County Homeless shelter in Anaheim Canyon’s “Center for Advanced Technology”

Don Dormeyer is a the webmaster of and a local business owner who opposes a homeless shelter in Anaheim Canyon’s “Center for Advanced Technology” as the worse possible location.



The Canyon Business Association, a new organization that has sprung up in the Anaheim “Canyon Center for Advanced Technology” is growing rapidly due to concerns that a large 200 bed homeless shelter will effect their industrial park.

There are well over 1000 businesses that vehemently feel they will be damaged. The group is a common voice to protect what they feel is an assault on their ability to thrive.
Thriving is important to them because Anaheim Planning’s stated vision in the “Anaheim Canyon Specific Plan” called for “an engaging, innovative, and dynamic business environment that provides opportunities for growth, development, and sustained success supported by clear policies and regulations.”

That is the Anaheim “Canyon Specific Plan” that these businesses invested in.
What part of “advanced technology” is a huge homeless shelter?

It seems the Mayor and City Council have abandoned that commitment or failed to mention it to the County Supervisors who are buying an industrial building at an entrance to the Center for Advanced Technology for a 200 bed homeless shelter that is clearly in the WRONG place. Actually in the worse possible place! A place that has almost no homeless at all because it is an industrial park.
The “Canyon Center for Advanced Technology” is rapidly moving toward what the name aspires to be.

New class A buildings have gone up, and more are coming. New businesses, attracting National and International clients to Anaheim have arrived. Aerospace has returned. The utilities are currently being under-grounded and new sidewalks and bike lanes are planned. All according to Anaheim’s “vision” for the Canyon Center for Advanced Technology. The Canyon will be a beautiful place for advanced technology and high paying jobs.

Why derail that?

If each business in the Canyon hired a new employee next year that would be thousands of new tech jobs for Anaheim and Orange County. Companies attracted to move to the Canyon will add untold additional jobs

Locating a huge homeless shelter at the entrance to the “Center for Advanced Technology” seems counterproductive and particularly “unkind” to the taxpaying businesses and the thousands of taxpaying employees. It damages the area’s ability to add thousands of new taxpaying jobs and help Anaheim’s economy.

Most infuriating, it is a county facility. So other cities that don’t want the homeless will able to export them to Anaheim. Who would vote for that idea?

Residents of the adjoining area of Orange got together to fight what they feel will damage their residential neighborhoods. The 1,000+ businesses in the Canyon had no organization to speak for them, but an organization quickly formed due to huge opposition to the proposed shelter location. “Every business I talked to, 100 percent were adamantly against this” said one organizer.

On its website, there is support for other homeless solutions and other better locations. Taxpayers seeking better employment need jobs, and damaging an industrial area that can grow better jobs is foolish. What are our politicians thinking? Industrial areas are for industry. And “Advanced Technology” means higher paying jobs.

Homelessness is a community problem and putting the homeless in a giant box is a bad, and particularly “unkind” solution. Out-of-sight-out-of-mind is NOT a solution. Just moving them “somewhere else” is not kind nor helpful nor effective.
The business association doesn’t claim to have the answer but businesses depend on solutions and when one solution hasn’t worked, they try another.

Step four in LA’s Union Rescue Mission’s plan to end homelessness calls for small community shelters where the homeless already live. Removing the concentration effect that causes the “not in my neighborhood” political blowback, because the homeless are already there. The Union Mission should know because they have 100 plus years of hindsight, and the L.A. Skid Row area has grown to 54 blocks of crime and anarchy. L.A. Skid Row is getting 1,500 new homeless per year. (See for sources.)

Big shelters are not working. Ask anyone operating one. Housing First is having success with individualized solutions in Utah. Their results are worth watching.
Another alternative is small distributed shelters.

Small is better because small shelters do not mix the vulnerable with the aggressive, the desperately unemployed with the criminally intent. Those fighting addiction with those embracing addition. The good with the bad.

Small shelters distributed where the homeless already live can separate the opposites and bring the most important ingredient of “HOPE” while not increasing the “homeless” in any one neighborhood.
Or, if the Anaheim City Council is intent on bringing Orange County’s homeless to a big box in Anaheim, there are better, more suitable, and cheaper locations.

The city has already purchased land for a shelter on Carl Karcher Way. (An appropriate street name for a genuinely helpful solution) The utilities are in place. Using modern architecturally attractive modular buildings the shelter could be open in months at far less cost. The millions of dollars saved could be used for needed treatment and education services.

The City of Anaheim created the visionary Canyon Specific Plan for the Canyon “Center for Advanced Technology” and it is succeeding. Why damage it when better cheaper sites are available.

And when the solution to homelessness is actually found, or conditions causing it change, the property could be returned to salable condition in a matter of weeks.
Importing other cities’ homeless to Anaheim’s newest thriving business area at the Canyon, is not the answer to homelessness.

Let the Canyon become all it can be, and ALL of Anaheim and Orange County will benefit from it.

Voice of OC is interested in hearing different perspectives and voices. If you want to weigh in on this issue please contact Voice of OC Engagement Editor Julie Gallego at

  • Michael Chew

    As a commercial property manager I have managed properties in Santa Monica, Downey, Anaheim, etc. and have seen first hand the issues that the homeless have wrought upon my clients. Fight the 1000 Kraemer Pl site as HARD as you can! If it is not defeated then as an owner you will face increased operating costs as well as decreased property values and lease rates. If you lease you will have the opportunity to move at the end of your term, however, moving is expensive as it entails both hard and soft costs, not to mention the time and hassle.

  • Cynthia Ward

    Well golly gee whiz, if the City actually used the Karcher site for the shelter, which is the purpose they claimed to have purchased it for, then they could not use the land to expand La Palma Park all the way out to the freeway, and the “La Palma Park Expansion Master Plan” (which has not been authorized by anyone, seen by anyone, or otherwise heard of after Mayor Daly left office right up until Jordan Brandman made it his hot button) would not be well on its way to making one of Brandman’s key donors rich with a no bid contract under Anaheim’s new design-build deals. We DO recall that Jordan Brandman was the one who told Christine Ridge to move the shelter because he found a better location than Karcher. Right?

    • Cynthia Ward

      for those in the Canyon just now waking up to the reality of Anaheim City Hall and their very twisted view on the City, here is a quick tutorial;

      The Canyon is filled with a bunch of independent small
      businesses, who appear to be dismissed by City Hall for the following reasons;

      A) they are not dependent upon City Hall to subsidize their existence, thus leaving them free of economic control by the Kleptocracy. We can’t have that now, can we? In fact, finding a common threat that brings those businesses within the fold of those who “owe”
      The Masters of the Universe might be a nice side benefit to City Hall in this mess. But at the very least the independence of these businesses means they are not part of the special insiders’ club and their voices are not hear by 3 of 5.

      B) Small family owned businesses tend to spot the Chamber of Commerce for the big corporate enablers they have become, and forego the opportunity to pick up Todd Ament’s bar tab without resulting benefits to themselves. And just as City Hall fails to honor the rights of businesses (or residents) that fail to bow to the Council
      majority, they would also be reluctant to gear any long term policy decisions that ultimately benefit those not underwriting the much-used hammer in the toolbox that the Chamber has become.

      C) If we permit small businesses independent of the control of the Council and/or their lackeys at the Chamber to thrive, they might actually offer decent jobs to Anaheim citizens, eventually leading Anaheim’s workforce to believe they might have a way out of their dead end low paying Resort jobs, and we wouldn’t want anything to interfere with the Resort’s ability to keep a lid on costs by maintaining the status quo of low wage labor lacking other options in other
      employment sectors.

      Cynical? Yep, way too many Tuesday spent watching these thugs operate. But show me one element of this somewhat tongue in cheek tutorial that is not on some level truthful.

      • David Zenger

        No, you are exactly right. The very types of businesses that a Chamber of Commerce should be working for have no voice in Anaheim.

        Hopefully Todd Spitzer’s Dog and Pony Show on the 30th will be well-attended by people with “skin in the game.” Spitzer, who nothing at stake but his pride, will fold up like a cheap tent, especially when he realizes that he got hoodwinked by the Anaheim Kleptocracy into touting the Kraemer Place site.

        And in the end, there is the Karcher site – three acres at a million per acre, just sitting there – purchased as a site for a homeless facility – a silent monument to the pernicious greed of Anaheim’s ruling clique.

      • cynthia curran

        Well, the resort thing has it good and bad. There is management also, service jobs can a bum rap but there are a lot of low paying jobs that attract immigrants who tend to have larger families than the East side managers and tech companies. I thought the shelter was in a low income areas since it was near adult entertainment. It should have been done in Fullerton or Santa Ana and so forth and yes the movement is toward As for Amazon it had unfair competition against bookstores that had to pay the taxes. Jeff Bezos is so rich that he has Blue Origin, the space company since that is not done online Actually, in the redevelopment area Anaheim can pushed Disneyland to do start up companies since they are doing them at Santa Monica and Burbank and some of the redevelopment area in Artic can be non-hotel and restaurant. WHat is interesting is Cynthia Ward opposes taxing Amazon while some Republicans believe in the fair tax which would get rid of ihe income tax and be based upon sales tax.