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Andy's Updates is the city of Anaheim's monthly email newsletter, bringing the latest Anaheim news right to your inbox.

See the news for February below, and scroll to the bottom to subscribe to the newsletter email alert to make sure you don't miss out! 


Sixty days was all we needed to open Anaheim Emergency Shelter.

A collaboration with The Salvation Army Orange County, the shelter welcomed its first residents on Feb. 1.

It's the second homeless shelter we have built in just the past two months.

The shelter, in an industrial area off Lewis Street near Ball Road, offers living space and services for up to 224 people formerly living in homelessness in Anaheim.

Right now, there are about 30 people living at the shelter. Many of them transitioned from the city’s interim emergency shelter on State College Boulevard.

Men, women, couples and pets are all welcome at the Anaheim Emergency Shelter.

The 2-acre site is made up of 20 modular buildings like those often seen at schools. The buildings serve as sleeping quarters, dining and recreation for residents and as administrative space for The Salvation Army and 24-hour onsite security.

There are six living quarters for men, three for women and one for couples. Men and women have separate restrooms and showers.

There’s also a laundry room where residents can wash and dry their clothes — a luxury they didn’t have readily available living on the street.

And for those with cell phones and portable electronics, there are two solar powered charging stations standing at the ready, thanks to Anaheim Public Utilities.

In the coming weeks, more people will move to the Anaheim Emergency Shelter and be introduced to The Salvation Army’s array of services being offered onsite.

Anaheim is committed to offering 325 shelter beds to those living in homelessness on the city’s streets.

As it stands today, there are 424 shelter beds available in Anaheim between this shelter and the interim emergency shelter that opened in December on State College Boulevard.

An additional homeless shelter, Kraemer Emergency Shelter, is slated to open later this month and will serve 101 people.

At that time, the shelter on State College Boulevard will begin winding down.

Learn more about Anaheim’s homeless shelter plan at

It's the second homeless shelter we've built in just the past two months.

The neighbors around Barton Park know the large grassy field well.

For years, the nearly 5-acre site has offered little more than a softball backstop, grassy field and a basketball court.

But that’s all starting to change.

In 2016, the Disneyland Resort committed to building five additional KaBOOM! playgrounds at parks throughout Anaheim. They’ve already helped us build seven.

Barton Park was tapped to be the 11th KaBOOM! playground.

The big day came in January when more than 300 volunteers, including help from the Anaheim Family YMCA, spent six hours building playground equipment, pouring concrete and building a wheelchair-accessible ramp for more than 650 neighborhood kids — of all abilities — to enjoy.

The new playground includes special equipment and features that allow children to play together regardless of ability, including a merry-go-round with seat belts for wheelchairs, accessible swings and a teeter-totter with a feature to help kids transfer out of a wheelchair.

Because of the Disneyland Resort’s investment in Barton Park, our Community Services team has stepped up plans to bring more amenities and features to the park that we’re sure everyone will enjoy.

Think outdoor exercise equipment along a path, a full softball field complete with dugouts and bleachers and picnic tables, barbecues and restrooms.

We have big plans for the park. In the next year, we’ll be working hard to make these things a reality.

For now, neighborhood kids of all abilities are enjoying their new playground and creating lasting childhood memories.

Barton Park is at 1926 W. Clearbrook Lane.


A dog’s face. An unlocked birdcage. A young plant breaking through soil. Words of encouragement.

These are some of the paintings we saw from the Muzeo Museum and Cultural Center’s first Community Art Day in January.

The theme of the event was “hope.”

The goal was to create colorful canvases to hang at Anaheim’s temporary homeless shelters.

Why art?

We know that transitioning from homelessness onto a path of recovery, stable housing and meaningful employment can be challenging.

To help ease people into this transition, we believe art can play an impactful role.

So we put the call out to the Anaheim art community.

More than 100 community members gathered on Center Street Promenade in downtown Anaheim, bringing with them paint brushes, easels and inspiration. 

In a matter of hours we saw blank 3-foot by 3-foot canvases come to life.

Roughly 80 canvases now hang at the Anaheim Emergency Shelter operated by The Salvation Army.

The art is on display along fences and in common areas and living quarters.

The city’s Kraemer Emergency Shelter will open later this month, and, when it does, there will also be colorful canvases there to greet homeless residents.

When someone’s having a rough day, or facing obstacles on their pathway out of homelessness, we hope these works of art will lift their spirits and give them the hope they need to keep moving forward on their journey.

ACC North long shot

From Katella Avenue, the palm trees and sun reflecting off the blue-hued glass of the Anaheim Convention Center’s ACC North gives the look of a tech campus or high-end showroom.

On any given day, it could be either.

Since opening in September 2017, ACC North has hosted some 50 events, from the Orange County International Auto Show to gatherings by some of the biggest names in tech.

More than 600,000 attendees have come to ACC North. They generated nearly $500,000 in room-night stays.

The 200,000-square-foot ACC North addition has opened up our convention center to all kinds of gatherings.

Inside, ACC North’s three levels provide for everything from sprawling convention floors to smaller spaces that can be configured for kick-off events, ballroom galas, corporate meetings, educational sessions and more — all under one roof.

In January, every foot of the convention center was in full swing with The NAMM Show, the music industry’s premier gathering for instrument and gear makers, retailers and music lovers alike.

ACC North has helped the convention center grow with shows such as NAMM, which saw more than 115,000 attendees this year.

And it’s vital we do so.

NAMM and other shows such as VidCon and BlizzCon bring a lot of cool attention to our city. But that’s only part of it.

The money Anaheim receives from convention attendees that stay in our hotels and shop and dine in our city goes straight to the things that touch our residents’ daily lives.

Think community centers that support working families, libraries that support education for kids, parks for sports and family events and police and firefighters in our times of need.

ACC North is proving to be an investment that is paying off for our residents and is set to for years to come.

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Mark your calendars for Saturday, Feb. 23.

That's the new date for the 39th annual Orange County Black History Month Parade & Cultural Faire in downtown Anaheim.

The parade, one of our best community gatherings, was postponed amid pounding rain on Feb. 2. 

The yearly event brings some 8,000 people together to mark the contributions of African-Americans to Anaheim and the county.

Anaheim has proudly played host to the parade since 2011.

Attendees will get to enjoy more than 75 parade entries, including marching bands, parade vehicles, horseback riders, community groups and others.

This year’s parade grand marshal is Bobby McDonald, president of the Orange County Black Chamber of Commerce.

The parade runs from Walnut Grove Park up Anaheim Boulevard to East Center Street. After the parade, enjoy a street fair with food, boutique booths, music and festivities at Center Street Promenade.

The parade begins at 10 a.m. and the festivities will go until 4 p.m.

As the only black heritage parade in the county, the event showcases Anaheim’s and Orange County’s culturally rich African-American community.

Anaheim is home to about 11,000 African-American residents, or about 20 percent of Orange County’s black population, according to numbers from the Census.

For more, visit the Orange County Heritage Council at


Just off Lincoln Avenue near the Santa Ana (I-5) Freeway is a Craftsman-style apartment community with burnt red shingles and amber yellow walls.

It’s as nice as any with a playground, barbecue area and demonstration kitchen for residents.

You’d never know it’s an affordable apartment community for about 35 people who otherwise would be homeless.

Diamond Aisle Apartments marks its 10th anniversary this year.

A partnership of the city and Irvine-based nonprofit Jamboree Housing Corp., Diamond is made up of 25 one- and two-bedroom apartments.

Everyone who lives there used to be homeless.

Diamond, one of 12 dedicated affordable housing communities in Anaheim, is part of our larger effort to address homelessness.

In the past two months, we’ve opened two homeless shelters that have allowed us to help those in need and to clear our parks and other public spaces of unsustainable, inhumane encampments.

But that’s not enough.

We need communities such as Diamond to provide a lasting, long-term end to homelessness.

Diamond residents can take advantage of health and wellness programs, adult education, tutoring for young students, financial education and more.

The best part is Diamond and communities like it can be great neighbors. The community’s beautiful design has been part of our revitalization of Lincoln near the 5 freeway.

We’re now working with Jamboree on a new community, known as the Manchester project for now.

Located at Manchester and Orangewood avenues, the community will provide 102 affordable apartments in about two years time, including for about 20 formerly homeless residents.

NEA Big Read 2019

Anaheim is coming together for Black History Month to read “A Lesson Before Dying,” a gripping story that tackles the intersection of race and criminal justice.

From Feb. 16 to March 16, Anaheim Public Library will lead a community-wide reading and exploration of the 1993 Ernest J. Gaines novel, which celebrates the heroism of resisting and defying the expected.

Throughout the month, Anaheim Library will give out copies of “A Lesson Before Dying,” lead book and panel discussions and host story times focused on Black History Month.

It’s all part of the Big Read program, a national program by National Endowment of the Arts to promote reading across America.

“A Lesson Before Dying” is set in the late 1940s in the fictional town of Bayonne, La. The novel depicts the struggle of a young black man convicted and sentenced to death for a crime he did not commit.

The powerful tale provides a vivid historical perspective on the themes of race, crime and injustice in the United States.

Gaines, a native of Louisiana, was inspired by his hometown of Oscar, north of Baton Rouge. Now 86, Gaines grew up in the post-Civil War South, where the undercurrents of slavery were slow to change.

Anaheim Library will bring the story “A Lesson Before Dying” to life with programs for all ages and community presentations led by the California Innocence Project, Project Rebound and the Heritage Museum of Orange County.

Kick off the celebration with live jazz music, soul food by Georgia’s Restaurant and the award-winning young adult author and speaker Brandy Colbert at Central Library on Feb. 16 at 2 p.m.

You can learn more here.


For more than 100 years, we’ve had our very own utility that provides reliable electricity and high-quality water to Anaheim residents and businesses.

It literally is our utility — a not-for-profit operator focused on residents and businesses, rather than investors.

Because of that, our rates are among the most affordable in Southern California. They cover the cost of supplying and delivering water and power.

But, of course, there are costs that come with maintaining reliable service and buying the supplies needed to serve our community.

These costs include water we buy from the local groundwater basin, the Northern Sierras and the Colorado River. 

As we know all too well, water is a precious resource, and it is becoming more expensive to provide. 

That’s why we’re investing in more recycled water, both regionally and here in Anaheim. You’ll see more purple pipe carrying recycled water throughout our city, which helps keep costs low.

Costs also include upgrades to water pipes that are nearing the end of their life. Routine replacement helps avoid major damage caused by broken mains.

To help cover these added costs, we’re proposing a modest increase in your water rates this year, with the average household paying just $3 more each month.

While $3 might not seem like much, we know you value your hard-earned money — and we do, too.

Businesses and homes will pay according to how much water they use since our rate is the same for all customers.

And we have many rebate programs to help you reduce your usage and lower your utility bill.

If you haven’t received a free home survey, call us and we’ll have a specialist help you find ways to lower your bill.

If you’re an income-qualified customer, we can help you find the program designed to best meet your needs.

You can hear more or share your thoughts on this proposed rate increase at a public hearing on March 27. The new rates would go into effect in April.

On the electricity side, Anaheim Public Utilities is offering a new rate that could help you save money based on the time of day you use electricity. This rate is optional, and you’ll only be enrolled if you ask to sign up.

We’re finding that the highest time for electricity use is in the late afternoon, as solar power winds down with the setting sun.

If you help us reduce usage during those peak times by, say, charging your electric vehicle in the early morning or doing the laundry later in the evening, you can save on your bill.

It’s a win-win for our customers and the environment.

For more, visit or call us at (714) 765-3300.

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