Voice of OC
By Brandon Pho
The nonprofit Mercy House will operate Buena Park’s new $2.6 million regional homeless shelter, though there’s scrutiny over an apparent lack of public input when a select committee of public officials and homelessness experts recommended their preferred contractor to the City Council.
City staff indicated for months they were looking at modeling the year-round, 150-bed shelter at 6490 Caballero Boulevard after the Bridges at Kraemer Place shelter in Anaheim which also is operated by Mercy House. At the same time, staff maintained they were not exclusively looking at hiring Mercy House.
Meanwhile, the nonprofit’s associate director, Patti Long, sat next to city officials and helped answer questions during two different public forums with residents, which were held over the course of the last few months to discuss the shelter.
Buena Park city staff estimate the Caballero Boulevard shelter will open by 2020. Mercy House operates three other emergency homeless shelters in the county, as well as two emergency shelter programs that run during the winter months at the National Guard armories in Fullerton and Santa Ana.