Network for Homeless Solutions Newsletter
March/April, 2017
A monthly newsletter summarizing the efforts of the Network for Homeless Solutions, a collaboration comprised of city staff, volunteers, community churches and nonprofit and private organizations, to address homelessness in Costa Mesa.
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SUCCESS STORIES
  Elmore McBride smiles wide

Even the times Elmore McBride found himself homeless, he remained a very meticulous man who preferred things neat and orderly.

Still there was something holding him back that wasn’t so orderly – his lack of teeth.

“I was afraid to smile,” he said.

But that was about to change. The 62-year-old McBride was in a transitional program at the Lighthouse Church in Westside Costa Mesa when he met Muriel Ullman, Costa Mesa’s housing consultant who works to help the city’s homeless residents and Stacy Bowler, one of the city’s Community Outreach Workers.

He mentioned to Ullman that he wanted new teeth.

“She and Stacy are just two awesome people,” McBride said. “I wanted to get my teeth fixed and I told Muriel. Three days later, Stacy gave me a number to call for SOS and I was home free.”

McBride is very thankful for SOS, which stands for Share Our Selves, a local nonprofit that provides dental services for those who are not insured or have emergency need for care.

He also is most thankful to Pastor Phil Eyskens at the Lighthouse Church, who assisted him when he most needed it and while he was attending school at Orange Coast College.

“The type of person I am I would have succeeded eventually,” McBride said. “But it happened a lot faster because of the Lighthouse.”

Eyskens is a key member of Costa Mesa’s Network for Homeless Solutions, which is made up of representatives from the City Manager, City Attorney, Police, Fire, Planning and Code Enforcement offices, as well as clergy, those from non-profit agencies and community volunteers.

The Network for Homeless Solutions implements a range of strategies, including law enforcement, street outreach, prevention, rehabilitation, housing assistance and volunteer coordination. Since its inception in 2013, the Network for Homeless Solutions housed and/or reconnected 269 people as of December 2016. Of the 269, 70 were reconnected to their community of origin or to a place of their choice to end their homelessness.

After four years of assisting McBride through tough times, Pastor Eyskens said he left the Lighthouse and Costa Mesa for a short time, but recently returned and started attending church services again.

“He came to a church service and he had new teeth looking like a million bucks,” Eyskens said. “I’m so proud of him. He is just a real success story. What a perfect example. You got to hope for the best for this guy because you never know what the day is going to bring you.”

For McBride, the days have been getting much better. He now works for the County of Orange In-Home Supportive Services and really enjoys his job. The Boston native is also glad to be living in Costa Mesa, a place he has called home for about 11 years.

“I like the laid-back atmosphere here,” said McBride who is now living in an apartment in the city. “The people are awesome. The police are like the Beverly Hills police. They are so friendly.”

McBride’s advice for those who are struggling financially or homeless is pretty simple.

“You can’t give up,” he said.  “You have to keep plugging. The time I was there at the Lighthouse I talked to a lot of homeless people and I always said keep walking forward. Even when you are stagnant, you got to go forward.”

For more information about the Network for Homeless Solutions, click  here or view the Facebook page here or call the Network for Homeless Solutions hotline at (714) 754-5346.


 Taking mothers off the streets 
An integral part of the Network for Homeless Solutions, Broken Hearts Ministry seeks out those living on the streets to provide them training.

A Broken Hearts Street Team member met a mom that was experiencing homelessness on the street and started building a supportive relationship with her. 

The Street Team member then realized this woman was a one of three who was homeless on the street with small children.

Once trust was in place, the Broken Hearts Street Team member connected the woman and her kids with the Street Team Lead who started resourcing for them immediately. Broken Hearts was able to secure funding through a collaboration partner for a hotel room for the women and children so they could focus on applying to programs.

The women were asked to pick only one program and do everything that program required. The women were connected to a school program, visited the family at the hotel for on going support care and council, and followed up several times a day as goals were set and met.

Within 48 hours all women and children were placed into a live-in program that offers stability as the women continue to work towards a secure future housed in a permanent place to call home.

Broken Hearts Street Team will continue to be available for these women to assure they feel supported and to encourage their further efforts.  
Creating generations of change

Broken Hearts Street Team has been working with three generations of a family living in their cars and caring for an ill family member.  

Over the years, the team has connected them to many services including a work program, gym memberships to access showers and exercise daily and assistance with food and clothing.

The family's name has been on numerous lists for housing and this month they were able to qualify, pay for and move into a home of their own.

Broken Hearts Street Team supported the family along the way, helped address emergencies, secured funds in the case of emergencies and assisted with furnishing their new residence.

Broken Hearts will continue its efforts through assistance and support of two additional generations still on the street.

For the family members still on the street, employment has been secured and the team is continuing to assist them. 
OUTREACH
March Housing actions
March Linkages
 
April Housing Actions

April Linkages
Outreach highlights for March

  • 1 resident and chronically ill client received a car donation with the assistance of Outreach and a local church.
  • Outreach assisted a resident client who is a veteran, linking them to Veteran Administration services.
  • Outreach successfully administered housing assessment to a previously service resistant resident.
  • Homeless resident client who has been on the streets for over 17  years sought out assistance through Outreach in applying for retirement benefits. 
Outreach highlights for April

  • Outreach collaborated with Costa Mesa Police Department (CMPD), City’s Code Enforcement, and County’s Outreach and Engagement to meet with new and existing clients in the city.
  • Outreach assisted 2 resident clients obtain temporary housing and 2 clients obtain emergency shelter.
  • Outreach met with 8 new clients, 4 that were CMPD referrals and 1 referral from a faith based partner.

CODE ENFORCEMENT 
Contacts made by Code Enforcement in March
Contacts made by Code Enforcement in April
  • 3000 block of College Ave- Responded to reports of people living in their vehicles. Visited location multiple times and interviewed the vehicle owner. Owner made aware of vehicle living restrictions and said they would clear the area.
  • 660 Baker – During a check on a business property boarded up due to transient occupancy.  Males and females interviewed for possible outreach needs.  Area was cleared.
  • 2800 Block of Mesa Verde – Possible transients camping in vacant units based on observation by contractor.  Transients also observed sleeping in vehicle overnight.  Male and female transients also nearby were interviewed for possible outreach needs.  Property owner to be notified.
  • 1100 Block of Victoria – Male transient camping on private business property.  Male made aware of the complaint and said he would clear the location.
  • 600 Terminal Way - continually monitoring for camping and abandoned items.
  • 3100 block of College Ave – Large vehicle observed and suspected as vehicle camping .
  • 1600-1700 blocks of 17th - Transient campers on private property with trash and debris scattered around.
  • Gisler Park - Continually monitoring for camping after dusk.
  • 200 block of Charles Street - Continual camping and loitering on private property.
  FAST FACTS
  •  203 remain 
  • in housing.
  • Since 2013, 70 individuals have been reconnected.

Distribution of places clients have been housed:
  • Number of clients housed in Costa Mesa: 25 (12%)
  • Number of clients housed in other Orange County cities: 91 (44%)
  • Number of clients housed in other California counties: 19 (9%)
  • Number of clients housed in other states: 27 (13%)
  • Other: 45 (22%)
  Permanent Supportive Housing updates for March
  • 166 housing assessments were completed between Jan 2016 and Dec 2016.
  • 73 were successfully submitted to the County Coordinated Entry System (CES).
  • 37 of those submissions were for Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH).


  • From January 1 to April 30, 2017 44 people have been housed.
  • 10 people have been reconnected this year. 
Permanent Supportive Housing updates through April 2017 

  • 18 assessments completed in 2017
  • 12 people matched for housing in 2017
  • 24 people housed through PSH for 2017




IMPORTANT UPDATES
  Kramer Shelter
Anaheim is the host city and has provided $500,000 in funding for Orange County's first year-round homeless shelter set to open in mid-2017. As the host city, Anaheim will have priority access to the shelter which will be operated by Mercy House. The 24,390-square-foot industrial building is being converted to a year-round homeless shelter focused on rehousing. Initial services begin in mid-2017, with full operation slated for late 2017. Individuals in need can access medical and mental health services, long-term housing placement, and job and life skills training.

  LOTS
The Crossing Church
Every Saturday at 7:30 a.m. the Crossing Church, located at 2115 Newport Blvd.,
offers breakfast, showers,  laundry
and fellowship.

Trellis
 Trellis volunteer highlights for March
  • The check in center boasted 40 volunteers from 11 different churches filling in 144 slots each month. This totals roughly 220 hours a month.
  • First quarter numbers: 899 meals served, 327 showers, 318 loads of laundry, 36 volunteers a week, and four newly employed and working toward independence.