(Kevin Ley / Sarah Wolstoncroft)
Mercy House Living Centers and seven other nonprofit organizations attended Fullerton’s Community Development Citizens’ Committee (CDCC) Monday night seeking community development block grants for programs.
Mercy House requested funding for its property on Kraemer Place in Anaheim where it plans to develop a year-round homeless shelter.
Mercy House representative Andrea Garcia said funding the development is important for the city of Fullerton because it provides a year-round alternative to the armory programs, which only provide shelter in the coldest winter months. Garcia said it also helps provide resources for homeless clients beyond just offering food and a warm place to sleep.
Committee members questioned if Fullerton was the only city footing the bill for homeless issues that they said are a wider Orange County problem.
“I’m not opposed in any way to helping the homeless, but there are cities that have resources as well. Fullerton gets asked for a lot, so I would really please ask you to go to Buena Park and Placentia and Yorba Linda and ask them,” said Committee Chair Elizabeth Hansburg. “Personally, I am very much in favor of helping them, but I also think this needs to be a county-wide effort.”
Garcia said that Mercy House has reached out to Tustin and Anaheim. She said Santa Ana will also be providing partial funding. When asked if the organization has asked for help from Brea, Placentia or La Habra, Garcia said they have not.
“I’m concerned because Anaheim and Fullerton both gave half a million dollars to the effort.” said Hansburg. “We gave the money to the county to buy the property and our city money is so tight and we have groups here we want to help.”
Other organizations seeking funding were Solidarity, StandUp for Kids Orange County, Young Leaders of Orange County, YMCA of Orange County, Young Lives Redeemed, Pathways of Hope and Meals on Wheels of Fullerton.
The requested funds are for the 2017-2018 fiscal year and the CDCC will later make recommendations for funding to the city council.