Partner for navigation shelter?

WESTMINSTER may join with Fountain Valley and Garden Grove for a “navigation center” for the homeless (Shutterstock).

Another step forward in the creation of a shelter and services facility for the homeless could be taken Wednesday night by the Westminster City Council.

On the agenda is a “memorandum of understanding” with the cities of Garden Grove and Fountain Valley to explore the establishment of a “navigation center” that would serve the unsheltered of the three cities.

The Garden Grove City Council approved the MOU at its meeting last week, and the Fountain Valley City Council will take up the matter when it meets on Tuesday.

Typically, a navigation center – such as one in operation now in Huntington Beach – includes not just beds and sanitary facilities for the homeless, but also mental and physical health resources and employment assistance.

Having a shelter for the unhoused is considered crucial to addressing public concerns about the spread of homelessness and the problems that it causes. Generally speaking, it’s not illegal to be without a home and that such transients can’t be arrested and jailed unless there’s a place for them to reside, even on a temporary basis.

No specific location has been identified, but at last week’s council meeting, Garden Grove officials referred to the industrial area northwest of Westminster Avenue and Harbor Boulevard as a possibility.

Also on the agenda for Wednesday’s meeting are resolutions amending compensation plans for several employee groups and a proposed policy governing the use of translators during public comments at council meetings.

The council will convene in person with a closed session at 5 p.m. and an open session at 7 p.m.

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