“Through its wraparound supportive services, the Yale Navigation Center is creating a pathway to permanent supportive housing for those experiencing homelessness and serious mental illness,” said Supervisor Andrew Do, Chairman of the Orange County Board of Supervisors. “The center meets a critical need in our communities by addressing a social issue that has impacted our local businesses and neighborhoods for years. This is part of the System of Care program that the county began in 2016.”
The center will offer temporary lodging, basic needs including meals and sanitary amenities, and access to support services such as case management, employment and housing assistance, behavioral and mental health care support, and substance abuse treatment, among other services. Key spaces include women and men’s dorms, restrooms, showers, a dining hall, kitchen, a large patio for recreation and outdoor dining, a lobby, security station, clinic space, and classrooms for support services. The center will also offer workstations and a large break room for shelter staff as well as a 105-stall, ground-level public parking lot.
“We’re honored to partner with HomeAid Orange County to create a navigation center with wraparound care for individuals facing homelessness in the central part of Orange County,” said Karl Kreutziger, President of C.W. Driver Companies. “The new center is designed to provide local individuals and couples with access to clean and safe lodging as well as the appropriate resources to help improve their physical and mental wellbeing and reach stability so they can transition out of homelessness as quickly and efficiently as possible.”
The Yale Navigation Center was designed to provide residents with a sense of personal space and belonging and offers living accommodations complete with furniture and storage space. The facility features two options for living and sleeping space, including six-by-six-foot single cubicles for individuals and eight-by-nine-foot stations for couples. All stations include twin-sized beds and storage cabinets and meet Americans with Disabilities Act standards for accessible design.
“The Yale Navigation Center will help meet a need for adults experiencing homelessness in the Central Service Planning Area of Orange County and will provide these individuals and couples with a safe and dignified place to end their homelessness,” said Gina Scott, Executive Director of HomeAid Orange County. “HomeAid is grateful to C.W. Driver Companies for their partnership on this critical development to help those most vulnerable in our community.”
The shelter will be operated by PATH (People Assisting the Homelessness), a Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization with a mission to end homelessness for individuals, families, and communities throughout California. To protect the safety of shelter residents and the local community, the facility will provide 24-hour security and enforce strict no walk-up, no walk-out, and no loitering policies. To be eligible for shelter, individuals must be experiencing homelessness in central Orange County cities and referred to staff by outreach workers, law enforcement, or a hospital. Background checks will also be performed, and those with outstanding warrants or sex offenses will not be granted access.
“Ending homelessness in Orange County is attainable with a housing-first approach,” said Jason Austin, Director of Care Coordination at the County of Orange. “Achieving this goal becomes possible through projects like the Yale Navigation Center, where people have access to the tools and resources needed to overcome physical, emotional, and mental health challenges, stop substance abuse, reenter the workforce, and find employment opportunities — ultimately leading them on a path to permanent housing.”
C.W. Driver Companies worked with architecture firm, IDS Group, Inc. to complete the project. Other local projects completed by C.W. Driver Companies include HomeAid OC Family Care Center in Orange; City of Laguna Niguel Crown Valley Park Community Building; City of Westminster Community Cultural Center; and the City of Newport Beach Civic Center and Park, among others.