Huntington Beach holds ribbon cutting for new homeless Navigation Center
The city of Huntington Beach held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its new homeless Navigation Center on Monday, after years of trying to find the right site and hammering out details.
The Navigation Center, located on adjacent lots at 17642 Beach Boulevard and 17631 Cameron Lane, will provide up to 174 shelter beds for adults, and will also facilitate additional case management and support services. It is expected to open by the end of November.
“During the past five years, addressing homeless related issues has been a top priority at the city,” Huntington Beach Mayor Lyn Semeta said in a statement. “Establishing a Navigation Center here in Huntington Beach provides us with a critical tool to help our most vulnerable adults, while facilitating an improved quality of life for everyone in Surf City.”
Those staying at the temporary shelter are expected to have access to services including vocational training, mental health treatment and transportation to necessary appointments.
Walk-ins will not be accepted; clients must be referred to the Navigation Center through Huntington Beach’s homeless outreach partners.
Mercy House, which the city contracted with to operate the facility, will provide on-site security. Access will only be allowed off Beach Boulevard, a move designed to limit the impact to residents of Cameron Lane.
“We are amazed at the speed and urgency that the city displayed in building the Navigation Center,” Mercy House Executive Director Larry Haynes said in a statement. “It was a remarkable project that converted vacant land into a comprehensive shelter that Mercy House is proud to operate, and we believe our services will truly benefit the entire Huntington Beach community.”
Michelle Steel, chairwoman of the Orange County Board of Supervisors, also attended Monday’s ribbon cutting.
Huntington Beach considered 35 different shelter sites over the last several years, City Manager Oliver Chi said in an August presentation to the City Council. A structure at 15311 Pipelane Lane fell through last year after residents and businesses sued the city, saying the property should only be used for industrial use.
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