Orange County renews Courtyard homeless shelter contract amid praise and complai…


Orange County’s first year-round homeless shelter is preparing to enter its second year of service. And amid both praise and complaints from the more than 400 people who call The Courtyard home, county supervisors have renewed a contract to continue to operate the Santa Ana space.

The Board of Supervisors voted unanimously on Tuesday, Sept. 12 to have The Midnight Mission, a Los-Angeles based nonprofit, continue to manage day-to-day operations of the shelter, at 400 W. Santa Ana Blvd.

Since The Courtyard opened Oct. 5, 2016, more than 140 of its residents have been moved into more permanent housing, according to county staff. As many as 730 people enter the former bus terminal daily to seek food, showers, and access to social services. Upward of 416 people sleep there at night.

And the number of people living in and around the Santa Ana Civic Center – which numbered 461 before the shelter’s opening – has dropped substantially during the past year.

Several Courtyard residents spoke at Tuesday’s meeting, extolling the shelter’s benefits and thanking supervisors for opening it.

“I had been out on the street before that … I was broken when I showed up there,” said Randy Arguelles, a former commercial trucker who now lives in the Courtyard. “I’m just a man trying to get back on my feet. I think that place is a miracle.”

Other Courtyard residents and homeless advocates told supervisors that The Midnight Mission was doing a poor job of running the shelter, saying staff members verbally abused homeless people and that residents suffer from the shelter’s unsanitary conditions.

“They don’t want to be kind, they don’t want to be courteous,” said Adrian Gomez, who said she had been living in the shelter for a few months. “They don’t give a damn if you try and get better.”

But some Courtyard residents defended the shelter’s workers, saying they are polite and that the only people who had problems with staff were the ones causing trouble.

The Midnight Mission did not immediately return calls for comment.

The county will pay The Midnight Mission $1.65 million to operate the shelter through Sept. 2018.



Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *