The Orange County Register, Sept 29, 2015
BY ART MARROQUIN / STAFF WRITER
ANAHEIM – Supporters and opponents of a proposed homeless shelter in Anaheim will have their chance to sound off during a community forum set for 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept 30, at Eastside Christian Church.
Orange County officials are scheduled to explain how a year-round shelter with 200 beds would be operated if it opens inside a vacant warehouse at 1000 N. Kraemer Place, in a largely industrial area along the 91 freeway.
No formal votes will be taken during the meeting, which will also cover a proposed security plan for the shelter, said Anaheim police Sgt. Daron Wyatt.
Business owners and residents opposed to the shelter have organized a group that says a homeless shelter would lead to decreased property values and increased crime in the area. Others have said the shelter is not part of the city’s plan to attract high-tech businesses into the Anaheim Canyon neighborhood.
“This not only damages our investment, but it damages our ability to bring high-paying jobs to the community,” said Don Dormeyer, who has operated his Red Gum Creative Campus film-production facility for seven years near the proposed shelter site.
“If it’s not going to affect anybody, then let’s put this shelter next to Disneyland,” Dormeyer said. “I want to help the homeless, but the county should build small shelters where they live and not a huge jail without bars.”
County officials are expected to close the $4.2 million purchase of the warehouse by the end of October with the property’s current owner, Hico Kraemer LLC, which is part of the Hiji Bros. ranching empire in Oxnard. The cities of Fullerton and Anaheim would each contribute $500,000 to help pay for the 1.87-acre site.
The county Board of Supervisors could decide as soon as November whether to convert the warehouse into a homeless shelter, equipped with a multi-service center that would assist occupants with health, employment, housing and other services.
“There have been several locations recommended around the county, but this is the best I’ve seen yet,” said Rusty Kennedy, chief executive officer of OC Human Relations.
“It’s not close to any homes or schools and would be located in an industrial area that will not affect too many businesses,” Kennedy said. “Unfortunately, people’s fears get the best of them and they go ballistic to keep homeless shelters out of their neighborhoods.”
Meeting for proposed shelter
When: 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept 30
Where: Eastside Christian Church, 3330 E Miraloma Ave., Anaheim