The following is a press release from an organization unaffiliated with Voice of OC. The views expressed here are not those of Voice of OC.
Public Information Officer
Phone: (714) 754-5288
Temporary 50-bed bridge shelter opens in Costa Mesa
The City of Costa Mesa officially opened a 50-bed temporary bridge shelter on a portion of the Lighthouse Church property at 1885 Anaheim Avenue that will be a first step toward cleanup and restoration of Westside neighborhoods while addressing the issues of helping individuals up and out of homelessness.
“By opening this bridge shelter, we are taking a compassionate and caring approach toward individuals experiencing homelessness,” Mayor Katrina Foley said. “But at the same time, we need to keep the safety and security of our entire community as our top priority. Living on a sidewalk is inhumane. It’s not good for anyone forced outside and it’s not good for maintaining the quality of our community.”
Mayor Katrina Foley announced the opening of the bridge shelter at a 9 a.m. press conference Friday April 5. The mayor was joined by Federal District Court Judge David Carter, Assembly Member Cottie Petrie-Norris, Mayor Pro-Tem John Stephens, Council Members Arlis Reynolds, Andrea Marr and Manuel Chavez.
Council Member Reynolds, who represents District 5 where the shelter resides, also spoke and told the crowd how much it meant to her to see this shelter open in the same place she grew up.
Also in attendance were Acting City Manager Tammy Letourneau, Parks & Recreation Director Justin Martin, who was instrumental in planning the shelter, City Attorney Kim Barlow, Police Chief Rob Sharpnack and Fire Chief Dan Stefano, Lighthouse Church Pastor Phil Eyskens and several city leaders and staff members from every department.
As of time of the press conference, there were already approximately 20 clients living in the bridge shelter and receiving services from city outreach workers and shelter operator Mercy House, an experienced, well-respected operator who will ensure the facility is a reservation-based model along with 24-hour security and neighborhood management covering a half-mile radius.
Establishing this 50-bed bridge shelter option for those experiencing homelessness will provide the number of necessary shelter beds that the City of Costa Mesa is expected to create based on a proposed settlement agreement in the OC Catholic Worker lawsuit that in turn would restore the city’s ability to enforce trespassing and anti-encampment ordinances.