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Mayor Pro Tem Harlan Refers to Costa Mesa Homeless Shelter as “Not a Homeless Shelter,” Then Proceeds to Call it a Shelter 

The Mayor Pro Tem contradicts his own talking point rather quickly.

Costa Mesa Mayor Pro Tem Jeffrey Harlan recently referred to the city’s Project Homekey building as “not a homeless shelter,” and then later repeatedly referred to it as a shelter in the same speech from the dias.

During a March 7 council meeting, Harlan brought up the issue, where he referenced a Costa Mesa Confidential video discussing millions in taxpayer dollars being spent on the Motel 6-turned-homeless shelter as “misinformation.”

“This is not a homeless shelter. I know my colleagues and I have said this repeatedly, but it’s worth repeating,” Harlan said. “It is not a homeless shelter.”

Then, seconds later, he states, “This is actually a really good project. Our approach to homelessness starts with a housing first model. We need to get people in shelter, safe shelter, stable shelter, so they can get the help that they need. I think this council will continue to support these kinds of efforts.”

The program, which is part of California’s Project Homekey, is defined on the state’s website as “a statewide effort to sustain and rapidly expand housing for persons experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness.”

In his comment, Harlan also notes that Mercy House will provide support services for the project, who define themselves as a “homeless service provider in Orange County.”

Approved in late 2021 by the Costa Mesa City Council, the demolition, construction, and management will cost taxpayers a whopping $50 million in order to convert the Motel 6 located at 2274 Newport Blvd into 88 units of housing for the homeless. 

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