Bellflower unveils ‘New Hope’ Temporary Services Shelter

Homelessness+has+been+continually+on+the+rise.+To+combat+this%2C+Bellflower+unveiled+plans+for+a+new+homeless+shelter+on+May+1%2C+2020.+Photo+credit%3A+Wikimedia+Commons

Homelessness has been continually on the rise. To combat this, Bellflower unveiled plans for a new homeless shelter on May 1, 2020. Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

Edgar Mendoza, Community Editor

The city of Bellflower has finalized the creation of its new homeless shelter, following a community poll taken to decide the name.

The temporary services shelter, which has been named “New Hope,” will open next month at 8833 Cedar Street in Bellflower.

The facility will include a reception and welcoming area, as well a common room with a fully-equipped kitchen, a laundry area and restrooms and showers.

The shelter has been stated to have designated sleep areas for couples, women and men as well as a large personal belongings storage area.

For those with pets, the shelter will also have a designated area for them.

Mayor Juan Garza has stated the shelter will be “a tremendous source of pride for our City, to take care of our own, as well as a huge symbol of hope and rebirth for so many in our community.”

The shelter will be equipped to serve up to 50 homeless individuals at a time, and will be managed and operated by Mercy House.

Mercy House will provide 24-hour security, supervision, metal detectors and transportation for those staying in the shelter.

The shelter was constructed following a citywide survey conducted in October 2018, which showed that 74% of Bellflower residents felt that homelessness was the most serious problem impacting their community.

Those seeking support and housing from the new temporary services shelter must first prove that they are from the city of Bellflower, or have a prior connection to the city.

Those from other cities will not be granted access or assistance from the shelter, as it is dedicated to helping the immediate community.

The shelter will be what has been a deemed a “low barrier” shelter, with only those referred to the location by the LA County Sheriff, CityNet, or other City-approved service providers being allowed entry.

Upon arrival at the shelter, the on-site administrator will conduct background checks through the local courts for felony and warrant systems and check the sex offender registry in order to keep the location safe.

For those with mental illnesses, persons who show that they may cause harm to themselves or others will not be admitted.

Persons who may show signs of mental illness, but who are able to follow the law and behave within the guidelines set by the city and service provider may be admitted and granted temporary housing.

There will be no walk-in or walk-out privileges at the shelter, as residents will be transported in and out via vehicle.

Homeless persons who currently live and exist in the Cedar Street neighborhood will be referred to the shelter and will no longer be able to camp or loiter in the neighborhood.

If they refuse to accept entrance into the shelter, they will be given the option of going to another location to live or going to jail.

They will not have the option of remaining homeless and camping or loitering in Bellflower.

Bellflower residents will not be seeing any increased taxes or fees to fund this shelter, as it has been fully funded by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and the City of Bellflower.