Bellflower’s New Hope Temporary Service Shelter is Now Open
BELLFLOWER, CA – The Bellflower City Council today conducted multiple small ribbon-cutting ceremonies for Bellflower’s New Hope Temporary Services Shelter, in compliance with current COVID-19 restrictions. Ceremonies included Los Angeles County Board Supervisor, Janice Hahn and United States District Court Judge, David O. Carter. New Hope will begin 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.
The completion of New Hope is the first of such homeless shelters to open in Los Angeles County and will open only five months after a location, architect and construction company were identified. It represents a remarkable transformation from an empty metal warehouse to a state of the art 50-bed shelter and navigation center which will provide much needed services to Bellflower’s homeless population, all made possible through the support and funding from Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn, as well as city funds.
“Among the things that we are most proud of is the incredible speed with which we identified a location and constructed the shelter, a reflection of the dire need to address homelessness in our City” said Bellflower Mayor, Juan Garza. “The end result is almost impossible to behold when considering the point from which we started.”
New Hope’s operator, Mercy House, will begin intake of homeless individuals on May 20, 2020, and 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.
“It was clear to the City Council that something needed to be done, not only to help our homeless population but also to ensure the safety and quality of life of all Bellflower residents,” said Mayor Garza.
The New Hope Temporary Service Shelter is the result of the Bellflower City Council entering into a Settlement Agreement on September 23, 2019, in a federal case captioned Orange County Catholic Worker, et al., v. Orange County, et al. (Case No. 8:18-cv-00155 DOC (JDE)). Entering into the Settlement Agreement was a response to a 2018 Citizens’ Satisfaction Survey where the City Council learned that homelessness was at the top of residents’ list of serious problems in Bellflower. The City Council anticipates that the City’s landmark agreement with the plaintiffs in this matter will help move homeless individuals with ties to the City of Bellflower, from the streets into appropriate temporary housing while also allowing the City to enforce various regulations.