UPDATE, FEB. 3, 10:18 A.M.: Before the weekend rains, the Orange County Board of Supervisors approved providing emergency shelter beds at the unused Santa Ana Transit Terminal. The board gave the go-ahead Friday after receiving the blessings of the Orange County Transportation Authority, which oversees the terminal, and the Federal Transit Administration, whose approval was required. Supervisor Shawn Nelson, who had asked in December for rainy season shelter options, expressed frustration with what seemed to be a long approval process. “Getting someone into a shelter three weeks after it rains doesn’t help anybody and it took longer than it should,” the Fourth District supervisor says in a statement, “but we were able to advance the timeline and get it done,” the Fourth District supervisor says in a statement.
ORIGINAL POST, JAN. 29, 6:03 A.M.: All that wrangling over where Orange County would build its much needed homeless shelter—which had inland cities swatting the very idea back and forth over one another’s borders like table tennis players—sure seems especially cruel now given the drop in temperatures and rain storm on the way.
A little more compassion may have had the facility open by now … and yes, I would have been fine putting in next door to my own house, especially since it would have run out the pot-bellied rummy who insists on taking his trash out shirtless.
The county Board of Supervisors, which tried and tried to get a shelter open by now, is displaying more compassion, or at least it has an opportunity to this afternoon.
That’s when an emergency meeting will be held to consider leasing the Santa Ana Transit Terminal as an emergency shelter for the homeless, especially during El Nino weather conditions.
The only item before the board at its 3 p.m. meeting at the Hall of Administration, the lease with the Orange County Transit Authority would cost $11,615 per month over a five-month term, according to the County Executive Office.
That would peg the total cost to taxpayers at $58,075 for the lease at 400 W. Santa Ana Boulevard, Santa Ana.
OC Weekly Editor-in-Chief Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the alternative newsweekly’s first calendar editor.