By Grace Leung, Newport Beach City Manager
Addressing and preventing homelessness is a top priority for the City of Newport Beach. Over the past several years we have devoted an increasing amount of resources to meet this ongoing challenge, most recently with the addition of the Be Well mobile mental health crisis response unit.
Through a comprehensive approach involving multiple City departments, contractors, partner agencies and nonprofit groups, we have made significant progress in engaging with our homeless population, placing individuals in shelters and treatment facilities, and helping them secure permanent housing and jobs.
Two City employees who are highly involved in our homeless response, police Lt. Peter Carpentieri and Homeless Coordinator Natalie Basmaciyan, spoke on the topic this week in an event hosted by Speak Up Newport. They presented a comprehensive overview of the City’s multi-faceted approach to helping those experiencing homelessness, keeping our community safe for residents and businesses, and the challenges faced in moving people from the streets to permanent housing.
If you were not able to attend the presentation in person, I encourage you to watch the video recording for the latest updates on our homeless outreach efforts, along with inspiring and encouraging success stories: https://vimeo.com/686814085?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery.
Public Safety Teams Respond to Stolen Boat in Newport Harbor
Newport Beach public safety teams on Thursday, March 10 responded to reports of a stolen boat in Newport Harbor that collided with several docked boats, causing extensive damage. Fortunately there were no major injuries; one person was treated at the scene but was not transported for further medical care.
Newport Beach’s fire, police and harbor departments responded to the 10 a.m. incident along with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department harbor patrol. The stolen vessel was recovered. A suspect was arrested, taken into custody and booked on suspicion of grand theft boat and possession of a stolen vessel.
Back Bay Brush Fire Quickly Extinguished
Newport Beach firefighters quickly suppressed a small vegetation fire near near San Joaquin Hills Road and Back Bay Drive on Thursday, March 10 at about 12:30 p.m. Out of an abundance of caution, police officers evacuated some tenants within the Park Newport Apartments. Some trees and hillside brush burned but no structures were affected.
Free Compost Giveaway, Document Shredding, E-Waste Disposal April 9
Newport Beach residents are invited to bring documents and household electronic waste for free shredding and disposal on Saturday, April 9 from 8 a.m. to noon.
The event will be at the Newport Beach Corporation Yard, 592 Superior Ave. The entrance will be on Industrial Way via right turn.
Residency will be verified; please bring identification. Residents can bring up to 10 standard file boxes for shredding and e-waste such as computer monitors and cell phones for disposal. Residents can also receive up to two 30-lb. bags of compost while supplies last. For more information visit www.newportbeachca.gov/shred.
Be Well Update
The new Be Well mobile crisis response team is now operating in Newport Beach 12 hours a day, 7 days a week to respond to mental and behavioral health crises. The mobile unit is staffed with mental health specialists and EMTs, and works closely with the City’s police and fire departments.
This week, the Be Well team:
- Transported a minor to a psychiatric facility and developed a care plan for the family.
- Brought two people to crisis stabilization units for mental health care after expressing suicidal intentions with police officers.
- De-escalated two domestic violence incidents in coordination with patrol officers. One person expressed suicidal intentions while she cared for her infant and Be Well ensured they were both safe when they returned home.
- Transported one person to the Be Well campus in Orange for sober living treatment and another to the County of Orange Cold Weather Emergency Shelter in Santa Ana.
- Provided five shelter referrals to people experiencing homelessness in Newport Beach.
- Had 14 outreach interactions with people experiencing homelessness.
Council Honors Freeway Fighters
The Newport Beach City Council on Tuesday, March 8 recognized a group of “freeway fighters” who successfully organized and prevented construction of a major highway in the early 1970s. The planned freeway, up to 12 lanes wide in places, would have cut through the heart of Newport Beach and significantly impacted quality of life in the City. The Council recognition was prompted by a recent “Newport Beach in the Rearview Mirror” podcast by journalist Bill Lobdell that delved into the history of the issue.
Organics Recycling: Cart Distribution Now Underway
The distribution of new, green-lid carts for recycling organic materials (yard waste, food waste and other biodegradable items) is underway through the end of March. Pickup of organic recycling will begin the week after the organics carts are delivered, on the same day as trash and standard recycling are collected.
For information on the state-mandated organics recycling program, please utilize the following resources:
Click here for a short video on how to separate and recycle organic waste: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cn6jWR2RK6Q&t=29s.
Visit www.newportbeachca.gov/recycle to find out when the organic recycling carts will arrive in your neighborhood (use the search function at the top of the page).
Read through our Frequently Asked Questions document for answers to common questions and concerns at https://newportbeachca.gov/home/showpublisheddocument/70926/637793182513400000?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery.
Collection days have changed for about 14,000 households. To find out your trash and recycling pickup day: www.newportbeachca.gov/findmycollectionday.
Street sweeping days have also been adjusted in the neighborhoods with collection day changes. These neighborhoods include portions of the Balboa Peninsula (21st Street to G Street) and Corona del Mar (north of Coast Highway), Irvine Terrance, the Port Streets and the north tip of Newport Heights. These changes will avoid conflicts, address parking conditions, and maintain street sweeping effectiveness. For maps and information visit www.newportbeachca.gov/2022sweeping or call the City’s Utilities Department at (949) 644-3011.
City, Rotary Track Meet Draws 250 Youth Athletes
The City of Newport Beach and Newport Balboa Rotary Club hosted over 250 youth athletes on Friday, March 4 at the 2022 Youth Track Meet of Champions. Youth ages 6 to 15, competed against their peers in running, jumping, and throwing events at Davidson Field in Newport Harbor High School. While this event was open to individual athletes, Cal Coast Track Club, Newport Heights Elementary and Newport Coast Elementary were just a few running clubs that brought their team of athletes to participate.
This event has been a fixture in the community for over 50 years and is held in memory of Frank E. Anderson, a Newport-Balboa Rotarian who was integral to the event’s long running success.
Bonita Creek Playground Gets New Play Structure, Picnic Area
Refurbishment of the Bonita Creek Playground began on February 9. So far, new play structures have been installed, along with rubber surfacing and a new picnic area. The project is expected to be completed on time and within budget by the end of March.
Coast Highway, Jamboree Road Water Main Improvements Near Completion
Work at the E. Coast Highway and Jamboree Road intersection continues to progress. Crews have been busy working around the clock since Sunday, March 6 to tie-in new 18-inch and 30-inch water transmission main connections. This work has proven to be exceptionally difficult due to the age of the existing steel piping, valves and interfering utilities. The pipe is expected to be welded and connected by Friday, March 11.
- Balboa Island Utility Undergrounding Update
With three crews now working on Balboa Island, about 65 percent of the utility undergrounding work for AD 113 is complete. On Thursday, March 10, crews successfully installed the last large Edison vault on Park Avenue between Emerald Avenue and North Bay Front. The contractor will be busy during the next few weeks working in the following alleys:
Alley 418P – Alley bounded by Park Avenue and South Bay Front and Emerald Avenue and Garnet Avenue.
Alley 415B – Alley bounded by Park Avenue and South Bay Front and Pearl Avenue and Garnet Avenue.
Alley 417A – Alley bounded by Park Avenue, North Bay Front and Emerald Avenue.
The City of Newport Beach provides a comprehensive response to address homelessness through a coordinated effort by City staff, contractors, partner agencies and nonprofit groups.
This week the City’s homeless outreach and response teams:
- Helped an elderly woman who experienced homelessness in Newport Beach for 14 years move into a new apartment and provided her with new furniture and a refrigerator. The woman became homeless when her memory care facility closed and did not provide a new housing opportunity for her.
- Helped a formerly homeless woman lease an apartment in the Towers on 19th in Costa Mesa.
- Transported a woman who has experienced homelessness in Newport Beach for 10 years to a leasing appointment for a new apartment in Santa Ana.
- Secured a Huntington Beach apartment for a man who has experienced homelessness by the Balboa Pier for 20 years. He is sheltering in a motel until he moves into the new apartment
- Assisted a client with reinstating Social Security benefits.
- Provided an ID voucher to a client staying by the Newport Transportation Center.
- Continued to refer unsheltered people to the Costa Mesa Bridge Shelter for temporary housing and services. 15 people who had been experiencing homelessness in Newport Beach are now sheltered in the facility.
To donate to those experiencing homelessness in Newport Beach, please visit our Good Giving Program web page at https://newportbeachca.gov/trending/community-issues/homelessness/how-you-can-help?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery.
Fire Staff Participates in “Read Across America Day” at Newport Elementary
A group of City firefighters and lifeguards read books to 16 classes at Newport Elementary for “Read Across America Day” on Friday, March 4. The team read Dr. Seuss classics to the children and answered a wide array of questions about ocean and fire safety.
Recreation Staff Renews CPR, First-Aid Training
A team of City ocean lifeguards provided adult, child and infant CPR and first-aid training to 90 Recreation & Senior Services Department staff in January and February. At the completion of the course, each staff member was awarded a two-year certification through the American Heart Association. Recertification trainings are offered throughout the year to ensure that each staff member is current on their CPR skills and certification.