SANTA ANA : Service Center Gets Temporary Quarters

Officials at the Neighborhood Service Center are breathing a sigh of relief this week.

The center, which serves the Minnie Street neighborhood in the southeast section of the city, has found a temporary location where staff will continue to provide emergency food and clothing, counseling, medical referrals and literacy classes to an estimated 12,000 Latino and Cambodian residents.

The Santa Ana Unified School District has agreed to rent the center five portable classrooms next to Roosevelt Elementary School at Camille Street and Standard Avenue for six weeks.

The center was evicted on June 17 from a church it had been renting on Standard Avenue when church officials said they needed the site for a new congregation.


Since receiving notice April 30, the center’s executive director, Mary Ann Salamida, had been searching for a new facility and feared that the center would have to discontinue services temporarily, possibly jeopardizing its state and local funding.

Salamida said she hopes the six weeks in the portable classrooms will provide her with enough time to find a permanent location.

“This has been a big help,” Salamida said. “We had no site up until last week. The district really came through in an emergency.”

Mike Vail, the district’s senior director of facilities, said the classrooms will be vacant for part of the summer. They had previously been occupied by an overflow of students from Roosevelt who have since been sent to newly opened Kennedy Elementary School. In the fall, students from Franklin Elementary School will move into the portable classrooms while their school undergoes remodeling.

“It’s a unique situation that we would have the classrooms empty this summer,” Vail said. Salamida “noticed that they weren’t being used and approached us about renting them on a temporary basis.”

The center will pay $50 a day for the five classrooms. Vail said the charge covers electrical and maintenance costs.