Today, I visited WISEPlace, “which transforms the lives of approximately 90 women per year, by providing safe, affordable transitional housing, healthy meals, financial-empowerment curriculum and employment assistance, to help women move from homelessness and hopelessness to self-reliance.” I visited them because I was curious about SAFEPlace. the new emergency shelter that this small transitional housing in Santa Ana had stepped up to provide for some of the unaccompanied women evacuated from the Santa Ana Riverbed. Enjoy the pictures and write me your thoughts, please!
Across the courtyard from the hotel (which is the transitional housing) is the gym. Literally overnight the gym was turned into an e-shelter, low barrier, with security. As I walked through the gym, I saw some of the women there. I felt so very sad for them. Most were exhausted beyond what words can describe. Most were older (>50) and most it was very clear also had physical disabilities. Some had pets and one of them was a service dog.
Clearly, WISEPlace did not want to say no to a struggling-to-survive people. They said yes. They found a way to make it work for everybody. I admire you, WISEPlace staff and volunteers. I wish more people will step up like you. In Irvine and in every city in the OC and I believe we will.
So. Here’s my wish, today. I wish you, who reads this and sees my pictures, that you will visit/support/donate to WISEPlace and SAFEPlace. I wish you, my dear Irvine neighbor reader, will envision a charming little e-shelter like this in Irvine. A pleasing little cluster of 50 beds, no more. Perhaps 4 such e-shelters in Irvine, integrated into the city at various points or at the ~100 acres of county land across from the Great Park. If at the county land e-shelters of 50 could still be isolated in smaller units — not as one large shelter — and soon to be interspersed and integrated with affordable, market rate, and permanent supportive housing. Whether it is on county owned land in Irvine or integrated across other SB-2 zones in the city, I wish Irvine leadership would take our proportional fair share of 199 people = 199 beds. That’s it. Imagine it. Make it so :). If you haven’t already signed I4E SOS, please do.
First published on Charis Research
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