Huntington Beach

174-bed homeless shelter OK’d

A 174-BED homeless shelter was approved by the Huntington Beach City Council on Monday night (Shutterstock).

The creation of a 174-bed homeless shelter set to open by the first week in November was approved Monday night by the Huntington Beach City Council on a 6-0 vote with Councilmember Erik Peterson absent.

To accommodate the required 60 percent of the estimated 289 unsheltered persons, the shelter will be expanded from its original 40-bed plan.

“Without a shelter,” said City Manager Oliver Chi. “you really cannot enforce our quality of life issues, our anti-camping and anti-loitering laws.”

What the council approved include not just the original site on Cameron Lane but also a lease for an adjacent site on Beach Boulevard. The shelter generally would be located east of Beach and north of Talbert Avenue, near the Huntington Beach Hospital. Eventually, the city intends to purchase the parcel at 17642 Beach

The council also approved a contract with Mercy House to operate the facility at a first-year cost of $2,596,240.

Funds for the project will come – in part – from county and state agencies utilizing COVID-19 response funds and allocation of housing funds for low and moderate-income residents. The shelter will also include a variety of social services to provide assistance to the people staying there.

Also on Monday night, the council approved on a 6-0 vote (with Peterson absent) the temporary closure of the third block of Main Street to vehicular traffic to permit restaurants and select retail businesses to serve patrons in the public right of way.

The next council meeting is scheduled for Monday, Aug. 17 at 4 p.m.

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