Anaheim city council looking to find new home for nonprofit

Tuesday, July 10, 2018
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Anaheim nonprofit Access California Services wants to move into a larger office space, but the city council is still considering the current relocation plan.

ANAHEIM, Calif. (KABC) -- Anaheim nonprofit Access California Services is looking to relocate to a new, larger space to accommodate the organization's work.

For the last 20 years, Access has provided support for under-served communities.

"We try to acculturate new immigrants, new refugees into society and have them be successful in their futures," Access California Services executive director Nahla Kayali said.

The nonprofit helps more than 10,000 clients, offering hundreds of services in 16 different languages. Now, the organization has outgrown its office space in West Anaheim.

"We will be a model of all the services that we will providing and all the services that will be free to the community," Kayali said.

Two years ago, a few council members suggested a plan to rent Access a piece of the Brookhurst Park behind an existing community center. Under the plan, the city would lease the space to Access for $1 per year for up to 55 years and the nonprofit would build a 25,000-square-foot facility connected to the community center.

But recently, the city decided that plan needed a second look.

"While we love the work they do, we definitely want to see them stay in Anaheim, we also have to protect precious park space," Anaheim spokesperson Mike Lyster said.

The city is now looking at other places to move Access. Some residents have signed a petition to stop the lease of the land, worried about losing a piece of the park.

Kayali maintains that it's a small stretch of land and that it will only serve to benefit the community.

"The family resource center is part of the park," she said. "It's not taking away. We're enhancing, we're improving."

The city council hopes to have some options by the July 31 council meeting while Access would like to move out of its current space by September of next year.