Local News

Navigation Center for Homeless Opens in Fullerton

A 15,700-square-foot Navigation Center near the Fullerton airport opens this month to house up to 90 adults experiencing homelessness, with an additional 60 beds for adults in need of recuperative care as they recover from surgery and other critical hospital care.

The Navigation Center is located at 3535 W. Commonwealth Ave.

The non-profit agency Illumination Foundation will not only temporarily shelter these individuals but provide the in-house support services they need to transition back into permanent housing and a stabilized life path.

After the plan was approved by the city of Fullerton, additional private and public resources came to the table including the city of Fullerton, Illumination Foundation, the state of California, the county of Orange, CalOptima and even a private individual who purchased the building for the cause.

“This is a transformational undertaking in our efforts to address the homeless situation here in Fullerton and Orange County,” Councilmember Jesús Silva said. “We are thankful to Illumination Foundation for their partnership in providing humane and dignified services to those in our community who need it the most.”

Paul Leon is the CEO of Illumination Foundation.

“Until COVID-19 became an issue and our economy began to unravel, it may have seemed easier to think that homeless people needed to be handled by someone else,” Leon said. “Now, that sense of vulnerability and a feeling of grappling with the unknown is palpable to a much larger percentage of Americans. We all understand now that extreme economic hardship resulting in homelessness could happen to just about anyone.”

The dining room mural was created by Brian Peterson of Faces of Santa Ana.

For more information, visit www.ifhomeless.org.

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8 replies »

  1. “ . . . Extreme economic hardship resulting in homelessness . . .” At first glance, I got a ray of hope for the chronically mentally ill, the schizophrenics and traumatic brain injuries who have been literally kicked to the curb due to extensive cuts to mental health care. Thanks to the state of California abrogating its responsibility to fund 24/7 residential care for those homeless due to their mental illness, these people subsist on the whims of generosity from strangers. I bet 99% of the people who enter Fullerton’s Navigation Center are not homeless because they lost their jobs and yet this place only designed to help those who are experiencing “extreme economic hardship”. This farce of a center is inherently cruel joke played on the public’s sense of decency towards others.

  2. I entered here “x” amount of days ago, there’s been problems ranging from the food being low effort/salad (served late consistently despite a set “schedule”) every other day, sanitation conditions are repulsive and border health hazard, despite hand sanitizer dispensers being prominent, they are infrequently refilled along toiletries and only when donors or tours are set up do they seem to get a dedicated person to clean for show, but not on a regular basis (understaffed and poorly managed) hard drug users/mentally ill people put together with those who are out of a job, staff is indifferent to these problems and seem more intent on collecting a check than actually providing “dignity” and “care” it’s easy to dismiss the feedback from someone who is already disenfranchised and be seen as complaining or problematic rather than giving feedback, there are “grievance forms” but they seem rather counter intuitive with the nature of the mentally ill being prominent and being expected to both document and provide a solution for the incident, (ask for a form and see for yourself if you send a journalist to investigate the smoke and mirror show) the management seems to be corrupt from the top going down to the bottom, there is great potential in the resources but the people in charge lack compassion and frequently default to threatening the homeless with more homelessness (exiting) on various occasion despite this job requiring a certain degree of care and investment and qualifications, the staff seem mismanaged and poorly selected.

    • This is unacceptable. Please tell tell your story to the city council …Tuesday for public comments. It would be nice to a new shelter not county operated but faith community operated.

  3. This is typical of the sh-hell-ters of Orange County. When we have a board of supervisors being reproched for failure to spend MHSA funds, our response build more of these hell hole, cattle call human wearhouses. That is NOT the intent of the funds or legislative language. I was “exited” the Melrose Shelter for failure to participate in the case manager services. Like they had any in the first place. The truth is I complained they were ignoring the CDC guildlines. I warned them that failure to do so would result in exacrtly what has occured!

    Most of the people I know have not receive the promised permanate housing that I have utilizing Telecare and I thank God for Ms. Memory Nunez, the Operations Director of the Anaheim Telecare. Finally, I am receiveing the therapy I actually need for my diagnosis, supportive housing and they are even going to help me obrtain dental work since I have no dental insurance. I worked. So, my share of cost every month is $900….what a joke! If I would have sat on my butt and never worked I would be able to obtain dentures for free.

    This county has maintained a policy of sanism, judgementalism and criminalization for generations and it harms family, mine included. My daugther came to live with me after cutting her arm in over 14 places and I let her stay while still awaiting approval for her, a covered activity under VAWA and I was terminated.

    There is no excuse! There is a glut of funding so that is a non-issue. The issue is now as it has been for over 40 years, we do not provide services that are best-practices, evidence based and there is no accountability of those entrusted to assist some of those most in need persons and thier children.

    But, when a “normal” person stands up for his or her rights, they are being assertive. When a county client is assertive they are “acting out” and being “symptomatic” and thus not taken seriously. So, maybe now that we have soaring COVID-19 numbers we will stop the blame-game and open the over 1500 vacant homes on the Marine Base, which the Mc Kinney – Vento acts states used be used to help lessen the homelessness. That is the law. It has been so for years…..We need to demand Orange County implement laws, regulations and guildelines as intended and written.

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