Huntington Beach

Idea for emergency shelter tabled

THIS LOCATION at 17631 Cameron Lane was approved for a temporary homeless shelter in April by the Huntington Beach City Council. However, progress has been slow, and an emergency shelter was proposed at Monday night’s council meeting (Copyright 2020 Google).

A proposal to explore creating an emergency shelter for homeless at the city yard was tabled for two weeks by the Huntington Beach City Council at its meeting Monday night.

The council voted 5-2 in favor of taking no action on the idea, with Mayor Lyn Semeta and Councilmember Erik Peterson voting against. The matter could be brought up again in two weeks.

Peterson originated the item out of frustration with a previous decision in April to establish a shelter on Cameron Lane that was said to take six to eight weeks to be operational.

“We were promised timelines and those have come and gone,” said Peterson. “We have to have something right now.” He suggested that construction trailers be used for temporary housing. “We can do it.” The city yard is located on Gothard Street between Slater and Warner avenues.

But Councilmember Barbara Delgleize angrily tore into Peterson. “This was a very irresponsible item to bring forward,” she said. “Mr. Peterson, you have voted no every time we want to have a shelter or have anything to do with homelessness.” Exploring a temporary location would divert efforts and attention from the Cameron Lane project, she felt.

She went on to give a critique of what she felt was a foul mood in Surf City.

“All I’ve seen in the last six months is people biting each other’s heads off,” she said angrily.

She acknowledged that the shelter on Cameron was not on schedule. “This is taking so much longer,” she added, “but we are getting so much more.”

Councilman Patrick Brenden noted that all other suggested locations – except for Cameron Lane – had brought out angry protests from members of the public. “Why does it always have to be a bloody fight?”

The shelter currently in development is located east of Beach Boulevard between Talbert and Slater avenues, near Huntington Beach Hospital. The county will reimburse the city for the $2 million cost of establishing the facility.

 

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