Huntington Beach

“Healing Center” advances

PLANS for a permanent “Healing Center” with services for the homeless advanced at Tuesday’s meeting of the Huntington Beach City Council (Shutterstock).

By Jim Tortolano/Orange County Tribune

A major step toward creating a permanent facility with services for the homeless was taken by the Huntington Beach City Council on Tuesday night.

On a 7-0 vote, the council approved moving forward for plans for a “Healing Center” that would replace the temporary Navigation Center on Beach Boulevard.

The council backed an exclusive negotiating agreement for the development of the new facility with Jamboree Housing Corporation for a 1.6-acre site at 17642 Beach Blvd., where the temporary Navigation Center for the homeless is now located.

What’s proposed is a mixed-use development consisting of a permanent homeless shelter, a sobering shelter, support services (physical and behavioral health care, housing navigation and employment) and low-income housing at various income levels.

“The homelessness problem will never be solved without addressing the underlying issues,” said Ursula Luna-Reynosa, community development director.

Partnering with Jamboree would be Mercy House, which operates homeless shelters, and Be Well, a behavioral health treatment and services organization.

Also on Tuesday night, the council received a report on recommendations from its Charter Revision Committee to change the positions of city attorney, city clerk and city treasurer – currently elected by voters – to appointed positions filled by appointment by the city council.

No action was taken by the council Tuesday night on the recommendations. Any changes in the charter would have to be approved by voters.

The next meeting of the council is set for Tuesday, June 21.

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