Churches could be asked to shelter the homeless at night, but reportedly find it difficult if not impossible to provide a daytime site, officials said.
Hano prefers the area behind City Hall. He also believes that personal and hygienic services are essential to the success of any site.
“I believe no bare-bones shelter is likely to be used and if it isn’t used, we have failed,” Hano said. “Meals, storage for belongings and showers are non-negotiable for me.”
Lockers or duffel bags to be checked in and out, limited in number and size, as well as meals served at a city-sponsored location (not Heisler Park), and showers (not on Main Beach), were included on the committee’s list of recommendations — all believed to be ways to entice the homeless out of parks and off beaches.
The committee would prefer the shelter to be open all hours; barring that, it wants it open more than just from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. so services could be provided.
If the original site by the Digester, which could not be used for round-the-clock operations, is selected, the committee recommended opening it at 7 p.m. to avoid conflict with tourist attracting activities at the Laguna Playhouse and on the Festival of Arts Grounds. Playhouse and festival officials opposed the parking lot site.
The committee said the site should have temporary box planting to screen it.
Supervision of the site is high on the committee’s list. The feeling is that the homeless have to feel safe, otherwise they won’t use the shelter. A site supervisor should have a separate accommodation, perhaps a shed, but be inside, not outside the site, which might be fenced off or at least screened by planting.
The accommodation might include baskets or lockers to store sleeping bags, etc.