FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media contact: Ruth Ruiz, (714) 765-5060 office, (714) 420-7797 cell
ANAHEIM, CA – (December 9, 2013) The City of Anaheim is committed to protecting the safety and human dignity of homeless individuals while also ensuring public spaces are preserved for their intended purposes. Most recently, City leaders embraced the efforts of Citynet, a faith-based regional association that held a workshop in Anaheim for the purpose of facilitating collaboration among the City’s faith-based groups to offer a coordinated and comprehensive approach to solving homelessness.
“As we have seen the homeless population grow in recent years, the City has focused its efforts toward strengthening existing partnerships with neighboring agencies, identified new resources, and explored successful models to implement innovative solutions that will connect our homeless community with the services they are seeking,” said Anaheim City Manager Marcie Edwards.
Recognizing the paramount importance of shelter, the City has taken actions to facilitate the provision of this most basic necessity. In preparation of colder weather, Anaheim, along with the City of Fullerton, was able to provide funding that opened the Fullerton Armory Emergency Shelter more than two weeks early this season. This facility provides those in need with a warm bed, shower, and meal during the winter months. The City continues to work diligently with its regional partners to identify opportunities for a year-round shelter where along with overnight shelter, consolidated services will be offered, thereby helping to reduce the impacts to the community and the additional costs associated with an at-large homeless population.
Also, this past September, the City implemented a six-month pilot project working with Mercy House to provide a safe location for homeless individuals and families to store their most important personal belongings which often create an impediment for the homeless seeking shelter. Within two months, the check-in center has successfully served more than 80 different individuals on a weekly basis.
Further, the Anaheim Police Department has established a Homeless Detail that is comprised of officers specifically trained to work with homeless individuals as well as mental health and crisis intervention professionals. The new detail will focus specifically on the homeless and have the resources to connect the individuals with the services they need. And finally, beginning December 15, the Anaheim Police Department will have an additional tool to maintain and preserve public spaces so that they may be used for their intended purposes by all residents, businesses and visitors in the City. This is the date that a recently adopted ordinance will take effect that prohibits the camping or mass accumulation of personal belongings which interferes with the lawful and ordinary uses of public property.
For more details on all of Anaheim’s efforts to address homelessness, visit www.anaheim.net/homelessness.
For more information on the City of Anaheim, please visit www.anaheim.net.
ABOUT ANAHEIM –The City of Anaheim, founded in 1857, is one of the nation’s premier municipalities and is one of California’s most populous cities. Anaheim covers 50 square miles with more than 346,000 residents and more than 2,900 City employees. The municipal corporation’s annual budget is $1.6 billion. Anaheim supports a thriving business community with companies such as Carl Karcher Enterprises, Inc., L-3 Communications, Pacific Sunwear, and Disneyland Resort. Successful sports franchises call Anaheim home, including Angels Baseball, Anaheim Ducks, the U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team, and the 2012 Olympic Games Silver Medal winning U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team. Anaheim also boasts world-class meeting and entertainment venues with the Anaheim Convention Center, LEED-certified and the largest on the west coast, Honda Center, City National Grove of Anaheim, Anaheim GardenWalk, and Angel Stadium of Anaheim. In addition, Anaheim embraces its vibrant cultural arts community, including the world-renowned Anaheim Ballet. Annually, Anaheim welcomes millions of visitors to the city, truly making it where the world comes to live, work and play. For more information, please visit www.anaheim.net.