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COSTA MESA : Higher Capacity OKd for Alcoholics Center

October 24, 1994|TOM RAGAN

The First Step House, a facility used to shelter homeless alcoholics, will be able to accept 20 men instead of 12.

The Planning Commission has approved a conditional-use permit for the increased capacity after contacting the Police and Fire departments. Both departments agreed they may receive more calls from the shelter because of increased number, but "the benefit to the community will outweigh the costs," according to a planning staff report.

Homeless alcoholics can stay at the shelter for a maximum of 10 days. Though there is no structured program or treatment at the site, three volunteer committeemen offer help and counseling between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. daily.

The facility, at 2015 Charlie St., has daily 1 1/2-hour meetings at noon and 8 p.m., said Jerry Wisegarver, a volunteer who praised the commission's approval for the increase.

"It will help somebody get off the street and get sober and get clean and hopefully help society someday," he said.

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