The Orange City Council has unanimously voted to appropriate $1.02 million to help operate and construct two homeless shelters in Placentia and Buena Park.

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Amid discussions surrounding the burgeoning homeless population, 13 northern Orange County cities have been working together to address the issue. Orange is working collaboratively with the county and neighboring cities through the North Orange County Service Planning Area to help combat homelessness.

“It is a milestone… there have been two cities developing and operating a homeless shelter, but never 12-13 cities. This is actually uncharted territory,” said Rick Otto, Orange city manager.

Orange’s share of money for the homeless shelters, also called navigation centers, in Placentia and Buena Park includes $775,222 via the state’s SB2-Building Homes & Jobs Act, while the remaining $250,000 is derived from the city’s own low and moderate-income housing asset fund.

The Orange City Council approved the funding in February.

Otto additionally pointed out that no general fund dollars will be utilized for the operation and construction of the centers.

The Los Angeles-based nonprofit People Assisting The Homeless will be the operator of the homeless shelter in Placentia that will accommodate 100 people.

The shelter in Buena Park will be operated by Mercy House. It will hold 125 people.

The 2019 Orange County Point in Time Count found that 6,860 people are homeless in the county, including 3,961 individuals who are unsheltered.

The homeless in Orange will have access to the north county shelters alongside the resources both facilities provide. The shelter in Placentia is expected to open late March while the shelter in Buena Park is slated to open in June.

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