Network for Homeless Solutions Newsletter
Updates from June 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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A study was performed at the University of California, Irvine regarding the true costs of homelessness in Orange County.  A study like this has never been performed in the County and the findings were both startling and eye opening. The primary objectives of the study was to analyze the economic expenditures that have accrued across the County due to homelessness and to assess the extent to which the cost of serving homeless vary across the spectrum of those living on the streets and in shelters versus those living in housing.  According to the 2015 Orange County Point in Time Count report, nearly 4,500 people experienced homelessness (2,200 of whom are unsheltered) on any given night, and 15,291 people are expected to be homeless over the course of a year. This equates to 1 in 200 Orange County residents experiencing at least one night of homelessness during a year.

Demographic of homeless individuals 
  • Mainly OC residents that have lived long term in the area as 68% of the 252 homeless surveyed lived in the county for 10 years or longer.
  • U.S. born individuals (90%). 

Major factors contributing to homelessness
  • Securing and retaining a job with sustainable wages (40%)
  • Finding or retaining affordable housing, including evictions and foreclosures (36%)
  • Family issues, which include domestic violence, family dysfunction, relationship dissolution, and death of a family member (28%)
  • Alcohol and/or drugs (22%)
  • Mental health (17%)
  • Physical health (13%)
  • Release from jail/prison (7%)

Summary of Key Findings

  • Key Finding: Homelessness is caused primarily by lack of sufficient income or job loss combined with high costs of housing in Orange County. Other factors, like family dysfunction, health, and substance abuse, increase one’s vulnerability to homelessness in such a context.
  • Key Finding: Orange County’s city governments and public services bear the brunt of the costs associated with homelessness in Orange County.
  • Key Finding: Costs are highest in Orange County’s health care service cluster, which is consistent with other cost studies across the country.
  • Key Finding: The costs of homelessness are driven upwards by the heaviest service users among those who are chronically street homeless.
  • Key Finding: Whatever the service or housing category the costs of homelessness declines when the homeless are housed. This holds for both the non-chronically and the chronically homeless.
  • Key Finding: The cost savings data on housing the homeless in general, and particularly the chronically street homeless, show a consistent and compelling pattern: costs are markedly lower among the homeless who are housed, and this is especially true for the chronically homeless.

Recommendations Proposed:
  1. Create a better community-wide understanding of “who are our homeless” based upon the profile of OC’s homeless identified from the cost study.
  2. Formalize a countywide collective impact effort to end homelessness with a shared set of goals and agreed upon respective roles.
  3. Develop specific numeric goals for the creation of housing unit types needed for the varying homeless populations and an agreed-upon time-bound action plan to increase housing stock.
  4. Prioritize populations to be housed first, start with housing the top 10% of the chronically homeless in Orange County immediately.
  5. Assess and map current public and private funding and resources dedicated or available to address homelessness in Orange County and create strategic public-private partnerships to bridge existing gaps and redeploy existing resources in alignment and collaboration with the goals set to end homelessness
June Housing actions
June Linkages
Outreach highlights for June
  • Outreach assisted one resident client in completing requirements needed to attain In Home Supportive Services. Such requirements included attending medical appointments, completing documentation and attending an intake assessment appointment.

  • Outreach made several follow up appointments for resident client to see medical specialists in an effort to coordinate medical care and discharge planning. This included hospital visits and follow-up visits in rehabilitation facilities to ensure clients remain under medical care.   

Costa Mesa Police Department Partnerships
  • Costa Mesa Police Department (CMPD) has partnered with Outreach on several cases this month including those involving stabilization of newly housed Costa Mesa Residents.  
  • This month CMPD accompanied Outreach to visit three newly housed individuals who were feeling isolated due to the transition from street to home.  
  • CMPD assisted Outreach in setting up long term goals and a strategy to remain housed and prevent eviction.  
  • CMPD will follow up with these clients to ensure that they have a source of support.  
Linkage Emergency Housing 
Outreach linked family with emergency housing and several other housing and social service resources in an effort to prevent them from living on the streets.
Linkage Legal

  • Outreach linked resident client to local community partner to enroll into classes that fulfill his court order. 
  • Outreach was informed that non-resident client’s court appearance dates have not been scheduled and no records of his case is in the system. Outreach will follow up with client in determining what further legal actions to take. 
Linkage Mental Health 

  • Non-resident client met Outreach at local church with suicidal ideas and Outreach assisted in admitting client into local psychiatric ward. 

  • Outreach linked non-resident client to potential employer and client attended job interview. Outreach will follow up with client to verify client’s job status. 

  • Outreach housed one resident client on an emergency basis at local motel due to chronic medical conditions. 

  • Outreach has been attending several housing interviews at the Orange County Housing Authority with clients who have been awarded Continuum of Care Vouchers.  Outreach is assisting these clients submit proper paperwork to OCHA as well as helping in housing navigation for these clients.  
Contacts made by Code Enforcement in June

Code Enforcement Highlights 

  • Several instances of vehicle living have been identified in the City.  Staff is working with both the homeless vehicle dwellers as well as private property owners to discourage this activity. Some of these vehicle dwellers are actively working with City Outreach and other agencies to assist in housing and resource searches.  

  • Code Enforcement responded to complaint on private property involving car camping, loitering, drug use, and public health issues.  Property owner notified and Code Enforcement and CMPD have been actively monitoring property to ensure that the property is cleared.    

  • Code Enforcement has worked with private property owners and CMPD to break up major encampments behind local businesses.  Assistance has also been provided by both County and Caltrans staff when encampments encroach on both public and private properties.

  • Ongoing encampments have returned to public properties in the City.  Code Enforcement, CMPD and Outreach are actively monitoring these properties to ensure these activities cease.  

Trellis Volunteer
Highlight for June 

  • The Check In Center: 40 volunteers from 11 different churches help fill these 144 slots each month totaling roughly 220 hours a month. The Check in Center offers storage for property owned by homeless residents as well as a place to seek outreach assistance.

  • Community Impact Team 
    8 – 10 volunteers from 5 different churches help organize and operate the Community Impact Team which is involved in working at various locations throughout the area.  Besides organizing the teams, volunteers assist the workers, garner donations, mentor the workers and teach life/employment skills to people living on the street.  These dedicated volunteers spend approximately 100 hours a month running the meetings, developing marketing strategies and working with the team.  
Orange County Behavioral Health
Psychiatric Emergency Response Team (PERT) 
  • 25 Total hours of service 
  • 6 Mental Health Evaluations 
  • 1 Hospitalized 
  • 22 contacts made with private residents
  • 2 contacts made with homeless residents 
  • 5 contacts made with other residents (Motel, Crisis Home, Group Home, Transitional Shelter)

  The Bridges at Kramer
The Anaheim shelter is finally open.  However, the facility is limited to those with ties to North Orange County they will only be taking referrals from local outreach teams for their facility.

Mercy House has graciously allowed the City Outreach Team to refer homeless clients directly to the shelter IF THESE CLIENTS HAVE TIES TO NORTH ORANGE COUNTY.  The Costa Mesa Police Department will assist Outreach in making these referrals. 
The Crossing Church

Saturday Morning L.O.T.S. (Life on the Streets) Showers, Laundry & Breakfast 7:30 – 11:00 a.m.   10 -15 volunteers from 16 churches serve at L.O.T.S. each week for approximately 170 hours per month. For further information, contact
Trellis Community Impact Team
  Costa Mesa Street Team
The Street Team is looking for evening and weekend volunteers to assist helping those on the streets of Costa Mesa. If this interests you, please call or text (949) 466-0355