Placentia and Buena Park officials Friday announced they are moving forward with the establishment of new homeless shelters after receiving $12 million from the state as part of an effort by cities in north county to settle a federal lawsuit seeking to block law enforcement from enforcing anti-camping ordinances.
The 13 cities in the northern part of the county received the grant from the state on Wednesday.
Anaheim City Council members, meanwhile are poised to approve two shelters in the city at Tuesday’s meeting. Residents will get a chance to weigh in at two town hall meetings scheduled before Tuesday’s meeting.
Buena Park officials paid $3.6 million to acquire land at 7101 Lincoln Ave., said Assistant City Manager Aaron France. The other cities will share that cost, he added.
Officials envision building a shelter much like the Bridges at Kraemer Place shelter in Anaheim, which only accepts referrals and no walk-ins and provides an array of services to help its clients transition to more permanent housing. The Buena Park shelter will likely open with 100 to 150 beds with enough space for 200 ultimately, France said.
The most recent count of transients in the county showed 4,792 people have been homeless with 2,584 without shelter. That count from last year represented a 7 percent jump from 2015, officials say.
A recent federal appellate court ruling is putting more pressure on local officials to provide shelter since the justices have found anti-camping ordinances unconstitutional if adequate housing isn’t available. U.S. District Judge David O. Carter also is overseeing litigation challenging the anti-camping ordinances and has prodded all of the stakeholders to reach settlements rather than go through the hassle of years of expensive litigation on the issue.
Buena Park hopes to open its shelter by mid 2019.
Placentia City Administrator Damien R. Arrula said that opening the shelter allows police to maintain its authority to enforce loitering and anti-camping laws.
Anaheim plans to provide 325 beds at two sites in industrial-type neighborhoods. The shelters are expected to be open to local homeless by early next year.
One site is at 1300 S. Lewis Street, which would provide emergency shelter with various support services. It would have 200 beds and is an expansion of the Salvation Army’s facility. Plans for a second phase of development would turn that into a 400-bed “transitional” shelter that would provide more services seeking to get transients into permanent housing.
The second site is at 3431 E. La Palma Ave., which would provide emergency shelter and 125 beds for about two years until the expanded Salvation Army facility is complete.
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