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Cities in North Orange County Step Up with Housing for Homeless, with Santa Ana Leading the Way (CA)

Monday, October 29, 2018

Cities in North Orange County Step Up with Housing for Homeless, with Santa Ana Leading the Way

"Following the high-profile removal of an illegal tent city near Angel Stadium, representatives of 13 cities in north Orange County on Monday say they are stepping up to offer a regional solution to temporary housing for the homeless — with Santa Ana leading the way.

A shelter with 200 beds is nearly ready to open at an unnamed location in Santa Ana, according to officials. The staff at the nonprofit Mercy House — whose mission is to end homelessness locally — will be contracted to run the facility. The federal judge handling the civil rights lawsuits over the clearance of the homeless encampments called the plan “a role model for the county.”

On Monday, Judge David O. Carter said to residents, officials and supporters of the homeless at a hearing that he has toured the site twice. He said the efforts being made to help street populations in the area represent “a journey no other county has taken.”

Costa Mesa will sign on soon to a 12-bed crisis center and a 50 bed-facility expected to open by next summer. Tustin is planning for a 50-bed shelter run by the Orange County Rescue Mission. Anaheim is partnering with the Salvation Army to launch a 200-bed operation and has another 125-bed project planned on private property owned by businessman Bill Taormina.

“This means that more of the homeless will be inside at the start of the rainy season,” said Brooke Weitzman, an attorney representing seven homeless adults against the county and several cities, who sought to prevent their evictions from the illegal encampment. “We are so glad to see that these cities are showing goodwill, and especially that Santa Ana has cut through the red tape to assemble a team to take quick action.”

The legal settlement between advocates for the homeless and officials from Orange County stalled at the hearing Monday, while many cities in south Orange County have refused to offer temporary housing..."

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