The County of Orange, in partnership with Mercy House, Inc., has opened the seasonal Armory Emergency Shelter in Santa Ana early, providing up to 200 beds for individuals experiencing homelessness more than a month earlier than usual.
The shelter at the California National Guard Armory in Santa Ana (612 E. Warner Ave.) opened on October 30, 2017. The shelter at the California National Guard Armory in Fullerton (400 S. Brookhurst) will open on December 1, 2017, consistent with previous years. (The California National Guard informed the County of construction delays due to the deployment of soldiers to assist in the October Northern California fires, pushing back the shelter’s opening from the originally announced day of November 16.) Both armory locations will shelter individuals this year. Families seeking shelter will be referred to family emergency shelter providers.
“The Armory Emergency Shelter Program is a vital link in our community’s efforts to take care of those who lack proper shelter at night and to provide needed services,” said County of Orange Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Michelle Steel, Second District Supervisor. “This program is possible due to the assistance of hundreds of volunteers from County agencies, churches and other community groups.”
The armory program, which typically runs December through April, provides shelter along with a nutritious meal, warm shower, a safe place to sleep, warm clothes and a wide variety of supportive services. The following agencies provide on-site services aimed at breaking the cycle of homelessness and moving individuals to self-sufficiency and independent living: Orange County Health Care Agency, Orange County Social Services Agency, Mental Health Association of Orange County, Public Law Center, 2-1-1 Orange County, Orange County Rescue Mission and many others. Donations from other non-profit organizations, churches and individuals add to the available resources to make this program a success.
“Extending the opening time of the armory further expands the County’s ability to link individuals to the system of care, expanding the safety net for those seeking assistance in Orange County,” said Susan Price, Director of Care Coordination for the County of Orange. “The seasonal armory is a critical resource and the County will continue to seek these opportunities to provide additional connections to address homelessness.”
The early opening of the armory in Santa Ana is not expected to affect the armory closing date in April. The armory program is operated by Mercy House through a contract and funding by the County’s OC Community Resources department. Funding for the additional days of operation is allocated by the County.
Homelessness is a critical issue in Orange County and a priority to the Board of Supervisors. The Armory Emergency Shelter program is an important part of the County’s system of care that includes a wide range of services and strategies.
For further information on the Armory Emergency Shelter Program contact Mercy House at (714) 8367188 ext. 170. For volunteer information, contact (714) 836-7188 x137 or [email protected]
This article was released by the County of Orange.