The Irvine City Council has voted to go ahead with plans to convert a state-of-the-art dog kennel into homeless housing, despite sharp protests from some people upset about the indignity of it all and others who fear that it will attract more transients.
The council, however, also ordered consideration of alternatives, including moving portable housing to the site and seeking private donations of space.
The vote early Wednesday followed a public hearing that ended after midnight Tuesday.
"I'm concerned with the human dignity of people being placed in animal shelters," resident Catherine Peters told the council.
"How we treat the poor, the oppressed and the homeless is of utmost importance to God," said Michael Winstead, pastor of University United Methodist Church, one of a dozen clergymen urging approval of some form of shelter.
Homeowners who live near the site, which includes another kennel normally occupied by 40 dogs and cats, feared a shelter would become a magnet for the down-and-out.