Westgroup Designs Completes Orange County’s First County Government Year-Round Emergency Shelter

Westgroup Designs (WD) and our client, Orange County Public Works, have recently completed “Bridges at Kraemer Place” the new Year-Round Emergency Shelter and Multi-Service Center in Anaheim, a comprehensive facility dedicated to transitioning homeless individuals into permanent housing and jobs.

Of the 4 Shelter Types: Emergency, Transitional, Rapid Rehousing and Permanent Supportive, this vital stepping stone is essential as the county estimates that about 70 percent of the emergency shelter beds have been reserved for families or single and pregnant women.

The goals of Bridges at Kraemer Place, and its programs, include support to help reduce the number of persons who experience homelessness in our community and increase access to housing opportunities for chronically homeless individuals.

This facility houses 200, with an emphasis on single adults, and will be staffed 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, and will be managed by Mercy House, a leading nonprofit organization that provides services for those experiencing homelessness. Unlike other emergency shelters, this one will house men and women for between 60-90 days, with a reservation. The Shelter’s primary focus is assisting program participants with creating a housing plan, making connections to housing resources and ending their homelessness as soon as possible.

WD planned and designed the existing industrial concrete tilt-up structure and it’s 1.87 acre site into a 24,000 square foot multi-functional facility, which features ample locker, shower and restroom facilities; an on-site comprehensive medical clinic with nurse’s station, lab, pharmacy and exam rooms; a commercial kitchen; separate men’s and women’s sleeping quarters, a dining hall, laundry room, computer lab, storage, administration suite, and flexible, multi-purpose rooms for daytime program activities, including supportive services, employment and job placement referrals and Life Skills classes & workshops, as well as indoor and outdoor recreation activities.

Orange County Assemblywoman, Sharon Quirk-Silva [District #65], secured an additional $5 Million from the 2018-2019 State Budget’s Building Homes and Jobs Trust Fund to expand support services at Bridges at Kraemer Place observing that this is a “sensible step in the right direction, with its support from local government, law enforcement and the community”. She added that “it is not the time to turn our backs on some of the most vulnerable members of our community. Supporting a proven successful shelter, already in operation, is the logical first approach to confront the complicated issue of homelessness….and will “ease the burden put on our neighborhood streets in times of crisis”.

Westgroup Designs continues our commitment to Social Responsibility, working to enhance our Community and the people it serves, every day. Learn more about WD’s local community support here.