With the brrrrr factor up overnight, the County of Orange has kick started the Armory Emergency Shelter Program that provides up to 400 beds for homeless families and individuals. Not to mention a nutritious meal, warm shower, safe place to sleep, warm clothes and various support services. The National Guard Armory in Fullerton opens Thursday. It's Santa Ana counterpart won't open until Saturday but, starting Thursday, transportation will be provided from Santa Ana to Fullerton.
The program is staffed mostly by hundreds of volunteers from churches, county agencies and other community groups. Among those providing assistance are: Orange County Health Care Agency; Orange County Social Services Agency; Mental Health Association of Orange County; Public Law Center; 2-1-1 Orange County; Orange County Rescue Mission; and Veteran's First.
Donations from individuals, churches and other non-profits help keep the program going (and are always appreciated). In fact, Mercy House, which operates the program through a contract with the county's Community Services department, has an Armory Wish List of items needed. These include: shampoo, conditioner, t-shirts, soap, sweatshirts, laundry detergent, socks, deodorant, Purell, diapers (like Pull-Ups), gloves, baby wipes, warm clothing, razors, shaving cream, cologne, combs, hair brushes, dental floss, mouthwash, bandages, body lotion and feminine hygiene products.
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Mercy House notes in capital letters: FOOD. And, of course, charitable donations of money and gift cards are always appreciated. To help or to receive more information, contact Mercy House at 714.836.7188 ext. 131, or visit www.mercyhouse.net.