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San Gabriel Valley Digest

Pomona / Azusa : Homeless Shelters Planned

August 31, 1989

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has identified Azusa and Pomona as two probable sites to locate of locations for cold-weather shelters for the homeless.

The cities are among eight in the county that were chosen for the three-year-old emergency program because they are strategically located to serve homeless populations and have National Guard Armories, said Alan Wilkins, the county's homeless coordinator in the county Department of Community and Senior Citizens Services. Last year, Gov. George Deukmejian made armories in California available for the program.

The county runs the program, which is supported by a $575,000 federal grant. Similar programs have been established in Pasadena and the city of Los Angeles.

Although Pomona was host of the program last year, Azusa has been chosen for the first time, to the surprise of city officials who have written a letter of complaint to the county saying complaining that the City Council wasn't property notified. Wilkins said that if there is substantial community opposition to the program, the county may drop its plans for Azusa.

When the weather drops falls below 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below 50 degrees when it is raining, buses will transport up to 100 homeless people to the closest armory, and give them a bed, evening meal, and shower. Before they are housed, they will be screened to ensure they aren't under the influence of alcohol or drugs, Wilkins said. In the morning, buses will return the homeless to their original location.

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