The Navigation Center, at 3535 W. Commonwealth Ave., held a grand opening ceremony April 8. It has an additional 60 beds for adults recovering from surgery and other critical hospital care.
The shelter will be run by the Illumination Foundation, a nonprofit regional homeless services provider.
“Until COVID-19 became an issue and our economy began to unravel, it may have seemed easier to think that homeless people needed to be handled by someone else,” Paul Leon, chief executive of Illumination Foundation, said in a press release.
“Now, that sense of vulnerability and a feeling of grappling with the unknown is palpable to a much larger percentage of Americans. We all understand now that extreme economic hardship resulting in homelessness could happen to just about anyone.”
Illumination Foundation will provide in-house support services to help homeless people transition back into permanent housing.
“This is a transformational undertaking in our efforts to address the homeless situation here in Fullerton and Orange County,” Councilman Jesus Silva said in a press release. “We are thankful to Illumination Foundation for their partnership in providing humane and dignified services to those in our community who need it the most.”
The facility includes full-scale laundry rooms, restrooms, and shower facilities. There’s also a full-service kitchen and dining area. There are computer stations to conduct workforce training programs and for general use.
Private rooms are available if needed for isolation or quarantine.
There’s a large outdoor area that includes a garden, a workout area, a dog run, and protected kennels for pets while clients are working offsite.
Resources for the project are provided by the City of Fullerton, Illumination Foundation, the State of California, the County of Orange, CalOptima, and a private individual who purchased the building for the cause.