Bellflower bargains to solve its homeless problem: It’s building its very first shelter exclusively for residents with ties to the city
“In 2018, the leaders of Bellflower, a small city in Los Angeles County, had what Mayor Juan Garza calls a “wake-up moment.” For the first time in the Bellflower’s history, a citywide poll had found homelessness, not crime, to be the issue that most concerned residents. “Bar none, every single year, crime had always been the No. 1 issue,” Garza says. The city didn’t have a single homeless shelter, but it did have 166 homeless residents, according to a point-in-time survey, and most of them were living on the streets and in tents and cars or RVs. In September 2019, Bellflower’s elected leaders did something astonishing. They voluntarily joined a settlement agreement in a federal lawsuit that was forcing cities in adjacent Orange County to build homeless shelters.”
Read the article here.
Bellflower’s shelter up & running within five months!
On Monday May 18, 2020 the Bellflower City Council and many others dedicated New Hope Temporary Shelter at 8833 Cedar Street. New Hope began serving the Bellflower homeless population on Wednesday, May 20, 2020 in compliance with the City’s landmark settlement agreement with homeless advocate plaintiffs on September 23, 2019. Bellflower was the first city in Los Angeles County to sign on with Judge Carter’s order as a method of addressing the pervasive homelessness issue.
New Hope is a state of the art 50-bed shelter for Bellflower homeless individuals that will be operated by Mercy House. The operator will help program participants with creating a housing plan, making connections to housing resources and ending their homelessness as soon as possible. The program maintains a strict no-walk-up policy and depends on referrals from local non-profit organizations, contracted homeless liaisons and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
See the city’s website here.