Will NIMBYs Nix Santa Ana's Next Homeless Shelter?

SantaAnaShelter.JPG
Andrew Galvin
Santa Ana's Next Homeless Shelter?
Residents of neighborhoods near a proposed homeless shelter in central Santa Ana are coming together to fight the county's plan, but they face a tougher row to hoe than Fullerton residents who successfully killed a similar proposal last year.

The county's Board of Supervisors on July 15 approved a $3.6 million purchase of a warehouse at 1217 E. Normandy Place, near McFadden and Grand avenues. While the warehouse is on an industrial street, it's not far enough from schools and homes to satisfy an emerging band of opponents. Last year, Fullerton residents successfully pressured their City Council to reject a county proposal to put a homeless shelter on State College Boulevard. However, the proposed Normandy Place site doesn't need approval from Santa Ana's City Council as the area is already zoned "by right" for a 200-bed homeless shelter.


To derail the shelter, the Santa Ana NIMBYs (those taking a stance of "not in my backyard") will have to persuade the same five county supervisors who unanimously approved the site July 15 to change their minds when the board votes again after a 90-day due diligence period.

Although the board's July 15 action gave the county's real estate staff the authority to close the purchase without another board vote, the staff plans to return to the board for final approval "because of the importance of the project and public interest in the property," a county spokeswoman said last week. Between now and then, Santa Ana's NIMBYs appear poised to raise as much ruckus as they can. At a City Hall meeting last week, about 20 residents angrily rejected the notion that the shelter would be an asset to their neighborhood, complaining they were kept in the dark about the county's plan and suggesting the community was targeted because it is low-income and largely Latino.

Dora Lopez, a resident who opposes the shelter, said the neighborhood is already beset with problems including crime, traffic and gangs. "This is just going to make it 100 times worse because we're going to have all of these (homeless) people walking around here constantly," she said. The nearest homes to the shelter site are the densely populated Cornerstone Village apartments at Minnie Street and McFadden, which are home to many immigrant families.

"You're going to see all these transients walking down McFadden ... and lounging over here at Madison Park, which is the only park that the children in this neighborhood have," Lopez said. Still, Lopez said she could live with the shelter if she felt the county's selection process had been fair.

But given that residents weren't given any notification until a couple of weeks before the Board of Supervisors approved the site, she feels that "All they want to do is put something in place and say we're doing something."

Orange County remains one of the largest U.S. metropolitan areas without a year-round homeless shelter after the Fullerton NIMBYs rose up last year. At a July 2 community meeting at Santa Ana's Kennedy Elementary School--about a quarter-mile from the proposed shelter site--Massimo Marini, an activist who organized homeless denizens of Santa Ana's Civic Center to stand up for themselves (see United We Tramp: How Santa Ana's Homeless Rose Up, July 3, 2014), said his Civic Center Roundtable group wasn't consulted before the site was chosen. He bluntly suggested to residents that their neighborhood was selected "because you don't got enough political power or money to stop it. We're in the same situation."

The Santa Ana NIMBYs are planning to hold a community forum at the proposed shelter site on Aug. 19 to raise awareness of the county's plan, Lopez said.

Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!



Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help
49 comments
Mr_KEYboardwarrior
Mr_KEYboardwarrior

Yeah gonna clean up the cesspool off main and warner my ass , gonna be worst another skid row, the naitonal guard center off warner and delhi comm center couldnt shelter the homeless ,what make you think this will help the issue,

BrownKidsDontMatter
BrownKidsDontMatter

It's pretty easy to call people NIBY's when you neither own a home nor live in this neighborhood.


I guess those parents at Kennedy should just accept the fact that they are helpless, when it comes to the safety and well being of their children. After all they are mostly Mexican....Right.

Jenny Osban
Jenny Osban

If police find homeless people in any city in Orange County they drop them off at the Santa Ana border. If we don't have a place for them here, they have no hope, and the facts are, most homeless people do suffer from mental issues. These mental disorders actually mostly stem from them being homeless and alone too much so they literally go crazy.

Ryan Moss
Ryan Moss

what a homeless man or woman doesn't deserve the opportunity for help in your county? bet if the shoe was on the other foot you wouldn't think so!

Robyn Dague
Robyn Dague

There is no doubt that a shelter is needed but housing the homeless in this building on this street is not fair to them. In the past the County wanted to open up a shelter at the OCTA bus teriminal but the City of Santa Ana did not include that area during their re-zoning, speaking of NIMBYs. They don't want a homeless shelter in the Downtown/Civic Center area so they are attempting to "hide" it in the middle of an industrial area and low income residential neighboorhood with very little notice or information to the community. It's difficult for the community members to support this project when they feel like the government agencies that are pushing this through are trying to hide something from them. The neighboorhood has it's fair share of problems and is working very hard to overcome them. The building has no grounds, no outdoor space, no sidewalks, just a not so big industrial building. Why not take the 3.6 million dollars (cost of building) and 2.3 million (renovation cost) and expand upon one of the other many shelters in Santa Ana or build one (maybe at one of the hotels on 1st Street) based on some of the well thought out shelters such as The Village of Hope in Tustin http://www.rescuemission.org/services/village-of-hope/ or Connections Housing in San Diego http://www.sdconnections.org/SD/index.html?

Johnny Dearing
Johnny Dearing

Wow even the liberal city of Santa Ana are haters of the homeless....guess it's OK if it's not in their city.... :/

meheecan-cris-doner
meheecan-cris-doner

typical Amerikkkan way of thinking. always trying to impose on people a way of living. if people really wanted to improve things fucking overthrow this capitalist system. it's like when i see ads that ask for money for medical research.... duhhh.... if medicine would stop being sold at such high prices we wouldn't have this problem pendejos. Cuba serves as a perfect example of how medicine would be available if we took a community approach. i can already sense the socialist critiques.

Eddie Miguel Quinonez
Eddie Miguel Quinonez

You know what I would do. Use the two closed down youth authorities in Norwalk and Whittier, to provide shelter for them

Steve Manciet
Steve Manciet

Sheesh, if a homeless shelter can't be built in Santa Ana of all places, then where can it be built????

Rob Gonzo
Rob Gonzo

The real problem isn't homeless people wondering the streets... The real problem is that most (not all) homeless people suffer from mental disorders, and substance abuse problems. No matter where they go, they will be a problem for the local community... There's no law that forces people to medicate for mental disorders (assuming the have some sort of health coverage available to them)... There's also not enough room in the local jails or prisons for the ones that do walk around drunk/high... So homeless people will become like a plague to most communities as a result. It's a shame some only need a helping hand to help themselves and others have zero interest in helping themselves... Homeless people are homeless because they've burned down bridges with family and friends so no one wants to help them...

Otis Denim
Otis Denim

Our heart has been black since 1994 !

Joseph Forth
Joseph Forth

Let the homeless continue to peep and poop in their yards then.

Michael Ornelas
Michael Ornelas

How would you know? Again? What extensive background do you have in this matter? Seems like this is your hypothesis that isn't proven by the numerous amounts of data and research in this matter. Help is help.. It's never ideal but it's a start in the right direction, petition it for Anaheim or is transit all we care about. Social welfare isn't only on 4 wheels or 2 My young pad wa

Hip Ngau
Hip Ngau

Terrific idea. Helping hands for the homeless. The way it sounds like the neighbors are scared that the value of their houses will be dropped if there are homeless living in the same block.

Lisandro Orozco Sanz
Lisandro Orozco Sanz

Yes, but kicking the homeless in a poor part of town isn't going to improve their lives.

Lisa Jeffrey Guentert
Lisa Jeffrey Guentert

It seems to me this is less about the shelter than it is about the way the site was chosen. No one is saying there isn't a need to be addressed. What they are saying is the community should have a voice and sneaky backdoor deals won't be tolerated.

Michael Ornelas
Michael Ornelas

So they say... And this is homeless, not poor Big difference. When mental illness is the bigger at factor with homelessness, not poverty. As a planner you should evaluate all facts, not enough non spuriousness in your thought process, Anaheim will do that to a person

Lisandro Orozco Sanz
Lisandro Orozco Sanz

So the board of supervisors wants to put it next to one of the poorest streets in the county? Cornerstone Village houses the poorest of the poor in OC. As a planner you should know having the poor live next to poor brings nothing but trouble.

Gianni Ma'ae
Gianni Ma'ae

Sucks while we give money away to other Countries, our ppl suffer smh

Araceli Vidales
Araceli Vidales

We NEED THIS! My clients need this many of them suffer from mental illnesses and can't maintain a job

Michael Ornelas
Michael Ornelas

Lisandro Orozco Sanz Stay class San Deigo (Santa Ana). OC at it's finest

Helene Smati
Helene Smati

AAAH, the "Poor things, I wish I could help them/ but not in my neighborhood" issue... Mind you, a lot of of us are two paychecks away from being homeless...the street I live on is full of parked cars and small RVs where people live...I've never thought of calling the cops to complain about it. I was once one of them. Beds are sorely needed in OC, why halt the efforts to create them?

Teresa Menchaca Vargas
Teresa Menchaca Vargas

People don't want to see them on the street , but don't want a place they can go either , humans make me sick !

Joe Pinney
Joe Pinney

And when they come to "address" on the application, what do they put?

Sally Larsen
Sally Larsen

I love the idea of this homeless shelter. Help the homeless get a place to sleep, a shower, a meal, access to internet to apply for jobs (Most all are online only now), loan them interview attire, it just might be the break someone needs to actually get off the street.

Peter Sosa
Peter Sosa

Homeless have to look for a job that's what they need.

Steve SanFilipo
Steve SanFilipo

This doesn't fit your narrative, OC Weakly. North County, especially SA, is supposed to be full of open minded, compassionate people of color and South OC is supposed to be populated by selfish, snobbish, jerk off white people. Does your editor know you have strayed from the company line?

Maria Gonzalez
Maria Gonzalez

We need homeless shelters....humanity is failing and this proves it

Fallen Angels Evnts
Fallen Angels Evnts

interesting..glad to see, somehow someone thought about an alternative to 'for profit prisons' as public housing.

Travis Gage
Travis Gage

ya cause having them wander the streets and parks, walking past the schools, and houses is waaaaaay better than giving them a place to stay away from all of that.. Fullerton has a huge homeless problem, probably for this exact reason.. what if that was your mother, your sister, your brother, your uncle... have a heart..

Raffi Zaki
Raffi Zaki

Wtf is wrong with people? Seriously

Angie Jackson
Angie Jackson

They have to put it somewhere... our homeless population is growing by the day!!!

fishwithoutbicycle
fishwithoutbicycle topcommenter

The problem with these "proximity" arguments is that some of these NIMBYs don't think ANYWHERE is "far enough" away from their neighborhoods.

BrownKidsDontMatter
BrownKidsDontMatter

Araceli, Maybe you should have this place built NEXT to your house (or your Mom and Dad's since you still live at home!


Go save the word. Just don't make me carry your gear, while you do it.

20ftjesus
20ftjesus topcommenter

They're homeless.  Pay attention.

20ftjesus
20ftjesus topcommenter

@fishwithoutbicycle 

It looks like the perfect spot:  industrial.  Also, putting the homeless in the same category as gangs is just dumb.  I used to work with homeless people and they're 99% regular folks.  (Yah, some small portion is mentally ill but it comes with the territory.)

CommonSense
CommonSense

@20ftjesus @fishwithoutbicycle Perfect spot?  Because putting a homeless shelter next to one of the poorest neighborhoods "Cornerstone Village"  is a good idea? Industrial that is only 600 feet from dense residential and a school. 

fishwithoutbicycle
fishwithoutbicycle topcommenter

@CommonSense @20ftjesus @fishwithoutbicycle 

It's a HOMELESS SHELTER not a PRISON. But go ahead and keep assuming all homeless people are nasty, dirty derelicts hell-bent on ruining your life instead of human beings down on their luck. Is this really about the fact that this shelter would be next to YOUR neighborhood or is it because it would be anywhere close to civilization period? Have a heart.

Now Trending

Anaheim Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Loading...