Monthly Newsletter
Updates from September 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.
Large encampment along 73 freeway cleared
The California Department of Transportation, the California Highway Patrol, Costa Mesa Code Enforcement, the Costa Mesa Police Department and Outreach worked together to clean up a large homeless encampment located next to 845 Baker Street along the 73 Freeway.

One of the male occupants was recently cleared from an encampment on Bristol Street. 

A fast response by Caltrans and great working partnerships enables jobs like this to be handled.
Going home
John Begin and Shawn Davidson of Trellis, along with Lindah Miles from the Lighthouse Church, reconnected one individual back to Arkansas. This man had come to Costa Mesa with his girlfriend only to end up living on the streets. After several attempts, The Lighthouse, City Outreach and Trellis filled out the paperwork, worked with the Costa Mesa Police Department and ensured that the man was able to return home.
September Housing actions
Outreach highlights for September
  • Outreach in collaboration with an OC Mental Health and local hospital social worker, assisted a client in safely discharging from the hospital and providing basic necessities such as food and housing resources.
  • Outreach received confirmation of residency documentation for a resident client and used such documents to assist resident client in applying for government subsidized housing resources.
  • Outreach provided a resident client in the recovery stage of drug addiction, listings for sober living facilities.
September Linkages
Linkage Medical
  • Outreach linked resident client to emergency medical services, since resident client was indicating severe symptoms related to a re-occurring medical illness.
Linkage Mental Health
  • Outreach linked 2 resident clients to residential treatment in-patient services since both clients have a history of being chronically homeless and severely mentally ill.
Linkage Social Services
  • Outreach linked elderly, resident client to Social Service agency to report instances of exploitation experienced by client from their caregiver.
Linkage Substance Abuse
  • Outreach met with family of homeless resident client and discussed possible drug recovery options for their homeless family member.
Linkage Other
  • Outreach linked isolated, resident client to a volunteer for social support services.
Outreach conducts multi-jurisdictional outreach in
Talbert Park
In mid-September, outreach conducted services in Talbert Park in conjunction with the Costa Mesa Police, Park Rangers and County Outreach and Engagement. During these efforts, outreach came across several individuals located in Talbert Park. Two of the individuals were open to outreach services. Outreach talked with these individuals and provided them resources for programs which could assist them with ending their homeless.
Outreach connects homeless woman to services
after two years
Outreach along with several partners including Costa Mesa Police Department, SOS, The Lighthouse, and several volunteers have been working with a chronically disabled homeless woman who used to make her home on the city streets. She was unable to secure identification, therefor she could not get medical or any other disability services. Thanks to the work of all parties above, this woman will now be able to move off the streets and get placed in a board and care. Outreach collaborated with CMPD to continually locate this woman while working with SOS and The Lighthouse to get the medical services and emergency shelter she needed. She will soon be placed in a permanent supportive housing situation.    
Contacts made by Code Enforcement in September
Code Enforcement Highlights 
  • Code Enforcement encountered several individuals camping overnight in vehicles including two females from out of state. They were cleared to leave by CMPD.
  • Several individuals are sleeping in commercial trash enclosures. Code Enforcement is working closely with local businesses in an effort to encourage them to secure these areas.
  • Staff is working closely with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to encourage the State Highway Patrol to continue to address transient issues on DMV property. 
Code Enforcement meets with new restaurant owner and owners of Cucina Roma
Code Enforcement set up meetings with Cucina Roma and a new restaurant called TOAST to attempt to work on solving vagrancy issues at these Newport Boulevard establishments. Besides discussing lighting and security, they will be working together to ensure that other issues are addressed and calling in help of Costa Mesa Police Department and other partners and neighboring businesses.  
Interview with pastor John Begin
Why did Trellis create this position?
I started with Trellis in June of 2017. Prior to coming to Trellis I was a
minister at the Costa Mesa Church of Christ for five years. The church
has been serving the homeless a meal every Tuesday for the last 34
years. It is here I felt called to serve the homeless and give them a hand
up to help them move forward. My desire was to do more than just
give them a meal. I felt we needed to invest in them in order for change
to take place. We wanted them to get healthy physically, mentally,
emotionally and spiritually and for this to take place you have to give
them more than just food. Trellis was in need of someone to take the
lead with their homeless initiative. I had served with Trellis in my efforts
with the church and it seem to be a natural fit for me and Trellis.

What exactly do you do?
I work with the churches in Costa Mesa, city officials, the Network for
Homeless Solutions, other non-profits and volunteers to help end
homelessness in Costa Mesa.
As the minister of homelessness for Trellis I oversee our programs to
bring the churches in Costa Mesa together to help solve the homeless
issue in Costa Mesa. We have Life on the Streets, (LOTS) which
provides a meal, recovery 12 step program, showers, laundry and the
CHECK In Center (CIC) where the homeless can store their belongings
in bins and kept safe. We also have our Community Impact Team (CIT)
which seeks to get business sponsors and individuals to invest in our
homeless to do projects for businesses for the city. It is a volunteer
program where the homeless are given gift cards for their service. Our
CIT teams have cleaned churches, painted rooms, landscaping,
packing and moving companies, cleaned restaurants and many other
projects. We give them life skills and work skills, resume classes, job
interview skills, list of resources each Saturday. I also oversee our
Reconnection ministry where we reconnect those out on the streets
back to their families and support groups where they will no longer be
on the streets. We will pay for bus, plane or train tickets to reconnect them. We have in just the last three months connected people to New York,
Pennsylvania, Florida, Oklahoma, Santa Maria, Ohio, Tennessee and
Mississippi. We also have an e-commerce program in that we train the
homeless to market, price, sell items on Craigslist where they learn to
be entrepreneurs and become independent.

What have been some of your successes and challenges?
I think the successes we have had at Trellis is the reconnections and
the relationships we have created with the homeless and with the city
officials of Costa Mesa. I love supporting and working collaboratively
with Muriel Ullman, Doreen, Stacey, Stephanie, and Ameerah, These
ladies work so hard and are so supportive of Trellis and myself. They
are a joy to work with.
The biggest challenge has been the change in the demographics of our
homeless in Costa Mesa over the last five years. I could be wrong but
we have a younger, more resistant and addictive homeless population.
They are not “done,” meaning they are resistant to help and still heavy in
their addiction. It breaks my heart that they are stuck where they are in
their heart and thinking and unable or unwilling to change. The other
big challenge is for me personally is to not to lose heart, to keep loving
and serving even when those you are trying to help don’t want it.

What do you see your role being in the future?
My vision is that Bill Nelson and I will be doing world tours with our Rock
band called the Love Shack. just kidding. To be honest I do not have a five year vision or plan. I am taking one day at a time, trying to serve those put in front of me and I believe God will open doors to where I need to be. (I know not a great plan for success or to plan your future.) But I never thought I would be serving
the homeless full time and trusting God would provide for me to do
this. I pray Trellis is going strong, we are making a difference in the City of
Costa Mesa, our homeless population is non existent because we have
built a Living Center for the homeless for Permanent Supportive
Housing and Transitional housing. It will have social services, mental
health services, family services, job training and placement and it is a
blessing to those living there and to the city of Costa Mesa.
If this doesn't work out I will run for President.
Broken Hearts Ministry
To volunteer please contact Crystal Clark (949)466-0355 or
Orange County Behavioral Health
Outreach and Engagement Linkages and Services for September
  • 108 total contacts made
  • 15 referrals made to mental health services 
  • 11 referrals made to medical services 
  • 12 referrals made to substance abuse services 
  • 2 referrals made to social services 
  • 2 referrals made to legal resources 
  • 2 referrals made to employment resources
  • 3 referrals made to temporary housing
  • 2 referrals made to permanent housing
Orange County Behavioral Health
Psychiatric Emergency Response Team (PERT) 
  • 22.5 total hours of service
  • 18 contacts
  • 9 contacts made with private residents
  • 3 contact made with homeless residents 
  • 3 hospitalized
  • 5 legal holds
County issues press release regarding expansion of law enforcement services in flood control channel
The County of Orange Board of Supervisors approved a resolution to expand law enforcement services in the flood control channels. The action was prompted by hundreds of inhabitants living in unauthorized encampments in the open space adjacent to the Santa Ana River Trail between Chapman Avenue and Ball Road. 
The goal of the Supervisors’ actions is to provide opportunities for those individuals living in the flood channel to get linked to services and housing. Based on a recent census conducted by CityNet, 422 individuals are living in unauthorized encampments in the open space. Only a little over 1 % say that their last permanent residence was Costa Mesa. 
The County of Orange has entered into a $720,000 contract with CityNet for a six month pilot program. The aim of the program is to connect individuals camped in the area to resources and housing solutions. Since its inception, 51 individuals have connected to shelter or housing options. Additionally, the County has provided 400 beds at the Courtyard Transitional Center in Santa Ana and 100 beds at the Bridges at Kramer Place in Anaheim. Both facilities require that service users have ties to either Santa Ana or the Anaheim/North Orange County region.
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.

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  or call 949-205-3583
Trellis Community Impact Team Update
Trellis Community Impact Team – Saturdays at 11:30 a.m,
Trellis Highlights
Trellis in collaboration with the Outreach team, reconnected 2 non-resident clients to out of state locations.
New Volunteers
Trellis appointed 5 new volunteers to assist with homeless efforts in the city. Such volunteers will be working at various locations such as the Check-in Center, Community Impact Team, and LOTS.

Linkages to Hygiene Services
  • 350 showers and loads of laundry services performed
  • 25 hair cuts provided

Community Collaboration Efforts

  • Trellis in collaboration with night Outreach Street Team, assisted in housing 1 homeless resident client to out of city apartment. Trellis provided home goods and furnishings for apartment. Trellis will follow up and provide social support as needed to client.
  • Trellis linked 2 homeless resident clients to vocational skills training programs. Both clients are performing well and are in good standing to graduate from their respective vocational skills training programs.
  • Local church donated hygiene supplies to Trellis.

Community Impact Team

A total of 15 community impact team members assisted in a total of 9 occupational projects both in and out of the city.

E-Commerce Program
Trellis in an effort to train homeless clients E-Commerce skills, and assist in building professional development created a program for such client to operate a small eCommerce program. This month E-Commerce team raised about $1200 from goods sold, as well as, homeless volunteers making over $500 each. The early success of this program will enable homeless clients to demonstrate financial independence and occupational development.

The Crossing Church
  • Saturday Morning L.O.T.S. (Life on the Streets) Showers, Laundry & Breakfast
7:30 – 11:00 a.m. 

For further information, contact
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
Community Events
TIP Orange County volunteer meeting
Fresh Beginnings Ministries and local CPA offer business seminar on homeless issues
Learn how to break the cycle of domestic violence