Newport Beach City Manager Update: Homelessness, New Library App

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Grace Leung, Newport Beach City Manager

By Grace Leung, Newport Beach City Manager

The City works proactively to address homelessness through a comprehensive program designed to help unhoused members of the community find stable, permanent housing.

Our homeless response includes: a dedicated police officer and homeless services manager; temporary shelter beds; 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.

However, these efforts can be impeded by direct donations, such as food, cash or camping equipment. Although well-meaning, these donations often have the unintended consequence of prolonging an individual’s period of homelessness, as they may be less inclined to accept offers of shelter and other assistance.

The City’s Good Giving campaign provides an alternative way to help reduce homelessness. Donations to Good Giving go toward providing resources and support to help individuals as they work to gain employment, obtain shelter, or make other strides toward exiting the streets.

You can learn more by visiting www.newportbeachca/give.

NBPD Investigating April 16 Home Invasion

The Newport Beach Police Department (NBPD) is investigating a home invasion robbery that occurred in the early morning of April 16 in the Newport Coast neighborhood.

The incident was quickly contained and presented no ongoing threats to the community. The crime appears to be a targeted incident involving a prior connection between the suspects and victims.

Police received a 911 call at approximately 4:45 a.m. about a possible home invasion near Newport Coast Drive and Pelican Hill Road North. The caller reported that one of the residents shot a suspect while inside the home. The injured suspect and one other suspect then fled the house.

NBPD officers responded to the area and found a male armed with a handgun laying in the street with apparent gunshot wounds. That suspect was transported to a local hospital.

The second suspect was located in bushes near the victim’s home. He was found with what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head, and was pronounced deceased at the scene.

All four people inside the residence were safely evacuated and uninjured. The crime is being actively investigated.

Shortly after the incident, Newport Beach Mayor Will O’Neill and Police Chief Joe Cartwright recorded a short video message to the community. Watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W18Er2rRydE&t=19s.

Fire Crews Rescue Driver After Car Plunges Down Embankment

The Newport Beach Fire Department (NBFD), with assistance from the Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA), successfully rescued a driver whose vehicle ran off the road and down an embankment on San Joaquin Hills Road near Spy Glass Hill Road on Tuesday, April 16.

The City received a dispatch call at 9:17 a.m. reporting that a vehicle had run off the side of the road. NBFD crews arrived shortly after and found a vehicle resting 150-175 feet down the embankment adjacent to the street.

An OCFA helicopter was used to extract the single occupant of the vehicle. The driver was airlifted out of the ravine and transported to a local trauma center. The cause of the incident is under investigation.

Library Launches New, Improved Smartphone App

Tap into the full spectrum of Newport Beach Public Library (NBPL) resources from anywhere with our new smartphone app.

The app lets library patrons manage their accounts, search the NBPL catalog, place holds, and renew materials quickly and easily.

You can find books, movies, music, video games, browse the eBook and eAudio collections, explore the library’s vast digital resources, and view upcoming events. The app is available on the Apple Store and Google Play.

Alley Reconstruction Gets Underway in West Newport to Complete Utility Undergrounding

Alley reconstruction, the last major phase in the underground relocation of utility lines, recently began in an area of West Newport generally bounded by Newport Boulevard, 22nd Street, Ocean Front Way and 31st Street.

Utility lines in this area were placed underground in 2021, followed by residential conversion (converting from overhead to underground electrical and communication lines). This month, the last remaining power poles were removed, and alley reconstruction began.

A City contractor, Grigolla & Sons Construction Co., Inc., expects to complete the alley reconstruction before the busy summer season begins on the Balboa Peninsula.

The City requests that residents observe the “no parking” signs and any other traffic controls in the alley reconstruction areas, and exercise caution when driving or walking through the construction zones.

Free Paper Shredding, E-Waste Disposal, Compost Giveaway on May 4

The City and CR&R will host a free paper shredding, e-waste disposal and compost giveaway event on Saturday, May 4, from 8 a.m. to noon at the Corporation Yard, 592 Superior Ave. The entrance will be from Superior Avenue via a right turn.

The event is for Newport Beach residents. Please bring ID as residency will be verified.

The event includes free on-site paper shredding, electronic waste disposal and four free 30-pound bags of compost (while supplies last).

Please note that the following will NOT be accepted: household hazardous waste such as paint and cleaning products; universal waste including batteries, light bulbs, and thermostats; sharps; marine flares; and microwaves.

For additional information please contact CR&R’s Sustainability Team at (949) 667-4158 or visit www.NewportBeachCa.gov/Shred.

Teens Ages 13-16 Invited to Apply for Summer Leadership Program

The City is offering a Teen Leader Program for teens ages 13-16. The program gives teens an opportunity to work side by side with City recreation staff in the two youth summer camps, three ACTIVE Kids after school programs, and at special events.

Participants can earn service credits, get involved in the community, develop and enhance life and work skills, and gain valuable job experience. Applications are due by Wednesday, May 1, 2024.

For more information or to apply, click here: https://www.newportbeachca.gov/government/departments/recreation-senior-services/youth-teen-programs.

Be Well Mobile Crisis Response Update

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.

This week, the Be Well team:

  • Transported a person to a substance use disorder facility.
  • Transported a person to a psychiatric facility.
  • Transported three people to the Be Well sobering station.
  • Transported five 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 Update

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

  • Transported two people to the Costa Mesa Bridge Shelter.
  • Enrolled seven people into services.
  • Continued to shelter people: 23 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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