100 Homeless Are Off The Streets Into Their New Homes
A federal government grant has allowed 44 homeless people, who used to sleep at an overnight shelter in Laguna Canyon, to have permanent homes.Advertisement
The project, undertaken by five social service agencies, has provided apartments to the 44 of 100 adults throughout Orange County. One such example is the Laguna Beach based Friendship Shelter, which was able to acquire a grant worth $2.5 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The success of the project can be attributed to the combined efforts of Friendship Shelter, Mercy House, Collette’s Children’s Home in Huntington Beach, Santa Ana-based Orangewood Foundation and Costa Mesa-based Share Our Selves. As reported by the Los Angeles Times, permanent housing was located by Jamboree.
Speaking during a news conference, Executive Director of Mercy House, Larry Haynes, said, “We have taken over 100 people off the streets. This is an exciting day for Orange County.”
Friendship Shelter, on the Laguna Canyon Road, can house 45 people a night. Speaking about the housing arrangements, Executive Director Dawn Price said, “The most vulnerable are housed first. These people impact the community the most, especially in terms of emergency room [visits] and jails. So taking them into their own home relieves a burden on the communities we serve.”
The National Alliance to End Homelessness’ website notes that homelessness can prove to be costly – especially with factors like medical treatment, hospitalization, incarceration, emergency shelter expenses and police intervention taken into account – for municipalities and taxpayers.
The website also highlights that, according to University of Texas researchers, the cost that one homeless person can have on taxpayers amounts to $14,480 a year, principally for overnight jail stays.
Getting a housing arrangement has been known to impact the previously homeless positively. “We do find that once they have housing, they want to address other hurdles such as mental health, addictions,” Price said. Friendship Shelter officials note that rents for studio and one-bedroom apartments can be anywhere from $1,161 to $1,324.
The 44 people have been provided apartments in Laguna Woods, Laguna Niguel, San Clemente and Dana Point.