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homeless shelter siteThe Orange County Register reports:

Orange County lawyers are drafting a list of proposed conditions that will be delivered this month to Anaheim as part of an effort to build a year-round homeless shelter near the city’s boundary with Fullerton.

Anaheim and county officials have spent several months hammering out plans for a year-round shelter with 200 beds and a multiservice center on 3 acres.

The city-owned site is bounded by Harbor and Anaheim boulevards, the 91 and Carl Karcher Way.

If a compromise is reached, a property lease could be considered this fall by the Board of Supervisors and the Anaheim City Council.

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Anaheim Mayor Pro Tem Kris Murray

Anaheim Mayor Pro Tem Kris Murray

From the Orange County Breeze:

The California Apartment Association – South Coast hosted “The Inaugural CAA South Coast Charity Gala Benefitting the Rapid Rehousing Initiative” last night at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim. The gala raised funds to support the Orange County United Way’s Rapid Rehousing Initiative, which helps homeless families find stable, permanent housing in the apartment community.

The gala also honored Anaheim Mayor Pro Tem Kris Murray for her efforts to ensure that families have access to safe housing throughout the city. Under her leadership, the Anaheim City Council unanimously approved a safe housing ordinance, which protected the rights of property owners without increasing fees on business owners in Anaheim. Mayor Pro Tem Murray received the CAA-South Coast’s first annual CAA-SC Housing Champion Award for her efforts and leadership in Anaheim.

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The OC Register on Friday published an article on the Anaheim Police Department’s Homeless Outreach Team:

Up to 10 officers eventually will be assigned to work on the Homeless Outreach Team, charged with building a rapport with the growing number of indigents living in Orange County’s most populous city. The Anaheim Poverty Task Force this year counted 447 homeless people living across the city during daytime hours – mostly gathered in parks, on the city’s west side and in the neighborhoods surrounding the Disneyland Resort.

The Anaheim Police Department’s new outreach team is based on an enforcement program in neighboring Fullerton, where police officers work in tandem with local churches and nonprofit groups to connect transients with motel vouchers, bus passes, clothes and gift cards to fast-food restaurants. A county mental-health clinician often is dispatched with officers to help the despondent. So far, 40 homeless people have been moved into transitional housing or reconnected with relatives, officials said.

This is approach is a wise one for the APD because it stems from its basic law enforcement mission. The police aren’t trying to “end homelessness” but to make the city safer for everyone, including the homeless. Part of that is connecting homeless individuals with organizations trying to help those who want it to achieve independence and a normal life.

The Homeless Outreach Team also recognizes the inherent limits of their work:

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Some thoughts on the ongoing debate over Anaheim’s recently adopted anti-camping ordinance.

For starters, it was good to see the City Council unanimity on the matter. This really isn’t a complicated issue: there is a homeless encampment in La Palma Park which has a deleterious effect on the life of neighboring residents and is effectively denying the use of a public park to the public.

Opponents of the ordinance criticize it by asking where the city proposes that the homeless campers go? The underlying assumption is that by squatting in a city park, homeless individuals thereby obligate the city to provide them with someplace else to live. That is a poor precedent to set.

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