The Santa Ana City Council voted unanimously Wednesday night to direct about $1.2 million to the city’s “first permanent supportive housing project for chronically homeless individuals.”
HOME Investment Partnership Program funds will go to the Guest House project, which involves rehabilitating an existing hotel at 2151 E. First St. into one of the largest homeless housing projects in Orange County.
“The goal of the Guest House is to reduce chronic homelessness in Santa Ana,” says City Manager David Cavazos in a statement. “Thanks to the leadership of our mayor and City Council, we are able to provide the financial resources needed to make this project a reality and further our efforts to address homelessness in our community.”
Contrast this with what is going on across the border in Costa Mesa, where city leaders are regulating supposedly “problem” motels to the point where impoverished families are forced back onto the streets. The complaints that sparked these “reforms” were often made by folks who maintain such residents belong in Santa Ana.
Developed by Community Development Partners, the Guest House will provide 57 studio units and 14 one-bedroom residences in four two-story buildings. A community garden, commercial kitchen, outdoor courtyard and laundry facilities will also be on site.
Nonprofit Mercy House, the lead service provider for the project, is working under the “Housing First” homeless assistance approach that prioritizes providing permanent housing as quickly as possible, followed by voluntary supportive services as needed. Besides having a place to lay their heads, residents can access education classes and case management services at the facility.
Providing long-term affordable housing meets the affordable housing goals identified in Santa Ana’s Strategic Plan, Housing Element and Consolidated Five-Year Plan, city officials say.
Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.