SANTA ANA : Mercy House Plans to Expand Men's Shelter

Mercy House Transitional Living Centers has purchased four apartment units and will expand its men's facility early next year.

The current facility, Joseph House, serves 11 single men.

By February, Mercy House plans to vacate the present facility and open a new one serving about 20 men in the newly purchased apartment units, said Larry Haynes, the nonprofit corporation's executive director.

Haynes said Joseph House doesn't meet the need in Orange County. "I must turn down two dozen men a day for our services," he said.

Joseph House provides rooms for homeless men for up to two years. The men do not pay rent, but $150 per month is requested, in part to teach responsibility, Haynes said.

Joseph House also offers job and social counseling.

The new Joseph House, about half a block away from the current men's home, cost $210,000 and was paid for with a combination of public and private money.

Regina House, also run by Mercy House, is in the same area and serves seven single women and their children, who number about a dozen.

Regina House opened in April 1994 and is noted for the unusually high level of support it has garnered from members of the surrounding French Court neighborhood.

The Joseph House expansion has garnered that same support.

"Mercy House has a proven track record," said Edward McKie, president of the French Court Neighborhood Assn.

"Larry Haynes has always made the safety of his neighbors and his tenants a priority."

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