County Board Approves Acquiring Santa Ana Warehouse for Year-Round Homeless Shelter

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OC Weekly archives
Better homeless housing than this is finally coming to Santa Ana.

Just steps from where homeless people camp in Santa Ana every night, the Orange County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a plan Tuesday to spend $3.6 million for a Santa Ana warehouse that will be converted into a year-round shelter.

United We Tramp: How Santa Ana's Homeless Rose Up

You may recall the supervisors tried to cut a deal to open a shelter in Fullerton, only to be shot down by that town's City Council in June 2013. Neighbors who feared crime captured the ear of three council members who tipped the scale in favor of pooh-poohing the county plan.

Supervisors heard more of the same Tuesday from neighbors of 1217 E. Normandy Place, Santa Ana. But, as City News Service reports, board Chairman Shawn Nelson was hearing none of it. Noting he used to live "three doors down" from the armory in Fullerton that serves as a temporary homeless shelter during cold months, Nelson observed, "Everyone's in favor of solving homelessness with the one exception--the person who lives there. The neighbors' concerns matter, but the operators are exceptionally good neighbors. ... They want and will do a good job. They're part of your community and they act like it."

Nelson also brushed back concerns raised by Supervisor Todd Spitzer, who wanted to ensure registered sex offenders could be weeded out from the program. Nelson, who co-authored the county ordinance that banned registered perverts from public parks, called Spitzer's idea unrealistic and not really appropriate for a discussion on acquiring property.

"Who knows who's outside your kid's school right now. I guarantee you don't know," Nelson said. "And a homeless shelter isn't going to change that. ... This is an attempt to address an issue we've discussed for years."

Two years ago the supervisors unveiled an ambitious plan to end homelessness in Orange County in a decade. A year-round shelter was a cornerstone to that plan. Indeed, among those supporting the shelter were some of the hundreds who camp at the Santa Ana Civic Center, the same government complex where you'll find the Board of Supes chambers.

However, it's possible those supporters first came inside for the air conditioning.

Email: mcoker@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @MatthewTCoker. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!


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19 comments
ed.botsko
ed.botsko

Bet your butt the Chamber of Commerce will be all over them. Never admit to having homeless people let alone spending money on them.. The Feds need to also fund mental health care facilities... 

mhip
mhip

I wish they'd all bum-rush (no pun intended) the Scilon's Santa Ana ideal org, and encamp there...

victorrya
victorrya

This is really good news.  Now if only the state would reopen the mental health facilities that used to care for the people who were incapable of caring for themselves.  These are the kinds of things that I'm happy to pay taxes for.  To care veterans, the elderly and mentally ill.  I sure wish we could take all the money we have spent on the unending wars for profit and put it to use here taking care of the least among us.  Not to mention the tax subsidies we give to oil companies and big business. 

carly
carly

hooray for Santa Ana, the best place ever

carly
carly

hooray for Santa Ana

FFO1939
FFO1939

Yay!! Gustavo has a home!!!

Brainwashed_in_church
Brainwashed_in_church topcommenter

People don't really mind looking at homeless people. What they do mind is looking at their property values decreasing due to prospective buyers looking at homeless people.

fishwithoutbicycle
fishwithoutbicycle topcommenter

I suppose this will appease (somewhat) all those hard-hearted folks who complain about having to look at homeless people...

Brainwashed_in_church
Brainwashed_in_church topcommenter

Labor camps. Take the mentally capable homeless and also people in prison and displace much of the work illegal aliens do. For example, working agriculture. The farmer pays the state, the homeless are off the streets, the prison guys are being productive, the state is reimbursed for housing the prison guys, the illegal alien population is reduced, the costs to the state are offset, the demand for services by illegals is reduced. Win Win Win Win Win. It doesn't have to be cruel or harsh. Basically filling a labor demand with a surplus of "free" labor. On top of that this would probably set a lot of people straight, righting themselves, thinking positively. Thw homeless could be picking strawberries just like the the folks I see every morning picking strawberries off Alton and Bake in Irvine. Basically the message is, "Here's your room and board - now go pick those strawberries."

fishingblues
fishingblues topcommenter

@Brainwashed_in_church


Most homeless are that way because they do not want to follow your or society's rules.  What are you going to do when they refuse to work, whip 'em?  

Brainwashed_in_church
Brainwashed_in_church topcommenter

@fishingblues @Brainwashed_in_church I don't know. However, they would only be subjected to labor camps if they broke the law by being homeless (whatever that law is). Remember, we're only talking about mentally healthy people here and prisoners. Most homeless are probably mentally ill. Those who aren't mentally ill probably just need some help - and the labor camps will do that. Get them started on something positive. Prisoners would also benefit. And, as I wrote earlier, society would benefit economically by apply efficient use of "free" labor. I would support government service toward those who are mentally ill and physically handicapped - that's what a civilized society does. But those who aren't mentally ill or handicapped (in other words, they have no excuses) should be housed in labor camps.

whateveryousay
whateveryousay topcommenter

@fishingblues @Brainwashed_in_church One of the biggest shames of our state is the huge cuts to mental health services and live-in facilities.  Years ago when people weren't right in the noggin' we had state run facilities for them to live in and receive some level of care.  Those facilities kept them off the streets, safe, fed and cared for.

Those were the days.


whateveryousay
whateveryousay topcommenter

@fishingblues @Brainwashed_in_church Nope. Just not provide for them.  

I don't agree with labor camps.  I do believe that if people receive state or federal aid they should be required to do some public work for it.  Cleaning parks, filling potholes, cleaning highways and roads, janitorial work at schools and public facilities and so on.

If they show up, check in and work they can get benefits.


fishingblues
fishingblues topcommenter

@whateveryousay @fishingblues @Brainwashed_in_church


"Nope. Just not provide for them."   Well we just came full circle.  That is where we are today.  The previous poster was a bit naive in his approach.


I also think everyone (that can) who is receiving any kind of government aid should be required to do something for it.  I also think we should take care of the truly needy and our veterans.


There are now nearly 110 million people on government welfare (no, that does not include SS and medicare).  We waste so much money on those that won't, we never seem to have enough to spend on those that can't.      


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