featured graphic for Assemblymember Sharon Quirk-Silva

Assemblywoman Quirk-Silva presses for housing opportunities in North Orange County with Fullerton Armory re-opening

Assemblywoman Quirk-Silva (D – Orange County) announced that the Fullerton and Santa Ana Armories will re-open for the Winter Shelter Program (WSP) in agreement with the Army National Guard. The emergency homeless shelters will open earlier, beginning October 15, 2019 and remain open through April 15, 2020.  The Armories will provide much needed shelter to homeless individuals during the winter season.
 
Assemblywoman Quirk-Silva (D – Orange County) continues to combat the homelessness epidemic in Orange County.  The Orange County legislator’s priority remains the issue of housing and homelessness, Quirk-Silva sits as the Chair of the Orange County Chronic Homelessness Sub-Committee.  Along with her committee, she continues to work with local and county government and nonprofit leaders on innovative ways to resolve the housing and homelessness crisis plaguing Orange County.
 
“There is not a single solution to resolving the housing crisis in California.  But to make our solutions a reality it requires resources and coordination between all parties,” said Assemblywoman Quirk-Silva. “We must consider every approach in a comprehensive and compassionate manner, so we can improve the quality of life for Californians, and it starts with working alongside our local leaders.”
 
Additionally, the City of Buena Park recently broke ground on a new Navigation Center. This project is a collaborative effort by the cities in North Orange County Service Planning Area to assist transitioning homeless individuals.
 
“Homelessness knows no boundaries.  The City of Buena Park is proud to work with the State to accomplish our goals in North Orange County.  Cities working together to address collective issues is good government,” said James Vanderpool, Buena Park Assistant City Manager. “We are fortunate to receive funding and support from our State Legislators, City Council Members, and other local officials. By having state and local officials working together, we can accomplish so much.”
 
The announcement of the Fullerton Armory Winter Shelter Program comes as another accomplishment in the broad efforts spearheaded by Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva.  Her bills have emphasized the team driven effort in finding resolutions for the housing and homelessness epidemic not only in North Orange County, but statewide.
  • Assembly Bill 816 State Flexible Housing Program provides funds to cities; counties; and continuums of care, both private and public, to address the varied needs for California’s most vulnerable residents.  Pending the Governor’s signature, along with other bills focused on combatting homelessness and housing will receive $650,000,000 to support regional coordination to expand or develop local capacity to address the homeless challenges in California. Many of the key components of AB 816 were utilized in creating the standard for fund disbursement to cities, counties, and continuums of care when they apply for these funds. 
  • Assembly Bill 1295 Fairview Developmental Center will assist up to 200 individuals with severe mental illness in need of housing and supportive services by establishing a temporary mental health program at the Fairview Developmental Center. Furthermore, it has been earmarked to receive further funding from the California 2019/2020 State Budget.
  • Assembly Bill 139 Emergency and Transitional Housing updates California Housing Element law to assess homeless shelters based on the capacity necessary to accommodate the most recent homeless point-in-time count; the number of shelter beds available on a year-round and seasonal basis; the number of beds that go unused on an average monthly basis; and the percentage of those in emergency shelters that move to permanent housing. This bill will be heard in Senate Appropriations Committee on August 12th.
Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva continues to draft and work on legislation that has been improves the efforts of Orange County in responding to the housing and homelessness crisis.
 
This article was released by the Office of Assemblywoman Quirk-Silva.

1 Comment

  1. The planned reopening (for six months anyway) of the deeply flawed program shelter alternative at the Fullerton Armory in October, 2019 is proof that NO ONE in Fullerton’s Political establishment has credibly stepped up to confront the Homeless Crisis existing in Fullerton and the North Spa region of Orange County.

    The use of the Fullerton Armory as an alternative to an actual 24 hour / 365 day a year shelter is flawed for the following reasons:

    (1) It operates only for 5-6 months anyway. AS WE ALL KNOW / SEE EACH DAY THROUGHOUT FULLERTON the people the Armory Program seeks to serve DO NOT DISAPPEAR when it is closed.

    (2) Even when it is open, it kicks people out of the shelter each morning, at 5:30 AM, WHEN NOTHING ELSE IS OPEN, anyway. Again, these PEOPLE DO NOT DISAPPEAR when the Armory alternative to a real shelter closes each morning.

    (3) In years past, there were no credible medical services offered at the Armory. As such, it gained a reputation of forcing people who would sleep there to sleep in close proximity with people arriving visibly ill with the flu or worse and/or infested with pest. I myself have heard people, a la, Charles Dickens’ Christmas Carol swearing that “they would RATHER DIE than go back there.”

    (4) To sleep at the Armory has required “taking the bus” there each evening miles away from the Armory. The result has been asking those who would sleep at the Armory to part with the vast majority of their remaining possessions in order to sleep there.

    So asking people who’ve already lost virtually everything that they’ve had to give up virtually everything that they have left to sleep on _a mat_ next to people coming to the shelter visibly ill and infested with pests only to be kicked out of the shelter each morning at 5:30 AM into cold, dark NOTHINGNESS makes a mockery of anything resembling A SERIOUS PROGRAM to confront homelessness in Fullerton and the North SPA region.

    It seeks to simply punish and humiliate people experiencing homeless in our area and GUARANTEES that experiencing homelessness will resist being forced to go there.

    There are alternatives 24 hour alternatives, which provide effective medical response for those arriving at the shelter ill, that can be built both rapidly and even temporarily . The City of Anaheim, Paul Leon of the Illumination Foundation, and Bill Taormina proved that this last year with the Anaheim Way / La Mesa program.

    That pretty much the whole of Fullerton’s Political Establishment chooses to prefer to promote the deeply flawed Armory Program as an alternative to a true shelter is proof that they continue to consider the Homelessness Crisis in its midst AS A GAME.

    And until Fullerton’s Political Establishment changes this crisis will NOT GO AWAY as the people who are experiencing homelessness in our midst WILL NOT GO AWAY as they have NO PLACE TO GO.

    And this reality will not go away no matter how many words we employ to try to cover it up.

    Fr. Dennis Kriz, OSM, Pastor, St. Philip Benizi Catholic Church.

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