Friendship Shelter foresees “once-in-a-lifetime” change in new federal housing relief

October 1, 2021

U.S. Marine Corps veteran Thomas Crivella put his sweat into Heisler Park as a maintenance worker for the Laguna Beach Parks and Recreation during the 1970s.

Friendship Shelter named Non-Profit of the Year by OC Assemblymember

August 22, 2021

Assemblymember Laurie Davies (R-Laguna Niguel) presented Friendship Shelter with the Nonprofit of the Year Award for the 73rd Assembly District, recognizing its work to end homelessness in south Orange County.

Mary LaRusso retires from the ASL after 10 years of leading with her heart & a lot of true grit

June 23, 2020

Since the Alternative Sleeping Location (ASL) opened its doors in 2009, Mary LaRusso has committed herself to serving those in Laguna who lack permanent residences. Once one meets Mary, it’s not a surprise that what started out as a short-term commitment to the ASL turned into a decade of dauntless dedication. She pursues what she says is her “calling” with equal amounts of compassion, conviction, and good old-fashioned doggedness.    

An advocate for those who can’t shelter-in-place

May 30, 2020

“Hi, I’m Carol. I’m a social worker. How are you doing today?”

The woman sitting on the curb wears tattered socks and soiled clothing. She gazes into the distance and seems not to hear Carol Eastman’s query.

From White House to Laguna Beach Streets

January 16, 2020

Wayne Crawford enjoys watching California sea lions play in the rehabilitation pools at the Pacific Marine Mammal Center during his shifts as a custodian.

Unsheltered: Orange County homelessness and the efforts to solve it — the complete series

December 30, 2019

A Friend In Need

November 1, 2019

Founded in 1988, the Laguna Beach-based Friendship Shelter was originally an all-volunteer effort, loosely organized and led by the Rev. Colin Henderson. It operated out of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church until the flagship site on South Coast Highway was opened.

Listen to Dawn Price on KX93.5

April 25, 2019

Tyler Russel recently interviewed Dawn Price about homelessness in Laguna Beach and Friendship Shelter's approach. Click to listen! 

Laguna’s Alternative Sleeping Location starts daytime pilot program offering services and housing plans

Feb 7, 2019

A drizzle had just begun as Travis Corcoran stepped out of Laguna Beach’s Alternative Sleeping Location on Tuesday afternoon, his hair still damp from taking a shower. He had just finished his first visit to the ASL’s daytime drop-in pilot program, which began Monday.

An Update on the Homeless in Laguna, OC

January 24, 2019

Dawn Price, executive director of the Friendship Shelter, will give a talk, “Homelessness in Laguna Beach and Orange County: New Challenges and Accomplishments,” at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, Jan. 27, at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.

Other cities should follow Laguna’s lead in offering shelter

December 19, 2018

On Nov. 5, federal district Judge Andrew Guilford granted final approval of a settlement agreement between a class of disabled homeless individuals and the city of Laguna Beach, bringing closure to a three-year-old lawsuit that in my and many others’ view was misguided and resulted in the needless consumption of substantial resources and funds that could have been better devoted to legitimate public purposes.

Friendship Shelter has attracted unfair and unenlightened criticism from office seekerss headline

October 19, 2018

Each of us has experience working as advisers to Friendship Shelter. We are dismayed at the way its Housing First approach has been mis-characterized in City Council candidate debates. We want to set the record straight.

Friendship Shelter holds fascinating – though disturbing – panel on mental health & the criminal justice system

May 23, 2018

 The mother was woken by the sound of a buzzing saw. Her son was methodically cutting down the interior doors of their house, driven by paranoid delusions that he was about to be locked up by people who were “after him.”  

OC Supervisors Approve Funding for Homeless

May 23, 2018

Orange County supervisors Tuesday approved millions of dollars in spending on mental health and homeless services as a group of transients moved off the Santa Ana riverbed encampment to an Anaheim hotel prepared to leave their county-arranged shelter.

Santa Ana Asks Court to Order All OC Cities to Provide Homeless Services

April 30, 2018

Santa Ana has officially filed legal action asking federal Judge David O. Carter to order the other 33 Orange County cities and the county government to provide additional homeless shelter beds and resources.

“Ultimately, Santa Ana seeks…a fair and equitable distribution of responsibilities for homeless services among the County and all Orange County cities, as well as reimbursement and sustained funding by the County for Santa Ana’s decades long efforts to relieve homelessness in Orange County,” reads the city’s court filing.

Friendship Shelter hosts free community event as part of its 30th anniversary celebration

May 4, 2018

On Wednesday, May 16, Friendship Shelter will host a community event, free to all attendees, at [seven-degrees] in Laguna Beach. Titled Intersections: Exploring the Cross Section of Mental Health & Criminal Justice, the event will feature a panel discussion followed by questions and answers from audience members.

Gentle Advocate Exits, His Vision Mostly Realized

May 1, 2017

When Colin Henderson and his wife Elin settled permanently in Laguna Beach in 1985, St. Mary’s Episcopal Church opened its doors regularly to homeless people, who bedded down for the night on church property.

Leading voice in Laguna's homeless community is leaving for his homeland

April 24, 2017

It was 1985 and Colin Henderson was a new Episcopal priest at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Laguna Beach. His superiors gave him a project: Work with the homeless.

Homeless gala houses a roomful of friends

November 9, 2016

Nearly 30 years ago, they could have been pragmatic and called it the Laguna Beach Homeless Shelter but instead they chose a name closer in spirit: Friendship Shelter. The name is immediately more familiar and caring. For all these years, the Friendship Shelter has been bearing the responsibility of lifting up the community's homeless and helping them find work, housing and a better life.

Once homeless, these people now have a place to call home, thanks to O.C.'s new approach

June 29, 2016

It took Elizabeth Townsend a good two years before she knew Diamond Apartment Homes truly was home.

Up until then, Townsend, an alcoholic trying to stay sober, felt the insecurity of years of being homeless and unstable. “I figured it would go away,” she says. “I didn’t have enough faith in the people and in myself.”


She’s not talking just about her apartment.

Program secures housing for 100 formerly homeless

May 20, 2016

Forty-four people who used to sleep at an overnight shelter in Laguna Canyon now have permanent homes thanks to a federal government grant. 

Friendship Shelter works with Collaborative to provide countywide permanent housing for the homeless

May 20, 2016

There is a widespread but largely inaccurate belief that subsidized permanent supportive housing for the homeless provides opportunistic men and women with a way to subvert the system, getting away with paying less than working people for their homes.

Homecoming: Henderson House Reopens To Provide Permanent Residences

April 7, 2016

For those who have experienced homelessness under the constraints of mental health issues, Henderson House in San Clemente has provided a stable environment.

Hansen: County Homeless News is Old Hat for Laguna

November 27, 2015

While the Orange County Board of Supervisors last week was approving a first-ever, year-round homeless shelter in Anaheim, Laguna Beach advocates were helping a homeless woman get into an apartment — after 10 years on the street.

Friendship Shelter's Annual Gala, Homecoming, Celebrated Helping Homeless Find Their Way Home

November 13, 2015

Friendship Shelter’s annual gala held on Friday, October 30 at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel celebrated the year’s achievements, while looking to the future of the organization. The evening included live and silent auctions, a sit down dinner, and live entertainment from The Tijuana Dogs.

Friendship Shelter Joins County Agencies to Snag HUD Funds

January 31, 2015

Even as Friendship Shelter continues to press city officials for a proposed housing project in the Canyon for Laguna's chronically homeless, the local non-profit recently secured $600,000 as their share of a $2.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to the Orange County Permanent Supportive Housing Project.

The Shockingly Simple, Surprisingly Cost-Effective Way to End Homelessness

March, 2015

Clean up cities. Give the homeless a place to live. And save money too? The shockingly simple, surprisingly cost-effective solution that won over a bunch of conservatives in Utah.

How can OC's homeless with mental illness be helped? A home is a start and here's who's helping

January 21, 2015

Peggy Profeta is thankful for her sunny studio apartment, because she knows the alternative all too well. Her hard knocks face and missing front teeth leave no doubt about that.

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