Newport Beach City Manager Update

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Grace Leung

By Grace Leung, Newport Beach City Manager

Last week the County of Orange released the results of its 2024 Point in Time Count, which provides data on the homeless population by region and city. This effort is required by the federal government every two years and helps direct resources to areas where they are most needed.

I am pleased to report that Newport Beach’s numbers decreased from the previous count, from 96 in 2022 to 71 in 2024. While this number fluctuates, as documented in the City’s monthly assessments, I believe some of the reduction can be attributed to our proactive approach, including new municipal ordinances, as part of a comprehensive program designed to help unhoused members of the community find stable, permanent housing.

Addressing homelessness is an ongoing regional challenge. Countywide, the number of homeless people (both unsheltered and sheltered) increased by 28 percent from 2022, from 5,718 to 7,322. It should be noted, however, when comparing 2019 to 2024, the increase was smaller, at seven percent for both sheltered and unsheltered.

A priority focus of the City Council, the City of Newport Beach has significantly strengthened its approach to addressing homelessness in recent years. Our homeless response now includes a dedicated police officer and homeless services manager; temporary shelter beds; full-time outreach teams; mobile mental health care; benefits counseling; new ordinances to reduce camping and other activities on public property; referrals to federal state, county and nonprofit programs; and more.

In addition, our Good Giving campaign helps reduce panhandling while providing resources and support to help individuals as they work to gain employment, obtain shelter, or make other strides toward exiting the streets.

View the County’s summary document to learn more about the 2024 Point in Time Count: https://ceo.ocgov.com/care-coordination/care-coordination-additional-documents.

Registration for Summer Classes Opens May 16

Get ready for an exciting summer: Registration for the City’s summer classes opens on Thursday, May 16 at 8 a.m.

See the latest Newport Navigator at www.newportbeachca.gov/register for information on summer classes for all ages and interests, as well as community events such as Movies in the Park and July 4 is for Families.

Shred, E-Waste Event Draws Big Crowds

The City’s waste diversion event on Saturday, May 4 was the most well-attended to date, with a total of 875 vehicles passing through.

Nearly 14 tons of paper material was collected for shredding and more than five tons of e-waste was diverted from landfills. More than 43 tons of compost was distributed for gardening and landscaping purposes. The compost is made from organic materials of the type that is recycled in residential collection carts.

The City would like to thank CR&R for coordinating shredding services with PaperCuts, providing compost, and for providing complimentary kitchen pails for organic recycling. Thank you also to California Electronics for collecting and diverting e-waste from landfills, Orange County Waste & Recycling for making bagged compost available for local agencies and to the student volunteers from Sage Hill’s E-Waste Club.

Residents Invited to May 18 OASIS Community Resource Expo

The OASIS Senior Center will host a Community Resource Expo on Saturday, May 18 from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at 801 Narcissus Ave. The event is free and all members of the community are invited to attend.

This year’s expo will provide a range of activities including free fitness class demonstrations, free health screenings, complimentary breakfast, free wellness giveaways and an expo showcasing more than 70 vendors. The diverse range of vendors include non-profits, local businesses, wellness groups, recreational clubs, care agencies, volunteer groups and health care services.

For more information, please call 949-644-3244 or email [email protected].

Field of Honor Event Begins May 17

The City of Newport Beach is proud to support the 15th Annual Field of Honor, presented by the Exchange Club of Newport Harbor. The free event will run from Friday, May 17 through Monday, May 27 at Castaways Park, 700 Dover Dr.

The event displays 1,776 large American flags along the paths of Castaways Park overlooking Newport Harbor to honor armed forces members, past and present, and first responders who have served or are serving our country and our communities.

Two special events are planned: May 18 at noon to celebrate Armed Forces Day, featuring keynote speaker Major Billy Hall (ret. USMC), believed to be the last living veteran who enlisted before WWII and saw combat in WWII, Korea and Vietnam; and May 27 at noon to celebrate Memorial Day, featuring keynote speaker Elaine Brattain, former national chaplain for the American Gold Star Mothers.

The event benefits organizations that support military members and other charities.

Come ‘Touch a Truck’ May 18 at the Balboa Pier Parking Lot

In celebration of National Public Works Week, please join us for this year’s “Touch a Truck” event on Saturday, May 18 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Balboa Pier parking lot.

It will be a hands-on opportunity to get up close to heavy trucks and equipment — and learn how they are used to keep Newport Beach well-maintained. There will be trash trucks, backhoes, loaders, street sweepers and more, along with informational booths from City staff and contractors.

The first hour, from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m., will be quiet with no honking or lights for those with sensitive ears or eyes.

Irv’s Burgers and Kona Ice trucks are joining the fun with food and beverages for purchase!

Night Repaving Work Began May 12 on E. Coast Highway

The City is starting night paving work Sunday, May 12 on East Coast Highway from MacArthur Boulevard to Jamboree Road.

Lane closures will be in place on East Coast Highway between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. Sunday nights through Friday mornings.

The repaving work is scheduled to be completed by mid-June, and additional work such as signage and striping completed by late June.

Newport Harbor Emergency Waterline Repairs Underway

The City’s Utilities, Public Works and Harbor departments have been working on emergency repairs to a broken 12-inch water line in Newport Harbor. This water line is a important redundant line that moves water between Balboa Island and the Peninsula.

With the help of specialty contractors, the underwater portion of the pipe repair has been completed. Crews are working on preparing the pipe for a specialty reinforcement liner that will be pulled through the pipe next week.

Catch Basin Screens Installed to Enhance Summer Water Quality

This week the City’s Utilities Department began the seasonal installation of more than 400 screens covering storm drain catch basins around Newport Harbor.

During the summer season these screens provide an extra layer of protection to prevent trash from entering the storm drain systems that empty into the Harbor.

This extra effort is in addition to the City’s weekly street sweeping and regular cleaning of catch basins and underground trash capture devices. The screens are removed every year in the fall ahead of the rainy season.

Be Well Mobile Crisis Response

The Be Well mobile crisis response team operates in Newport Beach 12 hours a day, seven days a week to respond to mental and behavioral health crises. The mobile unit is staffed with mental health specialists and works closely with the City’s police and fire departments.

Last week, the Be Well team:

  • Transported a person to the Costa Mesa Bridge Shelter.
  • Transported a person to crisis stabilization unit.
  • Transported a person to a residential detox facility.
  • Transported a person to a substance use disorder facility.
  • Transported a person to the Be Well sobering station.
  • Transported two people to homeless services providers.

The mobile crisis team is dispatched through the Newport Beach Police Department. To request service, dial 911 or call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at (949) 644-3717.

Homelessness Response

This week, the City’s homeless outreach and response teams:

  • Placed a person in permanent housing from the Costa Mesa Bridge Shelter. He experienced homelessness for four years.
  • Placed two people in the Costa Mesa Bridge Shelter and transported one of them.
  • Enrolled seven people into services.
  • Continued to shelter people: 24 people who had been experiencing homelessness in Newport Beach are sheltered in the Costa Mesa Bridge Shelter.

Click here to view the latest homeless dashboard, which includes key monthly and yearly data on the City’s homeless response: https://www.newportbeachca.gov/trending/community-issues/homelessness/monthly-homeless-count.

Click here for information on the City’s Good Giving program: https://www.newportbeachca.gov/trending/community-issues/homelessness/how-you-can-help.

City Seeks Resident Input on General Plan Update

The City’s General Plan is being updated to reflect the community’s current needs and future aspirations. The General Plan contains goals that establish values and direction, policies that guide decision making, and programs that carry out the actions needed to achieve these goals. The last comprehensive update of Newport Beach’s General Plan was in 2006.

A core part of updating the General Plan is engaging with residents and other stakeholders to capture and articulate a shared vision for the city for the next 20 years.

You are encouraged to visit the project’s website at www.newportbeachca.gov/gpupdate to learn more.

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