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Central Cities Navigation Center to support clients in ‘journeys to stability and independence’

The Central Cities Navigation Center in the city of Garden Grove.
The Central Cities Navigation Center in the city of Garden Grove. The center is being shared between the cities of Fountain Valley, Garden Grove and Westminster.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)
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The wait is over for the communities of Fountain Valley, Garden Grove and Westminster, as the Central Cities Navigation Center is ready to address the needs of their unhoused populations.

A partnership between the cities and the county of Orange, the facility will provide a total of 85 shelter beds. It has a capacity to accommodate up to 100 beds.

Local officials gathered to celebrate the completion of the project with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday.

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Local mayors, city officials, andO.C. supervisors stand at a ribbon-cutting in Garden Grove.
Local mayors, city officials and Orange County supervisors stand for a ribbon-cutting ceremonial picture for the new Central Cities Navigation Center in Garden Grove.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

Tours were given of the facility, which is located at 13871 West St. in Garden Grove. It sits on a lot of 18,166 square feet, the primary structure covering 11,363 square feet of the property.

“The Central Cities Navigation Center is the shining star of Garden Grove’s many extraordinary efforts to overcome homelessness,” Garden Grove Mayor Steve Jones said. “This new 100-bed facility provides crucial resources for those seeking the stability of housing, gaining employment and personal health and wellness.”

Volunteers of America Los Angeles will serve as operators of the center, which will operate at all hours. Those who enter the shelter may stay for up to 120 days. It is open exclusively to adults, with accommodations for men, women and couples.

Program manager Jordan Silveira gives a tour of the couples dormitory at the Central Cities Navigation Center.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

An individual may enter the shelter with a referral from a designated police department division or through the cities’ street outreach service providers, as no walk-ins will be accepted. There is also a bed reservation system. Clients must have homelessness verification and ties to one of the cities with dedicated beds.

Garden Grove will have access to 58 beds, followed by Westminster with 22 beds, and then Fountain Valley with 13 beds. There are 55 beds in the men’s dormitory, 22 beds for women, and six beds for couples.

Orange County released its Point-In-Time Count in May, the numbers showing that the county had a total of 7,322 individuals experiencing homelessness. The count included 4,173 unsheltered individuals.

The new Central Cities Navigation Center in the city of Garden Grove.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

“The opening of the center will support the 565 individuals counted during the 2024 Point-In-Time Count within these three cities,” O.C. Supervisor Vicente Sarmiento said. “The county of Orange is a proud partner and provided over $11 million to assist in the construction of the shelter and operational funding for the first 10 years of the center’s operations.

“The creation of this navigation center is a significant step in our collective efforts that not only benefits the tri-cities, but also has a profound impact on central Orange County by relieving the regional navigation center, Yale, which is housed in Santa Ana.”

Individuals sheltered at the center will receive three meals per day, the food being provided by Bracken’s Kitchen. The center has laundry facilities and storage space for two bags of each individual’s personal belongings. Clients may also bring a support animal upon intake, dependent on capacity.

Receptionist Lilly Montes at the new Central Cities Navigation Center in Garden Grove.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

Drugs and weapons are not permitted on the premises.

Among the services provided at the center, individuals may receive case management, mental health and substance use stabilization, and education and employment assistance.

City officials back City Net outreach and engagement services in update, await Fountain Valley’s first dedicated shelter beds when Central Cities Navigation Center opens.

Nov. 11, 2023

“To those who will be served by the center, know that you’re not alone,” Fountain Valley Mayor Glenn Grandis said. “Our community stands with you, ready to support you on your journeys to stability and independence. We believe in your strength and your resilience, and we’ll be with you on your journey to self-sufficiency.”

Fountain Valley Mayor Glenn Grandis speaks at the ribbon-cutting for the Central Cities Navigation Center in Garden Grove.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

Westminster Mayor Chi Charlie Nguyen called the new shelter “a symbol of collaboration, compassion, empathy and determination.” He further called for a recognition of all parties that played a part in making the shelter a reality.

“Even though the county, the Board of Supervisors, we support these navigation centers, the hard work is with the cities,” O.C. Supervisor Andrew Do said. “It is to locate these navigation centers, to win over your neighborhood, your neighbors, and then to get collaboration — to work with law enforcement, to work out an operational plan, complex issues that have to be worked out.

“[It is] more than just money. That’s just something that makes it easier to achieve, but the hard work is with cities. ... I applaud the work of all of the three cities, especially the city of Garden Grove to step up, take the lead, and say, ‘We don’t mind having it here in our city.’”

Orange County Supervisor Andrew Do speaks at the ribbon-cutting for the Central Cities Navigation Center in Garden Grove.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)
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