Anaheim, county say don’t drop off homeless at new shelter – Orange County Register

It’s happened twice so far, and officials want to put an end to it.

Less than a month after the county’s new Bridges at Kraemer Place homeless shelter opened its doors in Anaheim, an outside police agency and a hospital tried to drop off a homeless person at its front door.

While their intentions may have been noble, said Larry Haynes, executive director of Mercy House, which operates the shelter, those agencies were politely turned away.

Mercy House only accepts referrals, there are no walk-ins allowed.

“We have a process and can’t accept any homeless people outside of our network,” Haynes said at a homeless workshop May 16 at Lamb Of God Lutheran Church.

Officials with Mercy House, the county and the Anaheim Police Department said they fear the county’s new shelter may become inundated with surrounding homeless and see the two incidents of drop-offs as a sign of things to come if they don’t stop the practice now.

Anaheim Deputy Chief Julian Harvey said police agencies, hospitals and members of the public are not allowed to drop off people directly to the shelter nor are homeless people allowed to hang out around the new facility. The Anaheim Police Department has jurisdiction.

Mercy House officials said they’ve placed one camera in the facility and seven outside the building to monitor the area. There are also security guards on the premises and another set of guards who patrol the area within a half-mile radius to prevent loitering, unauthorized parking and to pick up abandoned property or shopping carts.

“We need to set the tone early in order for this to be a success,” Harvey said, adding that people who loiter around the facility will lose their privileges in the shelter.

Daron Wyatt, a spokesman for the Anaheim Police Department, said Chief Raul Quezada plans to discuss the issue with other police agencies at the Chief of Police meeting in the coming weeks.

Bridges at Kraemer Place, opened May 4 near the 91 freeway and Kraemer…

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