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Larger homeless shelter open

About 30 people can get nightly housing in facility with showers, a small kitchen and storage.

June 18, 2010
  • New alternative sleeping location for homeless in Laguna Canyon.
New alternative sleeping location for homeless in Laguna… (DON LEACH, COASTLINE…)

The relocated Laguna Beach emergency homeless shelter, or Alternative Sleeping Location, began accepting lodgers Tuesday, according to city officials.

The nightly shelter at 20652 Laguna Canyon Road replaces the temporary facility that has been in place since November at the ACT V parking lot at 1900 Laguna Canyon Road. The new facility is between the Dog Park and the Pacific Marine Mammal Center.

Homeless people will be picked up at the city bus depot on Broadway beginning at 6 p.m. and transported by van to the new shelter, which is about a mile farther up the canyon from the former shelter site.

The new facility is about 700 square feet larger, and will provide nightly housing to about 30 people, according to Laguna Beach Assistant City Manager John Pietig. The city is accepting only "local" homeless people, while those from out of the area are permitted one night's stay and are given assistance to find shelter elsewhere.

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The ACT V facility was a large room, but the new facility will have showers, a small kitchen, a storage area, an office for case managers to work with the homeless and a computer room to assist homeless in finding jobs and services, according to a city staff report.

The additional facilities will be provided through a $65,000 gift from the Laguna Relief & Resource Coalition, which has been providing emergency food and services to needy families and homeless individuals for many years.

The new facility will cost the city about $20,000 a month to operate, about $3,000 less than the former site, according to city staff. The city also spent $45,000 to buy a 15-seat van for transportation; and $153,000 in set-up costs.

The Resource Coalition plans to move to 20652 Laguna Canyon Road in the future and is seeking volunteers to provide daily services at the site. The Planning Commission last week approved a conditional use permit for the coalition to use a building at the site that it is leasing from the city.

The center needs drivers to work three shifts, from 10 a.m. to noon, 2 to 3:30 p.m. and 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. daily, to carry homeless people from the bus depot to the new center. Other helpers are also needed from 8 a.m. to noon and noon to 2 p.m. the weekdays. For more information contact JFulton908@aol.com or Faye Chapman at (949) 280-2885.

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