Orange County To Get A Cold Weather Shelter Following Months of Uncertainty
The Orange County Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 Tuesday to approve a contract with the nonprofit People Assisting The Homeless to run an emergency shelter at a gymnasium in Fullerton's Independence Park.
The shelter is expected to open Feb. 1 and will likely stay open at least through the end of March.
For years, the county ran an overnight shelter during the winter months at the National Guard Armory in Santa Ana, and, until recently, at the Armory in Fullerton. This year, when the county put out a request for proposals to operate a cold weather shelter, no one responded. Looking for a solution, officials tried to strike a deal to open a shelter at a Salvation Army location in Santa Ana, but city leaders there fought it and the deal fell through.
Why It Matters
Unlike some of the other homeless shelters in Orange County, cold weather shelters typically only operate at night for a few months in the winter. Requirements are minimal for getting a bed, which makes it easier for people needing a warm place to stay to get access quickly.
Advocates say this kind of bare bones model is not the most effective way to get people into permanent housing, but it's a key part of the shelter system that saves lives when nighttime temperatures are dangerously cold.
LAist staff contributed to this report.