Although the issue appeared permanently shelved, the City Council has voted to allocate $11,820 for the remodeling of a house that a philanthropic organization wants to use as a shelter for homeless families.
The nonprofit organization first asked the city for funds in April, but the idea was killed on a 3-2 vote. Last week, the council approved a compromise proposal that excluded the $4,585 once earmarked for administration costs, said Mary Ellen Laster, housing programs coordinator.
She said the council had earlier rejected the proposal by the Fullerton Interphase Emergency Services because the city feared that proposed cutbacks in federal block grants would leave the agency with a house but no money for staff.
Nevertheless, the organization has already closed escrow on the property at 514 W. Amerige Ave.
Agency coordinator Barbara W. Johnson, said the organization has secured grants from the state Emergency Shelter Program ($140,000), the City of Buena Park ($8,000) and the county ($7,000) but still needs more funds to staff the shelter, which it hopes will accommodate 20 people.
Johnson acknowledged that the group had assumed that its first-ever application for city funding would have an easier time. "It was quite a shock," she said. "It came across to us as a total philosophical disagreement."
But the organization lobbied the City Council and persuaded the mayor to change his mind, Johnson said.
In April, the council allocated $7,500 to Garden Grove's Dale McIntosh Center, which provides emergency housing for the disabled.