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Posted on: December 3, 2018

Anaheim Shelter Plan: City approves site purchase for second temporary homeless shelter

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ANAHEIM, Calif. (Dec. 3, 2018) — Anaheim is moving forward with a site in industrial east Anaheim as a second, temporary homeless shelter to open by early 2019.

Based on direction Monday from the City Council, we will purchase the 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.

Also on Monday, Anaheim's City Council voted to move forward with an agreement with Orange-based nonprofit Illumination Foundation to run the shelter at the La Mesa site.

Current building tenant Piano Empire Megastore will relocate in coming weeks, clearing the way for conversion to a temporary shelter.

Improvements will 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 will be used as part of a shelter.

This emergency shelter is slated to come online in early 2019 and operate for two to three years.

The second shelter, which will have 100-125 beds, site will be in addition to 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 under way, with the shelter scheduled to come online in January.

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.