Monthly Newsletter
Updates from August 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.
Portion of Lions Park is closed as old Neighborhood Community Center is torn down 
A portion of Lions Park is now closed as the Public Services Department and STV Construction Management are working with contractor Tovey/Shultz Construction to begin the work on the city's project that will result in a new Donald Dungan Library and Neighborhood Community Center.

The installation of perimeter fencing has been completed to ensure the safety of workers and residents.

Tovey/Shultz Construction has mobilized construction trailers and equipment to the site, and hazardous materials abatement and utility disconnections have been completed.

Demolition of the Neighborhood Community Center and surrounding areas is currently taking place with site grading to follow.
Outreach team gets vital updates at Community Policing Forum
Members of the city's homeless Outreach team attended the ACC-OC Public Safety Forum titled Addressing Community Safety Issues Through Community Policing.
One panel from the forum discussed Best Practices in Local Law Enforcement and the speakers included Gardena Police Chief Edward Medrano, Irvine Police Chief Mike Hamel and Anaheim Chief Raul Quezada.

The chiefs discussed how police departments are having to focus on mental health training and homelessness when dealing with community policing issues. The chiefs concluded the following:
They cannot enforce their way out of homeless issues.
Housing is much needed to help the homeless issues.
They see police departments leaning towards including wrap-around services to their departments.
A second panel discussed the Electoral and Legislative Impact on Local Law Enforcement. Speaking at that panel was Orange County Undersheriff Don Barnes, the California Police Chiefs Association Chief Edward Medrano and Third District, County of Orange Supervisor Todd Spitzer

Undersheriff Barnes said the Sheriff's Department will be seeking approval from the board to change the tactics for dealing with homeless. It was pointed out that there are over 1,000 people living in the Santa Ana River channel and 1 out 4 homeless have ties to AB109 and other parole violations.

County officials are in the process of proposing the clearing of the Santa Ana River channel and locking the gates over the next several weeks. They are going to begin by going in to arrest criminals who are in hiding and are involved with human trafficking.
Outreach highlights for August
  • In collaboration with Trellis, Outreach successfully reconnected four non-resident, homeless individuals.
  • Of the 3 reconnected: one individual went out of the county and two individuals went out of the state.
  • Outreach collaborated with community partner to have resident client linked to faith based member for spiritual support. 
August Housing actions
August Linkages
Linkage Legal
  • Outreach assisted resident client in rescheduling court appointment to later date. Outreach will follow up with client to ensure client attends court appointment.
Linkage Social Services
  • Outreach successfully reinstated resident client’s county benefits. 
  • Outreach assisted several resident clients in applying for government assisted food programs such as Calfresh.
Linkage Medical
  • Outreach met homeless individual who was in extreme pain at local faith based agency. Outreach contacted local hospital and transported client to medical professional.
Linkage Mental Health
  • Outreach collaborated with police all month to remind chronically mentally ill client of upcoming mental health appointments. 
Staying Connected
  • Outreach collaborated with community partner for the purpose of arranging visits with newly housed resident client.    
Contacts made by Code Enforcement in August
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. 
CMPD Collaboration 
Code Enforcement and Costa Mesa Police Meet with Westside Business Owners on 19th Street
A meeting was conducted to discuss issues regarding transients camping, drug use/sales, defecation/urination, trash/debris left on property.
  • Conducted general discussion regarding each owner’s issues/concerns
  • CMPD briefed group on contributors to recent increase in activity
  • Business owners to get quotes for security patrol
  • Business owners will reconvene once security quotes are collected
  • Ticktocker employees are interested in training for responding/handling problem transients and will connect them with Bill Nelson of Fresh Beginnings
  • Ticktocker employees will contact Sanitation District for sharps container
  • Multiple syringes observed on outer balcony area and evidence of trespassers on roof area
Trellis Volunteer
Highlight for August
Counseling and Visits
Trellis Pastor made several hospital visits to meet and counsel 5 homeless individuals.

Open Gates Culinary Program:
Three homeless individuals participated in the culinary program and graduated this
month. Of the three individuals, two have culinary job offers. 

E-Commerce Program:
Received several appliances from a remodel construction company and the
homeless volunteer e-commerce team is working on selling them on e-Bay.

Providing Assistance:
  • Ten Bus tickets were issued out to those who needed to go to counseling appointments and job interviews.
  • A bike that had been reported stolen on the Costa Mesa Public Square blog was spotted at the Crossing church during their Saturday morning breakfast at LOTS. A Trellis volunteer recognized the bike from the post, and flagged down the city code enforcement officers who were at the Crossing for another event. Bike was recovered and given to its owners.
  • Trellis provided job leads to two homeless individuals. Trellis will follow up with individuals’ employment status. 
The Lighthouse Church
Lighthouse Church in collaboration with City of Costa Mesa’s Outreach team facilitated in the referring of 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. 

  • This month, a housed veteran was in danger of losing her housing due to chronic hospitalizations. With the help of the Light House Church, Veterans Administration and Outreach staff, community partners worked together to ensure the veteran’s rent was paid and that her medical care was coordinated between private providers and the Veterans Administration. 
Broken Hearts
Broken Hearts Street Team assisted a client undergoing drug recovery treatment by watching over her dog. Client was able to seek treatment and begin recovery process. 
Meet Crystal Clark
Crystal Clark has been leading street teams in both Orange County and Hollywood for several years both as a Trellis volunteer and Broken Hearts Ministry employee.

This year, the Community Development Block Grant Committee granted Trellis funds so that Crystal could continue to conduct after hours outreach to both the criminally resistant and recent sober living drop outs. She is also backing up 9-5 outreach workers by helping with home visits for existing clients and conducting housing assessments for others.

Crystal and Trellis are another example of government and community working collaboratively together to address homelessness in our City. 

If you’re interested in joining the street team contact Crystal Clark 949-466-0355
Orange County Behavioral Health
Outreach and Engagement Linkages and Services for August
  • 51 total contacts made with new and existing clients
  • 18 referrals made to mental health services 
  • 3 referrals made to medical services 
  • 2 referrals made to substance abuse services 
  • 4 referrals made to social services 
  • 1 referral made to job resources 
  • 3 referrals made to permanent housing
  • 2 referrals made to transitional housing
Orange County Behavioral Health
Psychiatric Emergency Response Team (PERT) 
  • 22 total hours of service 
  • 7 contacts made with private residents
  • 6 contact made with homeless residents 
  • 3 linkages made
  • 4 legal holds
ACC-OC takes city officials on tour of housing facilities
As part of its on-going work in the area of homelessness, the Association of Orange County Cities (ACC-OC) staff invited members to join them on July 25 for the ACC-OC Continuum of Care Bus Tour.

This tour highlighted the different housing opportunities offered to homeless individuals, children, and families, and will focus on how cities and non-profits can work together to strengthen the different housing opportunities available to address homelessness in Orange County. During this interactive tour, participants had the the opportunity to visit emergency shelters, rapid re-housing sites, and permanent supportive housing developments that are meant to serve Orange County residents.  

Highlights included the following facilities:

Jamboree Housing: Since 2003 Jamboree Housing has ensured that people are housed first. Jamboree often uses a coordinated entry method to house those most vulnerable. Projects included Jackson Aisle I, Midway City (29 permanent supportive housing studios); Rockwood, Anaheim (70 apartments for homeless families and mentally ill); Diamond, Anaheim (25 apartments persistent mental illness); Doria, Irvine. 134 workforce housing 

Bridges at Kramer: Orange County's first year round homeless shelter and service center located in Anaheim. Phase one consists of 100 beds for single men and women with onsite centralized intake, assessment and crisis evaluation, transportation services, access to day time service providers, job referrals and housing navigation. Phase two opens in summer 2018. A bed reservation system exists and there are no walk-up participants.

The Family Care Center : This will be the first new facility in Orange County developed under the provision of SB2 which requires cities to modify their General Plan Housing Element to encourage housing with minimal support services for people in need. It is located within a light industrial area in the City of Orange and is close to public transportation and the Orange Police Department.  It is only open to families and there is a 45 day maximum stay within a 120 day period. All participants must have ties to the Orange area. 
Families Forward : Founded in 1984, Families Forward exists to help families in need achieve self-sufficiency through housing, food, and other support services. Families Forward’s Housing Program is designed to help families who have recently faced a crisis that left them homeless. Families Forward helps these families get back on their feet by providing housing, counseling, career coaching, life-skills training, and referral services. Families enrolled in the program may receive rental subsidies to give them time to regain their self-sufficiency. Length of stay in the Housing Program varies from family to family.
Through partnerships with local apartment communities and access to Families Forward’s housing resources, families who have lost their housing are able to access rental housing.
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
In August, 13 homeless volunteers worked on projects that included cleaning up a church, working at the Global Leadership Summit, warehouse work and picking up furniture.

A collaboration is also being worked on where the Light House Church of the Nazarene and Trellis will work together to have the Light House clients come and be a part of the Community Impact Team. Trellis will seek to mentor those at the Light House and help them get jobs. 

Trellis Community Impact Team – Saturdays at 11:30 a.m,
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
LOTS offers free Hepatitis A vaccinations for homeless
To help combat a potential Hepatitis A outbreak that has infected and killed several homeless people in San Diego and Santa Cruz counties, the Life of the Streets ministry is offering members of the homeless community an opportunity to get vaccinations on Saturday Sept. 23. See flier below.
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
Fresh Beginnings Ministries and local CPA offer business seminar on homeless issues
Learn how to break the cycle of domestic violence