Access California Services took a serious and sobering look at leaving Anaheim, its longtime home, right before the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

In late 2019, the heralded nonprofit found a building in neighboring Buena Park to possibly host its award-winning array of health and human services for immigrants, refugees and anyone in need.

With a proposal to build a family resource center at Brookhurst Park foiled before Anaheim City Council on more than one occasion, it appeared that Nahla Kayali, AccessCal’s founding executive director, had no other option.

But the pandemic forced AccessCal to stay put at its current office space nestled in the Little Arabia district on the city’s west side for a while longer. Then, an opportunity to remain in Anaheim arose.

The nonprofit kept its doors open to the community throughout the pandemic for those in need of critical assistance while transferring other programming online. AccessCal partnered with the United Way of Orange County and secured CARES Act funding to facilitate rent and mortgage relief payments.