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Whittier Temporary Emergency Shelter for Homeless to Open September 1, 2020


The previously-announced temporary emergency shelter at the City of Whittier’s Uptown Senior Center will open on Tuesday, September 1, 2020. The emergency shelter will hasten the timeframe in which the City reaches compliance with the April 22, 2020 settlement agreement with the Orange County Catholic Workers and will allow the City to enforce quality of life and public safety ordinances in parks and public spaces as soon as the shelter is opened.

The shelter will be available to City of Whittier residents experiencing homelessness and will provide onsite services throughout the day. Case management and housing navigation, as well as connections to services and resources, will begin immediately upon client intake at the shelter. Security will be on site and neighborhood standards and expectations will be enforced.



The Salvation Army is the operator of the emergency shelter and will provide intake coordination services, assisting local case managers and social services providers with placement of Whittier residents into the shelter. Walk-up clients will not be accepted and shelter residents will not be required to leave each morning but will instead be encouraged to remain on site to continue receiving services and benefit from programs offered at the shelter.

The establishment of the Uptown Senior Center as an emergency shelter fulfills the City Council’s March 24, 2020 directive to identify City facilities that could serve as emergency shelter for Whittier residents during the COVID-19 pandemic. At the July 21, 2020 special meeting, the Whittier City Council voted unanimously to establish a temporary emergency shelter at the Uptown Senior Center as an interim measure until the Salvation Army Navigation Center can be opened in early 2021. Due to Health Officer orders, the Senior Center is unlikely to reopen for in-person services in 2020. A refurbishment project for the Center is planned following its use as an emergency shelter.

Information and answers to frequently-asked questions regarding homelessness in Whittier, the Whittier Homeless Plan and the upcoming shelter and navigation center are available on the City’s website at www.cityofwhittier.org/homelessresources.


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