Addressing Homelessness

Homelessness is a complex issue that requires everyone's attention. Our community has the need to understand the many root causes of homelessness and what is being done to address the issue. The City, along with our numerous partners is doing our part to ensure that homelessness is addressed on behalf of our residents and community.

Why Are People Homeless?

There are many surprising and heart-wrenching stories behind many of the individuals who find themselves homeless. Some have lost their homes due to the loss of a job or loved one, while others are fleeing domestic violence. Other contributing factors may include the lack of affordable housing, low wages, substance abuse or mental health issues. In a 2017 study conducted in concert with the Orange County United Way, Jamboree Housing, UC Irvine, and the Association of California Cities-Orange County and other regional stakeholders, the findings point to securing or retaining jobs with sustainable wages and finding or retaining affordable housing, as the number one and two most identified reasons for homelessness. In fact, these two circumstances alone account for 76 percent of the basis for homelessness.

Current City Efforts

  • Dedicating a full-time Santa Ana Police Department (SAPD) officer for homeless outreach, safety and security in conjunction with the existing HEART program;
  • Enacting a new section to the Santa Ana City Code to improve health and safety conditions in the Civic Center;
  • Recruiting and hiring a new Homeless Services Manager;
  • Creating an Interdepartmental Committee on Homelessness;
  • Holding Outreach and Engagement Fairs in the Civic Center;
  • Minimizing the number of needles found in the surrounding area to protect our employees and the general public, including children who use our library.

In addition, a Quality of Life Team (QOLT) was formed in late January of 2018 to address the number of concerns related to municipal code violations, property storage and improper use of public/private property. The formation of the QOLT has both increased efficiency in addressing quality of life issues and increased response times. This multidisciplinary team is comprised of staff from the offices of SAPD, Parks and Recreation, Public Works, Community Development, Community Preservation, City Attorney, and the City Manager. The process of bringing all stakeholders together in the field was modeled on best practices utilized by several cities throughout the country. The team was trained by the City Attorney and Police Department prior to responding to locations identified by the City Council, city residents and businesses regarding health and safety issues throughout the City. By week fifteen, 846 individuals were contacted and 585 locations were served by the Quality of Life Team..

As of April 10, 2018, the OC Health Care Agency, in partnership with the City of Santa Ana Police Department, completed assessments of all homeless inddividuals residing in the Civic Center. The County provided referrals and shelter options and connections to services for the homeless individuals and to date there has been 234 assessments for emergency shelters, residential substance abuse treatement programs, recuperative care and mental health treatment programs. As of April 12th, 2018, the Civic Center plaza was completely cleared.

Who Can I Call?

MySantaAna App

If you are a resident or business owner wishing to report a concern about homelessness such as abandoned property on City right-of-way, you may download the free MySantaAna application with an iPhone or Android and report service requests under Abandoned Property/Illegal Dumping. You may also contact Public Works Dispatch by calling 714-647-3380.

For Shopping Carts removal, you may contact Community Preservation at 714-667-2780.


Did You Know?

The City of Santa Ana has a long history of providing services to alleviate and prevent homelessness for Santa Ana individuals and families. When seeking solutions to homelessness, the City considers both the immediate crisis in our community as well as the on-going need for permanent solutions.

Each year, the City awards approximately $450,000 in Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to non-profit homeless service providers for Street Outreach, Rapid Re-Housing, Shelter and Homelessness Prevention services. In 2016-2017, approximately 1,170 individuals experiencing homelessness received assistance through the Emergency Solutions Grant program.

The Santa Ana Police Department along with non-profit partners provide outreach and engagement services in the Civic Center and other locations throughout the City to assist individuals in locating resources and housing. The Santa Ana Police Department HEART program focuses exclusively on homeless issues, addressing the problem in its entirety by way of immediate needs and long-term effects.

Permanent Supportive Housing

Permanent Supportive Housing is an evidence-based housing intervention that combines non-time-limited affordable housing assistance with wrap-around supportive services for people experiencing homelessness. Research has proven that supportive housing is a cost-effective solution to homelessness, particularly for people experiencing chronic homelessness.

Ted Talk on Housing First Model

The Orchard

The Orchard Permanent Supportive Housing Santa Ana's first Permanent Supportive Housing project's grand opening was held on February 1, 2018. With the City's investment of $1.2 million in HOME Program funds and 71 Project-Based Vouchers, this acquisition and rehabilitation project of the Guest House motel (renamed to the Orchard) currently provides 71 permanent supportive housing units with wrap-around supportive services for chronically homeless individuals. The Orchard, located at 2151 East First Street in Santa Ana, is comprised of 60 studio units and 11 one-bedroom units. Faces of Santa Ana mural.



Two additional Permanent Supportive Housing projects are in the pipeline for 2018. These include:

Aqua Housing - An acquisition and demolition project of an underutilized, blighted motel site to construct 56 permanent supportive housing units for chronically homeless individuals. The project includes 12 studios and 44 one-bedroom units with wrap-around supportive services.

Santa Ana Veteran's Village - The new construction of 75 permanent supportive housing units for homeless veterans. The project includes 70 one-bedroom and 5 two-bedroom units with wrap-around supportive services.


Emergency Shelters

If you are homeless and seeking immediate shelter, food, clothing or other types of assistance, please visit 2-1-1 Orange County's website ( or dial 2-1-1 to reach the 24-hour free information and referral helpline. There, you will be linked to thousands of local health and human service programs in Orange County, CA. You may also find the Pocket Guide Resource Directory for Central Service Planning Area helpful.

The Orange County Behavioral Health OC Links is available by calling 855-OC-LINKS (625-4657), Monday through Friday, 8AM to 6PM. A live chat can also be found at

Year-Round Emergency Shelters - The Courtyard Transitional Shelter and Bridges at Kraemer Place.

Cold Weather Shelters - The winter program provides up to 400 beds per night at the National Guard armories in Fullerton and Santa Ana. A meal, warm shower and a safe place to sleep is provided.

Salvation Army Hospitality House - Provides year-round emergency shelter for men. The Santa Ana Hospitality House has a capacity of 50 beds, and also provides clients with meals, an on-site case manager and job placement assistance. Beds are assigned based on availability, as well as designated length of stay. However, individuals who need more time to rebuilt their lives have the opportunity to extend their stay and participate in the transitional living programs.

SAFEPlace - Provides a low barrier shelter with supportive services and an opportunity for  women to enter into transitional housing also operated by WISE Place for Women.

Courtyard Transitional Shelter

Santa Ana Transit Terminal
400 W. Santa Ana Blvd.,
Santa Ana, CA 92701
(714) 910-0436

Availability: Year-round
Capacity: 425 beds

Bridges at Kraemer Place

1000 N. Kraemer Place,
Anaheim, CA 92806
(714) 836-7188

Availability: Year-round
Capacity: 200 beds

Fullerton Armory

400 S. Brookhurst Road,
Fullerton, CA 92833
(714) 836-7188 ext. 170

Availability: Winter Season
Capacity: 200 beds

Santa Ana Armory

612 E. Warner Ave.,
Santa Ana, CA 92707
(714) 836-7188 ext. 170

Availability: Winter Season
Capacity: 200 beds

Salvation Army Hospitality House

818 E 3rd St.,
Santa Ana, CA 92701
(714) 542-9750

Availability: Year-round
Capacity: 50 beds


1411 N Broadway
Santa Ana, CA 92706
(714) 542-3577

Availability: Year-round
Capacity: 60 beds


Council Actions and Ordinances

On September 6, 2016, City Council approved a Civic Center Safety and Security Enhancement Program and adopted a Resolution declaring a Public Health and Safety Crisis related to homelessness.

On September 19, 2017, City Council approved a Resolution to hire a full-time Homeless Services Manager.

A Regional Approach

Homelessness in 2017

Location Estimates
State of California 134,278
Los Angeles County, CA 55,188
San Diego County, CA 9,160
Orange County, CA 4,792
Santa Ana, CA 1,000

Source: HUD 2017 Annual Homeless Assessment Report & Orange County's Point in Time (PIT) Count and Survey

As homelessness has spiked over the last several years, it has become evident that a regional plan and collaborative approach to coordinate local responses has become even more important. The City currently partners with local nonprofits, neighboring cities and the County to reduce and address homelessness. Santa Ana staff take every opportunity to participate in regional efforts and to participate in Countywide boards and organizations.

Continuum of Care (CoC) Program

Since 1998 the County of Orange has coordinated a comprehensive regional Continuum of Care (CoC) strategy that includes the participation of all thirty-four cities in Orange County, County Agencies, the County’s homeless service providers, and other community groups (including non-profits, local governmental agencies, faith-based organizations, the homeless and formerly homeless, interested business leaders, schools, and many other stakeholders) to identify the gaps and unmet needs of the County’s homeless. For the past several years, leadership and coordination of Orange County’s Continuum of Care planning process has been the shared responsibility of 2-1-1 Orange County and Housing and Community Development and Homeless Prevention. This public - nonprofit partnership helps ensure comprehensive, regional coordination of efforts and resources to reduce the number of homeless and persons at risk of homelessness throughout Orange County. This group serves as the regional convener of the year-round CoC planning process and as a catalyst for the involvement of the public and private agencies that make-up the regional homeless system of care.

In previous years, the City of Santa Ana held a seat on the Commission to End Homelessness. Recently, the City was appointed to the Continuum of Care Governing Board.