Monthly Newsletter
Updates from October 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.
LATEST NEWS
Local Nonprofit and Business present Homelessness from a Business Perspective Seminar
On Oct. 26, CPA Janet Krochman and Fresh Beginnings Ministries sponsored a seminar designed to address homelessness from a business perspective. Topics included the changing face of homelessness in our City and what businesses can do to deal with the issue of homelessness. Below are key discussion points made during the seminar:

How does your business react when in the presence of a person
experiencing homelessness ?
  • If you feel in danger at any time, call the Police.
  • Fluid Definitions: The difference between Homeless People and Street People.
  • A good scam for a street person is to appear homeless in order to get what they want.
  • Wise discernment: Learn to assess the difference between someone who is experiencing homelessness and a street person trying to scam you.

  • Business Goals for many companies do not include contingencies for dealing with the issue of homelessness.
  • Organizational policies must be made in advance on what the organization is able and unable to do when it comes to dealing with situations of people who appear to be homeless.

  • Someone comes into your office or on your property, what do you do?
  • The question: “Do I engage this person or not?"
  • The vital key - listening
  • Active Listening is different than just hearing. Active listening means you are not thinking of something else while the person is speaking to you.

  • What works and what doesn't work
  •  What works: Understanding their agenda – They want something or Just a place to be.
  • What does not work: Confrontation, challenge and anger
  • Watch and listen with no fear
  • To watch with no fear means you have already created a plan on how to handle an engagement with someone experiencing homelessness.
  • Being prepared in advance is the wisest way to deal with issues and take action.
  • Boundaries are critical for two reasons:
  • Every business operates by the bottom line, if you don’t make money, you will not exist. A key for businesses is to have boundaries with compassion. A business that has boundaries with compassion lets the customers know that people matter to you.
  • If you are naturally a compassionate person who struggles with telling someone in need the word NO, you need to set boundaries.

  • Options:
  • Resources and referrals in your area.
  • All are available and they know it. (They would rather you do everything for them.)
  • Food, medical services and prescriptions.
  • Showers, housing
  • Laundry and recovery
  • Transportation, recconnections, jobs
  • Mentors
  • KEY = Relationships and helping them to remember who they were before they became who they are.
Teen girl returns home
Sara, age 18, came to Orange County with her older sister to go to several amusement parks.

Her sister dropped her off in Costa Mesa, while she went to visit friends in Orange County. Sara remained in Costa Mesa for several days and resorted to prostitution to get a ticket back to Nashville, Tennessee. 

The City, along with Fresh Beginnings called her parents to verify the story.  Fresh Beginnings purchased the ticket back to Nashville. 

When she arrived, Sara’s dad called Fresh Beginnings and said, "You saved our little girl's life and we are so grateful!"
Point in time count


Click here to access the results of the Point in Time survey of homeless by the nonprofit service organization 211oc.
OUTREACH
October Housing actions
October Linkages
Linkage Transportation
Linkage Social Services
Linkages Medical
Linkages Mental Health
Linkages Field Support
Linkages Housing
Linkages Collaborative Case Management
Linkages Job Connection
Linkage Documentation
Coordinated Entry Highlights
Coordinated Entry (CE) is a new requirement for all HUD Continuum of Care as established by the HEARTH Act. Research has shown that prior to CE there were several barriers to program entry: many programs impose entry criteria used by the provider to screen out people who are not housing ready or capable of become self-sufficient, particularly through sobriety requirements, minimum income or employment requirements, and service participation requirements. 

The effect of these barriers is to screen out those families and individuals who have been homeless the longest, have the greatest barriers to housing (including disabilities) and the greatest service needs. Additionally, in the 2013 Point in Time Homeless County 18.5 percent of the homeless population were found to be chronically homeless, yet based on the Permanent Supportive Housing inventory, only 34% of the units were inhabited by chronically homeless.

The Housing First model utilized by CE attempts to lower the threshold for entry into housing rather than establishing rules and restrictions prior to entering housing. 

The report below represents that latest statistics for the program:
CODE ENFORCEMENT 
Contacts made by Code Enforcement in October
Code Enforcement Highlights 
  • City staff was contacted by a local hotel association manager who was concerned about a myriad of issues surrounding motels and hotels in the Newport Blvd. /Bristol St. corridor. Code Officer Mike Brumbaugh has been in contact with five propertymanagers to determine what role, if any, the City can play in reducing vagrancy problems. CMPD has also been involved in reaching out to some of the subject properties based on requests from hotel management.  
  • A client is close to employment. He is a single father who spent years living in the Jungle. He attends meetings, and mentor and training sessions at Second Chance Orange County. Second Chance Orange County will work with this individual to refine his skill set and teach him customer service.  Once this client completes this training, Second Chance will contact employers in the desired industry he wants to work and help find him a job. 
  • One of Outreach's long term Costa Mesa homeless residents has made a local trash enclosure her home for the past several years. Due to the recent efforts of the Street Team and Outreach, this individual is now living in permanent supportive housing thanks to the 211OC Coordinated Entry Program. She is paying her rent, following up on medical appointments and continuing to work with both Street Team and Outreach in an effort to transition to her permanent home.
NETWORK FOR HOMELESS SOLUTIONS TEAM MEMBER HIGHLIGHT
Meet Mike Brumbaugh
What exactly do you do?
I am a Code Enforcement Officer for the City of Costa Mesa and a member of the Network for Homeless Solutions Team (NHS). I work primarily with issues related to crime prevention.
My responsibilities are:
  • Respond to and investigate reports/complaints of transient activity negatively impacting local businesses and residents (constant reporting to Costa Mesa Police.)
  • Evaluate properties for implementation of environmental deterrents related to negative impacts.
  • Patrol areas of the city with outreach workers to contact and evaluate people living on the street for possible housing, medical aid, help for veterans, possible family reconnections and relocations to city/state of origin, if relocation to their community of origin will result in the individual ending their homelessness.

What have been some of your successes and challenges?

My greatest success is befriending a homeless Vietnam veteran who had been on the streets for 20 years. What started with a friendly dialog and an occasional cup of coffee ended with a man ending his homelessness and being reunited with his family. We stay in touch and still enjoy a weekly cup of coffee.
 
My biggest challenge aside from the unintended consequences of recent legislation regarding the downgrading of some crimes from felonies to misdemeanors,  is trying to help people on the street who don’t want help. When I ask “why are you living on the street and not looking for help?"

Many people respond with all or some of the following reasons:

  •  “I don’t have to follow rules”
  •  “I don’t have to pay bills”
  •  “This is like camping”

It is also disheartening to see such a large population of young people out on the street, especially young females. I have encountered people who have known me since their youth who are now homeless and drug addicted. It can be heart breaking to know that all you can do is offer help with the realization that your offer will probably be declined. All you can do is stay positive and hope that one day the person will be ready to accept help. 
 
One of the interesting points of this job is to find the story behind the person. I learned long ago that we all deal with different things in our lives and we may not know each other’s struggles, but getting to know each other can be valuable. Knowing/listening without judging may provide the opportunity to help.

What do you see your role being in the future?

I am not sure what my role will be in the future. I can tell you my dream for the future as it relates to my job and life.
 
  • Reduce the number of people living on the streets with shelter, jobs to those who want them, better mental health and addiction management.
  •  Reduce the negative impact on residents and businesses. Businesses not losing customers, but gaining new ones. Residents not fearful of frequent thefts, vandalism or discarded syringes.
  • Stronger community partnerships with everyone (city, residents and businesses) working together to make this city better. It’s all about the community partnerships.
  • A better public understanding of the work the Network for Homeless Solutions has done and is currently doing to help homelessness, businesses and residents.
 
I don’t have all the answers, but I strongly believe that we all need to be a part of the solution and not the problem. We must learn to work together and not against one another. We must strive to build a better, more positive city/world.

I’m in, are you?
VOLUNTEER AND PARTNER HIGHLIGHTS
Broken Hearts Ministry
The city of Costa Mesa wishes to thank Broken Hearts Ministry for their past six years of volunteerism in the area of homelessness in Costa Mesa.
 
To volunteer please contact Crystal Clark (949) 466-0355 or Crystal@brokenheartsministry.org
Orange County Behavioral Health
Outreach and Engagement Linkages and Services for October
  • 66 total contacts made with new and existing clients
  • 4 referrals made to mental health services 
  • 5 referrals made to medical services 
  • 8 referrals made to substance abuse services 
  • 1 referrals made to social services 
  • 0 referrals made to job resources 
  • 1 referrals made to legal services
  • 1 referrals made to permanent housing
  • 4 referrals made to temporary housing
  • 0 referrals made to transitional housing
Orange County Behavioral Health
Psychiatric Emergency Response Team (PERT) 
  • 44 total hours of service 
  • 12 contacts made with private residents
  • 3 contact made with homeless residents 
  • 2 hospitalized
  • 6 legal holds
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 everything in the parks and neighborhoods.

Volunteers at the CIC typically help clients retrieve and store their items through checking client bins in and out and according to special procedures. 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.

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

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
Trellis Community Impact Team Update
Mentors are needed!

Trellis Community Impact Team – Saturdays at 11:30 a.m,
Trellis Volunteer Highlights
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
O.C. TIPS PRESENTATION PHOTOS
COMMUNITY EVENTS