Less than 24 hours after being sworn in as mayor of Anaheim, Harry Sidhu has a plan for a temporary, emergency 200-bed homeless shelter for city council consideration tomorrow afternoon at an emergency meeting he called yesterday. If approved, the proposed shelter at 2040 S. State College Blvd – at the intersection of State College and Orangewood – would be open before Christmas. It would provide shelter from the elements for homeless individuals encamped in the city’s parks and public spaces as cold and rainy winter weather approaches. When completed, according to informed sources, Anaheim would be considered in compliance with the settlement agreement and could begin enforcing its anti-vagrancy laws.
“These individuals, these human beings, are camping in our parks and public spaces,” said Sidhu at Tuesday night’s city council meeting. “This is not good for them, it is not good for the neighborhoods.”
“We need a way to fast track the creation of temporary shelter to provide a place for these people to stay now while the work is being done to open up two permanent shelters in Anaheim,” state Sidhu.
The following afternoon, Sidhu had a concrete plan to open such a shelter by Christmas agendized for council consideration
The shelter would be a public-private partnership between the City of Anaheim and Visit Anaheim Cares – the charitable arm of the organisation representing Anaheim’s convention and tourism industry. It would bridge the gap until two planned, city-owned homeless shelters — the Center of Hope and the Piano Store shelter – open in late February or early March. The Center for Hope will be located at 1340 S. Lewis Street and will eventually have 400 beds by its Phase 2 build-out in 2020. The Piano Store site at 3035 E. La Mesa Street is across the street from the County’s Bridges at Kraemer shelter, and will have up to 125 beds.
According to a city-issued news release, the proposed emergency temporary shelter at 2040 S. State College will be similar to the Kraemer at Bridges shelter: homeless clients will be admitted on a referral basis only, and transported to and from the shelter. No walk-ins. The city also stated the shelter will include “extensive operational and security planning to ensure it is a good neighbor. The Anaheim Police will oversee security planning and conduct regular patrols of the site, supplemented by onsite security and rules barring loitering, walk-ups and drop-offs.”
Visit Anaheim Cares would facilitate leasing 15,000 square feet of an industrial building at the corner State College and Orangewood, and the shelter would be operated by the Illumination Foundation – which earlier this week was selected by the city to run the planned 125-bed temporary shelter at the Piano Store.
The City of Anaheim will fund up to $600,000 for the temporary emergency shelter, which will operate for 60-90 days at the State College location. Private businesses will also contribute substantial funding.
When completed, the Center for Hope – which will be operated by the Salvation Army — and the Piano Store shelter will provide a total of 325 homeless shelter beds. That will bring the city into compliance with the settlement agreement overseen by federal Judge David O. Carter.