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Laguna Beach Pumps Nearly Half a Million Dollars Into Homeless Shelter RenovationVoice of OC

Laguna Beach will spend $479,837 in grant money to make improvements to the city’s homeless shelter with work expected to start in November.


Editors’ Note: This dispatch is part of the Voice of OC Youth Media program, working with student journalists to cover public policy issues across Orange County. If you would like to submit your own student media project related to Orange County civics or if you have any response to this work, contact Digital Editor Sonya Quick at [email protected].


The Alternative Sleeping Location, a city-run emergency shelter, at 20652 Laguna Canyon Road, has been operating year-round since 2009 to provide meals, showers, laundry, and help guests find housing and health care. The facility has worked with over 10,000 people since its opening to help prevent homelessness and serves an average of 160 people every night, according to the shelter’s website

The Laguna Beach City Council unanimously approved funding for the project from the state-run Homeless Emergency Aid program in September. The program “was established to provide direct assistance to California’s homeless Continuums of Care and large cities to address the homelessness crisis throughout the state,” according to the state website

The project will replace flooring, renovate bathrooms, and add a new accessible handicap ramp, among other upgrades during the estimated eight-week renovations. A temporary facility will be available in the adjacent storage area to continue shelter services during the construction, according to a city staff report

“The first step of the renovation is the allocation of resources,” Jeremy Frimond, Laguna Beach senior administrative analyst, said regarding the temporary relocation. “We want to minimize the relocation to try to make it as easy as possible for the people who rely on the shelter.” 

The

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Make the most of your home improvement dollars | Suburban Life

Home improvement projects provide homeowners with a chance to put their own stamp on their homes. In addition, many such projects make homes safer and, in some instances, more eco-friendly.

The opportunity to make a home more comfortable, safer and/or more eco-friendly entices many homeowners to open their wallets. In fact, the Home Improvement Research Institute estimates that the home improvement products market will grow by more than 5% in 2018.

Homeowners might experience some sticker shock when researching home improvement projects or receiving estimates from contractors. But there are ways for budget-conscious homeowners to transform their homes and still make the most of their home improvement dollars.

• Do your homework. Each year, Remodeling magazine publishes its “Cost vs. Value Report,” a comprehensive study of 21 popular remodeling projects in 149 United States markets. The report notes the value each project retains at resale in 100 markets across the country. Homeowners who want to get the strongest return on investment can access the “Cost vs. Value Report” (remodeling.how.net) to see which home improvement projects are best suited for them.

• Do some of the labor yourself. Homeowners willing to swing a hammer also can stretch their home improvement dollars. For example, the home improvement resource This Old House® notes that homeowners willing to do their own demolition before the contractors arrive can save substantial amounts of money. A professional contractor may charge $1,000 to demo a 200-square-foot deck, but This Old House estimates that homeowners who demo their own decks may spend only $450 (for the dumpster rental and parking permit).

• Hire a consultant. The DIY movement is incredibly popular, no doubt thanks to television channels such as HGTV and the DIY Network. Homeowners with DIY experience may be able to complete projects on their own with little

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