orange County, which already operates a residential adult rehabilitation center, warehouse and offices at the site, would develop and operate the shelter.

In the next few years, the site is set to see development as a 400-bed facility known as Center of Hope with comprehensive services to transition people out of homelessness.

Extensive security and operational planning and a location tucked away from neighborhoods will ensure the facility is a good for all of Anaheim.


Why shelters?


We know homeless shelters raise questions and concerns. They are now a necessity not just for Anaheim but for cities across Orange County and California.

A September federal court ruling determined that cities cannot enforce public camping and other laws without having shelter beds available. Anaheim’s lawsuit settlement reflects this court decision.

While shelters aren’t the first choice of many, they will actually help us address impacts that our residents and businesses are seeing from homelessness.

We have heard real concerns from residents and businesses about impacts on parks, streets and workplaces.

Helping people out of homelessness and addressing these impacts is our top priority.

Anaheim tackles homelessness through daily outreach, as well as enforcement in situations where someone may be breaking the law.

Yet, at any given time, our efforts are limited by how many beds are available at county and nonprofit shelters we work with.

Having additional shelter space in Anaheim will ensure available beds that our outreach workers and Anaheim Police can offer to those living in homelessness. It will also allow us to enforce in cases where someone is breaking the law and turns down an offer of help.


Shelter security

The operational and security planning behind Bridges at Kraemer Place, a county-run shelter that opened in spring 2017 in an industrial area in east Anaheim, is our model for new shelter sites.

Despite initial concerns, Bridges has been a success with little to no impact on neighboring businesses, thanks to strong management and security oversight by the Anaheim Police Department.

Both sites will see extensive security measures including:

  • Security plan approval by Anaheim Police
  • Initial extensive Anaheim Police patrols followed by consistent, regular patrols
  • Onsite security
  • No loitering
  • Thorough admittance policies
  • Contingency plans for those who may walk up and be turned away
  • Cooperation and outreach with local businesses
  • Security design including potential cameras, deterrent landscaping and lighting


Funding

Anaheim will be draw on $7 million in dedicated state, county and city funding to address shelters and other homeless-related issues.

Additionally, the county of Orange continues to allocate $15 million in state Homeless Emergency Assistance Program homeless funding and resources for emergency shelters and services, some of which could be available to Anaheim.


Learn More 

We'll hold a series of open houses in the first floor lobby at City Hall in the coming week to provide more information and answer any questions residents might have about the settlement and the two shelter sites. Feel free to drop by and talk with us.


Thursday, Nov. 8

5:30-7:30 p.m.


Saturday, Nov. 10

10 a.m.-noon


Tuesday, Nov. 13

3:30-5:30 p.m.


Free parking is available in the structure behind City Hall off Broadway. 

To learn more about the shelters, check out Anaheim.net/shelterplan where you can see maps and access fact sheets and read common questions and answers.

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

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