According to City Manager Eric Levitt, the Illumination Foundation facility is now being used primarily as a recuperative care facility. According to Councilmember Silva, “the Foundation recovers the majority of their costs through recuperative beds.”
During public comment, Curtis Gamble, an activist for the homeless, said he does not support the deal with Illumination Foundation, and that the money could help more homeless people through housing/motel vouchers, cash cards, establishing a safe parking program, and building tiny homes on city-owned land.
Resident Tanya McCrory asked, “How is Illumination Foundation justifying doubling the cost in one year’s time for the exact same service?” She said the city needs a clearer and more transparent report from them.
Councilmember Zahra agreed, saying, “I am in favor of looking at getting more of a public report…I think we’ve asked for this before, but never really got that.”
The meeting ended with a moment of silence in memory of commissioner Pat McNelly, who passed away recently.
Council voted 4-1 (Whitaker “no”) to approve a one-year agreement with Illumination Foundation to provide 20 shelter beds for Fullerton homeless individuals at $80 per day for a total cost of $584,000. This will be paid with funding the City received from the American Rescue Plan Act.
In 2020, Council approved an agreement with Illumination Foundation to provide services at their center located at 3535 West Commonwealth. The city contributed $500,000 for building improvements. The facility was originally planned to have 60 recuperative care beds and 90 shelter beds. The original agreement did not require Illumination Foundation to shelter Fullerton’s homeless.
In 2021, the City entered into an agreement with Illumination Foundation to provide shelter bed services for Fullerton residents at a bed rate of $40 per day. This agreement ended in July of 2022.