Newport Beach City Manager Update: Mental Health Crisis, Treasury Report

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Grace Leung, Newport Beach City Manager

By Grace Leung, Newport Beach City Manager

I’m pleased to report that Newport Beach will soon be taking a new and promising approach to mental health crisis response.

The City Council this week unanimously approved a one-year contract with Be Well OC for mobile response services that will address mental health challenges among the City’s homeless population. It will also serve residents and visitors who may be experiencing a mental health crisis.

Be Well OC’s approach is to deploy experienced crisis counselors and paramedics to mental health calls for service to the Police Department’s non-emergency or 911 call lines. After the initial response, the team will transport patients to a local crisis center, detox facility or shelter, depending on the situation.

In addition to providing specialized help, it will allow the City’s police and emergency medical teams to focus their efforts on other types of calls (our police and fire dispatchers receive about 4,500 mental health-related calls per year). Be Well OC staff will work closely with the City’s public safety teams to ensure an appropriate response to each call for service.

The program will launch in December 2021 with a dedicated two-person team working 12 hours a day, seven days a week. We believe it will be a valuable addition to our portfolio of services that address homelessness and mental health challenges in the community.

For more information, please see the City’s news release at

COVID-19 Cases in Newport Beach

As of September 30, the total cumulative number of COVID- 19 cases in Newport Beach was 4,936, an increase of 69 cases from September 23. The total number of cases in Orange County as of September 30 was 297,635, an increase of 2,764 cases from September 23. The number of recovered COVID-19 patients countywide as of September

30 was 283,787. These figures are provided to Orange County by the California  Department of Public Health. The County’s daily, weekday update of COVID-19 case information is available at this link:

Recycling Update

In advance of new state deadlines, the City and our contractor, CR&R, are distributing blue-top recycling carts to all households in Newport Beach that do not currently have one. On January 1, 2022, recycling will become mandatory throughout the state. If you are new to the recycling program, you will receive in the mail a guide to recycling best practices, along with FAQs. The recycling guide is available at this link.

Treasury Report

The July 2021 Treasury Report is available on the City’s website at:

As of July, the City’s portfolio totaled just over $322 million. Approximately $63.5 million of the portfolio was invested in very liquid investments available for day-to-day operations and major construction expenditures.

The short-term portfolio ($242.8 million) had a weighted average effective maturity of 1.86 years. The trailing twelve months’ total return was 0.33 percent. Our benchmark for the same period, the ICE BofA 1-3 Year Treasury index, returned 0.14 percent. The income return on the portfolio, a better measure of income earned from the portfolio, was 1.77 percent.

Homelessness Update

  • Two people experiencing homelessness near the Balboa Pier are sheltered in a motel while they await Emergency Housing Vouchers. One has been unsheltered for 8 years after losing an apartment; the other has lived in a vehicle for a year after losing her housing.
  • 19 people who had been experiencing homelessness in Newport Beach are now sheltered in the Costa Mesa Bridge Shelter. City Net completed three intakes this week.
  • City Net, the City’s contract homeless services agency, ordered Social Security award letters for several clients matched to Emergency Housing Vouchers. Emergency Housing Vouchers are funded by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 and allow people to pay affordable rent based on their fixed incomes. Nine people experiencing homelessness in Newport Beach have been awarded vouchers so far and are working with a housing navigator to locate apartments. The voucher program is being administered by the Orange County Housing Authority.
  • City Net ordered identifying documents (including a photo ID, birth certificate, and Social Security card) for a person enrolled in their services.
  • City Net completed a housing assessment with a person enrolled in their services. The person was matched to an Emergency Housing Voucher last week.

To donate to those experiencing homelessness in Newport Beach, please visit our Good Giving Program web page at

Seasons Change – Four Reasons to Adjust Your Sprinkler Range

The Utilities and Public Works departments would like to remind residents with the change in seasons, NOW is a good time to adjust your sprinklers.

  1. Start saving water ahead of the potential statewide drought declaration.
  2. Reduce urban runoff – i.e. water running down the gutter into the Harbor
  3. Avoid squishy wet grass.
  4. Save money!

An average home uses enough water to fill a swimming pool every two months. That’s about 7,500 gallons every month (10 HCF on your bill). Many homes use even more. Simply reducing your outdoor sprinkler watering time by a minute or two per sprinkler station will save a tremendous amount of water.

If you would like a visit or conversation from our Utilities Department staff to review your water use, please feel free to contact us at (949) 644-3011.


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