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September 13, 2016

Contact: Jean Pasco
(714) 834-7218

County Approves Homeless Shelter, Armory Shelter Operator

(Santa Ana, CA) — The Orange County Board of Supervisors has selected Mercy House Living Centers Inc. to operate a new 200-bed year-round emergency shelter and multi-service center in Anaheim to serve those without permanent housing, as well as operate seasonal cold-weather shelters at National Guard armories in Fullerton and Santa Ana.

Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to select Mercy House, which for years has partnered with the County to provide emergency shelter and housing services. The new center in Anaheim will be located at 1000 N. Kraemer Place and is expected to be opened late next year.

“We look forward to a new partnership with Mercy House in Anaheim as we create this much needed facility within our county,” Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Lisa Bartlett, Fifth District, said. A final contract, including specific operating costs, is expected to be approved by the Board later this year.

Vice Chair Michelle Steel said the new center will be used by those most in need to redirect them into permanent housing. “This is another important step for the County to pool our resources and provide an effective solution to a very serious problem,” she said.

“Our goal is to expedite the opening of the Kraemer Homeless Shelter and Service Center and to make it available as soon as we possibly can,” said Supervisor Todd Spitzer, whose Third District includes the portion of Anaheim where the center will be built. “I worked hard with the community to develop an operations plan that will ensure the public’s safety and require the new shelter to be a good neighbor. As a County we need to work quickly to solve the problems of homelessness.”

“Yes to action, no to excuses – that’s our new mantra,” said Supervisor Andrew Do, First District, who pressed for the County to hire an official to coordinate the County’s various service programs for the homeless. “We’re delivering on our promise to do everything we can to get people off the streets.”

The process of identifying a year-round homeless shelter began five years ago under the stewardship of Supervisor Shawn Nelson, who represents the Fourth District and much of Anaheim.

“This will benefit those most in need of support and provide them a place to receive essential services,” Nelson said.

The County paid $4.25 million for the 24,384 square-foot industrial warehouse and 12,842 square feet of office space, situated on about 1.87 acres with 68 parking spaces. The building, built in 1975, had been occupied by a commercial heating, ventilating and air conditioning contractor.

The cities of Anaheim and Fullerton contributed $500,000 each toward the project, with $100,000 coming from the city of Brea. The city councils of Anaheim, Brea, Buena Park, Fullerton, Orange and Placentia adopted resolutions in support.

The County has operated a seasonal armory shelter program in Fullerton and Santa Ana for the past 28 years. However, the armories are only open part of the year and only at night.

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