Newport Beach City Manager Update: City Council Homelessness Policy, April Treasury Report

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Grace Leung

By Grace Leung, Newport Beach City Manager

The City Council on Tuesday, June 27 will consider adopting a new municipal ordinance and policy direction to help address homelessness, augmenting Newport Beach’s already comprehensive approach to help those experiencing homelessness find and maintain permanent housing.

Following recent recommendations from the City Council’s Ad Hoc Committee on Homelessness, the Council will consider an ordinance that will prohibit certain activities such as blocking access to certain facilities, and establishing unpermitted structures. The Council will also consider adopting a policy that places a strong emphasis on helping people experiencing homelessness in Newport Beach to exit the street.

The ordinance will, if adopted, prohibit anyone from blocking access to facilities such as schools, businesses, private property and public restrooms through sitting, lying, sleeping, or storing of personal property. Unpermitted physical structures set up as living accommodations will be prohibited, as will camping on public property when shelter bed space is available. Other prohibitions in the ordinance are unpermitted fires, sleeping in restrooms, leaving personal items unattended on public property, and the use of public fountains, drinking faucets, restroom sinks and sprinklers for personal hygiene or to wash dishes or clothes.

The proposed Council policy includes the following:

  • Continuing to prioritize the acquisition of, or access to, shelter beds.
  • Ensuring that the first step in interacting with a person experiencing homelessness
  • is to offer services directed at moving the person toward exiting the street.
  • Focusing limited funding on City-directed initiatives toward getting the unhoused
  • off the streets.
  • Establishing a baseline count of people experiencing homelessness in Newport
  • Beach in 2023 and conducting a new count annually.
  • Ensuring that data is collected so that the effectiveness of the City’s homeless
  • outreach program can be quantified.
  • Ensuring all contracts with vendors providing homeless-related services are
  • consistent with the direction provided in this resolution.
  • Enforcing all laws in fair and equitable manner.

A related item, to expand the number of shelter beds available to Newport Beach in the Costa Mesa Bridge Shelter from 20 to 25, is also on Tuesday’s agenda.

Thank you to the many residents who have voiced concerns and ideas in recent months that have helped shape the Council Ad Hoc committee recommendations. The public is invited to comment on the proposed ordinance at the Council meeting, on Tuesday, June 27 at 4:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers, 100 Civic Center Dr. or by email to [email protected].

April Treasury Report Now Available Online

The April 2023 Treasury Report is available on the City’s website at:  www.newportbeachca.gov/treasury.

As of April, the City’s investment portfolio totaled $390.6 million when measured at amortized cost. The current market value of the City’s portfolio of $381.8 million incorporates price fluctuations due to the changing interest rate environment that are typically irrelevant, since the City typically holds its securities to maturity and receives the full principal value at that time.

The City’s Liquidity Portfolio is sized to meet the City’s cash flow needs over the next 12 months. Approximately $51.5 million or 13 percent of the portfolio was invested in liquid investments available for day-to-day operating expenses and the costs associated with ongoing construction projects  An additional $65.9 million or 17 percent of the overall portfolio was invested in a portfolio of securities with targeted short-term maturities, which earns a higher yield than the City’s more liquid investments.

City Refreshes OASIS Senior Center Exterior

Last week City crews completed a repainting project at the OASIS Senior Center.

The OASIS Senior Center was last remodeled in 2010 and areas of the facility were showing signs of sun and ocean air exposure. Fencing and railings were touched up and the wood siding exterior of the building was re-stained.

OASIS is one of eight citywide locations being repainted as part of this year’s facility maintenance improvement projects.

Be Well Mobile Crisis Response Update

The Be Well mobile crisis response team operates 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 works closely with the City’s police and fire departments.

This week, the Be Well team:

  • Transported two people to a crisis stabilization facility for treatment.
  • Transported a person to a train station for a ride home to another county.
  • Transported a person to a local nonprofit to obtain food and enroll into healthcare services.
  • Educated residents and businesses on the Be Well OC services and campus.

TO REACH BE WELL: 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 Update

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

  • Placed a client in the Yale Navigation Center and collaborated with his housing specialist at the Orange County Housing Authority to expedite his housing placement.
  • Placed a client in a motel to prepare for a housing appointment. Later, the team ordered vital documents, transported the client to the appointment, and placed him in the Costa Mesa Bridge Shelter.
  • Placed a client into transitional shelter at HIS House in the Combined Housing, Education and Skills for Students (CHESS) program. The CHESS program serves youths from 18- to 24-years of age.
  • Two clients received housing vouchers and award letters. The clients were enrolled into CalAIM for services. CalAIM provides comprehensive healthcare services for low-income people to improve their physical and behavioral health.
  • Transported a client to the Social Security office to obtain a new card.
  • Continued to shelter people. Twenty 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.

 

 

 

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