Monthly Newsletter
Updates from July 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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LATEST NEWS
New legislation gives cities flexibility in using existing funds to build affordable housing
Gov. Jerry Brown recently signed Assembly Bill 346, a bipartisan piece of legislation jointly authored by Orange County Assemblymembers Tom Daly (D – Anaheim) and William Brough (R – Dana Point) to give cities more flexibility in how they use local housing funds to help the homeless.

The bill, which was strongly supported by the Association of California Cities-Orange County and the League of California Cities, authorizes redevelopment “successor” agencies to use affordable housing fund for the development of homelessness services, or emergency housing services. It also allows a successor agency to transfer up to $1 million to a neighboring jurisdiction for the development of a regional homeless shelter.

Project Hope Alliance leader tells NHS volunteers about his group's work to help homeless children 
Costa Mesa’s Outreach team invited Project Hope Alliance to the monthly volunteer meeting.

The Presentation was conducted by Ian Delzer, Corporate and Strategic Partnerships at Project Hope Alliance

The mission of Project Hope Alliance is to end the cycle of homelessness, one child at a time.

Committed to providing homeless children and youth from kindergarten through age 24 with the tools and opportunities they need to learn their way to a better tomorrow.
Project Hope Alliance is a purpose-driven organization with two goals: lifting needful families up from homelessness and eliminating obstacles that prevent homeless children from attending and excelling in school.
Since 2012, Project Hope Alliance has moved more than 800 children and parents out of homelessness.
Project Hope Alliance supports more than 400 children attending 91 different schools in 31 cities throughout Orange County.

The Volunteer Meeting took place on July 20, 2017 from 5:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m.
Faith Café 301 Magnolia St, Costa Mesa.
OUTREACH
Going Home!
A young man who identified himself as Shane and who spoke at the July 18 City Council meeting about his experiences in sober living homes has been reconnected with his family in Oklahoma.

Shane said that he had come to Costa Mesa from Oklahoma to get help for substance abuse and had been kicked out of a sober living facility. He also detailed what he said were uncaring and unhelpful operators at the rehab facilities.

Community Improvement Manager Fidel Gamboa, members of the Costa Mesa Network for Homeless Solutions and the city's Outreach staffers reached out to Shane to assist him. After several attempts, the outreach workers were able to connect with him and worked with local clergy members to reach his family in Oklahoma.

Shane's grandmother agreed to pay for his plane ticket home, so o  n Thursday Aug. 3, with the assistance of John Begin, the Minister of Homeless Initiative with Trellis, he boarded a plane to Oklahoma City and is now back home with family members there. 

Trellis is one of several clergy and service groups that work with the city to provide aid to homeless in need.

"He knew the streets of Costa Mesa were not going to be a stable environment for him," Begin said. "  The cooperative effort between the city and Trellis has helped more people get off the streets."
Putting a stop to human trafficking 
Outreach in collaboration with a community volunteer reconnected non-resident client to her out of state hometown and reunited client to close family. Client at a young age was a victim of human trafficking and was inflicted with abuse, as well as combating a severe drug addiction.

Client came to Costa Mesa seeking drug treatment assistance, however, dropped out of the program due to issues related to insurance coverage. Client was connected to Outreach and reconnection was initiated.

With community volunteer collaboration, client was personally escorted on an airplane by community volunteer to client’s out of state hometown. Client is currently residing with family and seeking treatment.   
Outreach highlights for June
  • Outreach referred two resident clients to Public Consulting Group services for assistance with Social Security funds.
  • Outreach provided deceased client’s death certificate to Social Security case worker, to discontinue client’s funds. 
  • Outreach connected two resident clients to substance abuse treatment facilities.
  • Outreach assisted resident, chronically homeless client in setting up P.O. Box at local post office.
  • Outreach assisted chronically homeless non-resident client in linking them to substance abuse treatment facility out of state. 
  • Outreach was notified that one non-resident client, was reconnected and flown out of state to re-unite with family at his place of origin. Non-resident client was a police department referral who recently graduated from a local sober living facility.
  • Outreach worker performed intake assessment on a multi-generational homeless family. Family consisting of over five members, indicated the need for assistance with housing, finances, and food resources. Outreach will follow up with family and link them to eligible housing programs. 
July Housing actions
July Linkages
Linkage Legal
  • Outreach met two resident clients at local courthouse and provided general assistance. 
Linkage Mental Health
  • Chronically homeless and severely mentally ill client was referred to mental health services and successfully received medication services to manage symptoms related to mental illness.  
Staying Connected
  • Outreach was contacted by out-of-state reconnected client, interested in coming back to Costa Mesa. Outreach discussed service and resource options available in client’s current state of residence. Outreach provided client with homelessness verification letter to support client’s out-of-state housing and helped arrange temporary housing in client’s home state.    
Documentation Connections
  • Outreach received one resident client’s housing documentation and emotional support animal letter. Outreach will submit housing documentation and notify client about the letter. 
  • Outreach provided three resident clients with identification card voucher to assist client in applying for a replacement identification card.
  • Outreach assisted five resident clients in filling out paperwork for Public Consulting Group. 
  • Outreach helped nine clients navigate the court system including appearing before the judge and advocating for clients with both the public defender and district attorney 


Collaborative Case Management
  • Outreach has been in contact with various local housing partners to continue to offer collaborative case management to 4 clients recently placed in permanent supportive housing.
  • Outreach and Veteran Administration has been in collaboration in assisting 2 resident clients with their housing needs. 
  • Outreach contacted housing providers on behalf of 6 resident clients to discuss with case managers ways that clients can keep their housing as they are already housed at facility. 

Transportation
  • Outreach provided resident client with money order to assist with paying for car registration. 
  • Outreach provided one resident client with a walker since, client’s wheelchair was stolen.
  • A 30-day bus pass provided to assist client with transportation needs. 
  • Outreach linked seven resident clients and one non-resident client to bus passes to assist them with their transportation needs to mental health, medical, and social service appointments. 
CODE ENFORCEMENT 
Contacts made by Code Enforcement in July
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.  This month, Code Enforcement and CMPD met with several Westside property owners to develop a security plan designed to prevent loitering in the entire shopping center.  
  • 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. Assistance has also been provided by both County and Caltrans staff when encampments encroach on both public and private properties.
CMPD Collaboration 
  • Outreach met with several new clients this month, two of whom h were referred by Costa Mesa law enforcement. New clients indicated assistance housing and financial needs, as well as, linkages to community resources. Outreach will assess client’s residency status and will follow up accordingly
  FAST FACTS
VOLUNTEER AND PARTNER HIGHLIGHTS
Trellis Volunteer
Highlight for July
Back to Work
  • Through Trellis services, two homeless resident clients found jobs at the Orange County Fair Grounds. 

Counseling
  • Church of Christ Caring Kitchen spoke to an elderly Suicidal woman, at Caring Kitchen. Counseled for over an hour and called 911 so the police could be on the look out for her. She is doing better and staying with a friend in Lake Forest.

Community Impact Team
  • Sam Spock who is part of the CIT team and went through Open Gates
  • Culinary school is now employed with the Hyatt.
  • CIT (Community Impact Team) had 6 projects this month
  • E-commerce program is starting to have success we sold 10
    items and had a total revenue of $400.00.This is a result of items being donated to Trellis and one of our homeless people trained to sell on eBay and Craigslist.
  • Working on getting a CIT Volunteer a bike so that he can get back and
  • forth to work.
  • Volunteer form Church of Christ is providing work for one of Costa
  • Mesa’s homeless every Thursday and hoping to expand it to more hours
  • in the future.

Helping those who are Housed
  • Moved Jackie who was homeless for many years to a new housing placement.  

Transportation
  • Issued two bus passes to homeless lady.
The Lighthouse Church
Lighthouse Church in collaboration with City of Costa Mesa’s Outreach team facilitated in the referring five homeless individuals to drug treatment programs as well as referring two families and one individual to shelter resources. Lighthouse church successfully ended homelessness for two families. 
S.P.I.N
Serving People in Need
S.P.I.N. a non-profit organization founded in 1987, seeks to alleviate homelessness within Orange County. Their founder Sam Boyce and six friends started this organization to serve homeless families and provide resources as necessary. The goal of this organization is to assist homeless families in reaching self-sufficiency and financial independence. 

Recently, this organization participated in a county wide family assessment week. This assessment took place on May 22nd – May 25th 2017.  Homeless families were assessed on their level of homelessness and eligibility to receive government subsidized housing. Through this assessment week, 189 families were served. 36 families were at risk of homelessness and 131 families were identified as homeless. The turnout of families assessed during the “assessment week” was 15 times higher than the weekly average of families assessed. 

County wide results yielded the importance and need for affordable housing options for families. Many families assessed qualified for some form of government subsidized housing. It was found that 52% of families qualified for rapid rehousing, 43% qualified for permanent supportive housing, and only 5% of families did not qualify for government subsidized housing.
Orange County Behavioral Health
Psychiatric Emergency Response Team (PERT) 
  • 15 Total hours of service 
  • 18 contacts made with private residents
  • 1 contact made with homeless residents 
  • 15 linkages made
  • 2 contacts made with other residents (Motel, Crisis Home, Group Home, Transitional Shelter)


IMPORTANT UPDATES
Volunteers needed at the Check in Center
The Check in Center is a storage facility for our neighbors who are homeless to keep their belongings in a safe and secure place. This allows clients to go on job interviews, medical and social services appointments. Our homeless friends are also relieved of the physical burden of carrying all their belongings on their back or alternatively stashing and leaving everything in the parks and neighborhoods.

Volunteers at the CIC typically help clients retrieve and store their items through checking client bins out and in when the clients arrive. We have procedures for this, which you would learn. In addition, there's time to get to know the clients better, especially those who are regulars.

All volunteers are partnered with an experienced lead volunteer to give direction and guidance.

New volunteers will also receive a folder containing “Oath For Compassionate Service”, “Professional Boundaries and Handling Conflict” and CIC  “Pointers for working with the homeless “ to aid in understanding proper and effective methods of dealing with the complicated issue of homelessness.

Volunteers are asked to commit to a minimum of 2 shifts per month in order to develop collective relationship-building, a key factor in ending homelessness.

CIC is located at the lowest level of parking structure at the Crossing Church 2115 Newport Blvd.

Hours of Operations              
Mon-Fri       6:00-7:30 a.m.                
Mon-Thur    6:30-8:00 p.m.
Sat               7:00-10:00 a.m.
Fri-Sat         6:30-7:30 p.m.   
On Sundays, it is closed.
 
Contact : Robert Morse :  santabob@wearetrellis.com  or call 949-205-3583
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.
Trellis Community Impact Team
 
LOTS
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  Ian@wearetrellis.com
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