On Friday, April 5, 2019 the City of Costa Mesa officially opened a 50-bed temporary bridge shelter on a portion of the property located at 1885 Anaheim Avenue. The new bridge shelter basically expands what was an already existing inclement weather shelter into a reservation-based, high-security temporary solution to offer shelter beds to those in need.
The temporary bridge shelter is run by a combination of city outreach staff and staff from Mercy House, an experienced, well-respected operator. If you have questions for Mercy House about the Costa Mesa Bridge Shelter please call 714-836-7188 ext. 222 or e-mail CostaMesaBridge@mercyhouse.net.
A lawsuit was filed against the cities of Costa Mesa, Anaheim, Orange, Santa Ana and the County of Orange regarding the scheduled removal of encampments and individuals who were illegally camping along the Santa Ana River trail. To enforce the city's anti-encampment ordinance and to avoid litigation, Federal District Court Judge David Carter provided direction to the city to provide shelter beds equal to 60 percent of the city’s last homeless count numbers. In January of 2017, the count found 103 unsheltered individuals in Costa Mesa, and 60% of 103 equals 62 beds.
The City of Costa Mesa opened a 50-bed temporary interim bridge shelter on a portion of the property located at 1885 Anaheim Avenue on April 5, 2019. The temporary bridge shelter is run by a combination of city outreach staff and staff from Mercy House, an experienced, well-respected operator who ensures the facility is a reservation-based model along with 24-hour security and neighborhood management covering a half-mile radius. The city provided upgrades to the property, including creating security fencing around the facility, increasing lighting in the area, cleaning and sanitizing streets, sidewalks and parks where necessary, and adding modular trailers for restrooms, storage of personal belongings, and space for shelter beds. In addition, Costa Mesa had previously satisfied the need for 12 of its 62 required beds by approving an application from College Hospital, a longtime and respected provider of mental health and medical treatment in the community.
The city’s commitment is to operate the highest quality facility that is securely operated and free of loitering or neighborhood disruptions and will improve the greater Costa Mesa community, with a particular focus on a 1,500-foot radius around the facility. It is vital that this facility does not negatively impact the immediate surrounding neighborhood. Additionally, by opening a 50-bed bridge shelter, the city avoided further litigation and the court will allow the city to put a heightened focus and strict enforcement of the city’s anti-encampment ordinance.