The Salvation Army’s 224-bed temporary shelter has opened its doors and is accepting homeless individuals, as the city continues making progress toward establishing and maintaining the requisite number of shelter beds to permit continued enforcement of anti-camping laws in city parks.
The federal settlement agreement requires Anaheim to have 325 shelter beds to permit enforcement of anti-campaign laws. As of now, the city has 424 emergency shelter beds.
The Salvation Army Shelter at Lewis Street and Cerritos Avenue is fully operation and began the intake of homeless on February 1.
As this shelter has come online, the State College Interim Shelter that was opened on December 20 will wind down and close its doors by March 15. The plan is for a seamless transition from one to the other. Each day, the Salvation Army sends two case workers to talk to the homeless at the State College Interim Shelter about moving to the Salvation Army facility. Although recent inclement weather has slowed the start of this transition, as of now about 35 people had made the transition to the Salvation Army shelter with 174 homeless people still at the State College shelter.
City Net, the non-profit contracted by the city to coordinate its homeless outreach, coordinates daily transition between the Salvation Army and State College shelters – providing twice-daily transportation for homeless individuals from the State College shelter to the Salvation Army facility. The thinking is this incremental approach makes a successful transition more likely, while freeing up beds at both shelters – providing more options for homeless outreach and enforcement of anti-camping laws.
Simultaneously, the city has contractors at work turning the recently-purchased Piano Empire store on 3035 La Mesa Street into the 101-bed Kraemer Emergency Shelter (located a few dozen feet from the county’s Bridges at Kraemer Shelter). The city expects this shelter will be on line by the end of February.
The State College Shelter – which was stood up in just two weeks – has thus far provided services and shelter to more than 340 homeless individuals. It’s opening permitted the city to begin enforcing its anti-camping and led to the clearing of homeless encampments at Maxwell, La Palma and Schweitzer parks. According to the staff report on tonight’s city council agenda, shelter-operator The Illumination Foundation:
“…has increased its staff to 28 FTEs, including six (6) bathroom attendants to ensure assistance around the clock. The remaining concern continues to be the trailers, primarily water leakage from showers and some drips; city staff, Illumination Foundation and stakeholders continue to work together to resolve this issue on a daily basis.”
“The Interim Shelter continues to serve its intended purpose, providing shelter during the coldest months and during the rainy season. Illumination Foundation. The city will continue to address each and every concern raised. This interim shelter has provided services and shelter to over 340 individuals who would not have otherwise had shelter. In the meantime, the city has been able to restore our parks and sidewalks and return them to our community.”
In short: once the Kraemer Emergency Shelter is opened, new homeless referrals will go there and to the new Salvation Army Emergency Shelter, rather than the State College shelter – which will close down after its clients have been transitioned to those two new emergency shelters.