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Winter emergency shelter opens for homeless people in Orange County

The cold weather emergency shelter program for homeless people in Orange County was scheduled to begin operating Monday night, Feb. 8, inside a converted Salvation Army thrift store in Santa Ana.

Up to 70 adults, 18 and older, can escape inclement weather by securing a place to sleep on a nightly basis at the shelter in the 2600 block of First Street.

But, as has been required in recent years, no walk-ups are permitted; people must be picked up by shuttle between the hours of 4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. at specific locations in Santa Ana and will be transported back to those locations in the morning between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m.

Anyone staying at the shelter also will be required to follow health and safety measures put in place – wearing a mask and maintaining a distance of 6 feet from others –and to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

A sleeping mat, blanket, warm meal and the availability of a shower are part of the services to be provided by program manager City Net, a nonprofit homeless services provider. Weapons, drugs and alcohol are not permitted in or around the site.

The three shuttle pickup times and locations:

For more information, call 949-988-1239.

The cold weather accommodation is opening later in the winter and on a smaller scale than in past years when the county contracted with the California National Guard to use two of its facilities – in Santa Ana and Fullerton – that could sleep about 200 people each. Uncertainty over the availability of the military facilities and the opening over the past year of new longer-term shelters around the county prompted the change, county officials said.

The store was first pressed into service in March to temporarily house homeless people when the governor called up the National Guard to help deal with food distribution and other pandemic-related services.

Source: Orange County Register

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