Proposed Santa Ana Homeless Shelter Lease Would Cost Taxpayers $62,000 per Month

February 26, 2021 Updated: February 28, 2021

Santa Ana city council will vote March 2 on whether to approve a lease contract for a new homeless navigation center that would cost almost $62,000 per month in rent.

If approved, the agreement would provide the city with a 29,503-square-foot, two-story building for 15 years. The 200-bed facility could open as early as April 31.

Construction for the shelter began last October.

Terms include a $61,666 monthly lease with an annual rent adjustment of three percent. The city would have the option to buy the facility during its second year of operations.

Paul Eakins, public information officer for Santa Ana, told The Epoch Times that the goal of the shelter is to help the city’s worsening homeless population in the long term.

“We recognize that we have a role to play to help alleviate the homelessness crisis in Santa Ana,” Eakins said.

“The shelter will offer a range of services there, and that’s why it’s called the homeless navigation center, [because] it’s not just a shelter. It’s providing services and will help people to move out of the shelter and into permanent housing and help getting the job resources and social services that they need.”

Santa Ana was originally contracted with the Illumination Foundation, an organization that seeks to end homelessness. The contract was terminated by the city due to escalating costs.

Eakins said the navigation center will likely offer meals and mental health services, though services such as those will all be worked out in the new contract once they find a new operator.

The city’s contact with the Illumination Foundation offered medical care, dental care, behavioral health assistance, and social workers to those needing the services.

“There’s going to be a new operator of the navigation center, so obviously all the services that are provided will have to be determined in that new contract that will be coming forward, and that process is still beginning since we haven’t chosen a contractor yet,” he said.

The shelter is located at 1815 Carnegie Avenue on a 1.7-acre property.

Santa Ana had about 1,770 homeless individuals during the county’s 2019 Point in Time count.

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