Council Oks nav center pact

THE WESTMINSTER CITY COUNCIL has approved a plan to join with Garden Grove and Fountain Valley to establish a “navigation center” to serve the homeless (Shutterstock).

The City of Westminster is now officially on board with a three-city effort to create a “navigation” center to shelter and serve the homeless.

At Wednesday night’ s meeting the city council voted 5-0 to approve a memorandum of understanding with Garden Grove and Fountain Valley to develop the project.

“This is really exciting,” said Vice Mayor Carlos Manzo. “I’m glad that every single [council] member has the same concerns. I’m really looking forward to getting something done to address homelessness.”

A navigation center generally includes some housing for the unsheltered as well as other services for mental and physical health and employment.

“It is a shelter, but not long-term,” said Police Chief Darin Lenyi. “They try to navigate a person to no longer be homeless.”

There’s no set location determined, although Garden Grove – which approved the memorandum at its last meeting – has been concentrating a real estate “hunt” in an industrial area northwest of Harbor Boulevard and Westminster Avenue.

City Manager Christine Cordon cautioned that the process of establishing such a facility “will take some time.” She noted that a preliminary agreement has been reached with the County of Orange to help construct and operate a navigation center for a 10-year-period.

The council took the occasion to heap praise on Cordon, who came to Westminster as city clerk and was promoted to the post of interim city manager before taking her current post.

“We’ve talked about this in the past,” said Councilmember Tai Do, but it ultimately became “just a wish” under previous management. “I’d like to thank the leadership of the city manager for [being able] to go out and accomplish something.”

“We’re definitely serious about this,” said Cordon.


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