City News Service

Orange County Approves $13.4 Million for Homeless Shelters

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Matt Jackson / NBCDFW.com

The Orange County Board of Supervisors Tuesday approved spending $13.4 million for homeless shelters over the next five years.

The board approved nearly $6.9 million for the Midnight Mission to operate the Courtyard Transitional Center in downtown Santa Ana near the federal court building and the county Hall of Administration. The board also approved spending $870,208 for other services at the Courtyard.

The courtyard, a former bus station, was opened in October 2016 as a temporary shelter and as of June provided a roof over the heads of an average of 400 transients nightly.

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It's not clear how much longer the Courtyard will remain open. There's consensus among county and Santa Ana officials to shut it down, but it is unclear what will replace it.

County officials in November spent $12.25 million acquiring an industrial building at 2229 S. Yale St. to build a shelter, but some newly elected Santa Ana City Council members have offered "mixed messages" about the city's involvement in the project, Supervisor Andrew Do said.

The City Council members who voted for the Yale Street project "are not speaking up to defend it so the county is left in a position where we don't where the county is" with the shelter proposal, Do said.

"They can either make this a joint project... or they can simply tell the county to do it alone," Do said. "But don't come back later and complain they weren't a part of it."

The county bought the building "at the suggestion of the Santa Ana City Council," Do said.

The board approved $4.6 million for the SAFEPlace shelter for women and $968,458 for Washington Place, which provides shelter for couples.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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