Could West Newport Beach soon be referred to as the “Homeless Hub”? Recently, the City Council further kicked the “problematic can” down the road to propose that the new homeless shelter for the city should reside at the city yard located at 592 Superior Ave.
This particular area borderlines Costa Mesa and has a propensity to channel more crime and transient activity into west Newport Beach. Recently, developers have been investing millions of dollars to revitalize west Newport Beach. This is the case of the Newport Beach Ebb & Tide detached luxury homes and the adjacent Level One and Superior Point in Costa Mesa.
Unfortunately, besides all of these continued gentrification efforts, this area known as Area 24 to the Newport Beach Police Department, has the highest crime rate in the city. As the young families and professionals pleaded with the City Council to consider an alternative location for fear of the impeding health and safety issues and the loss potential property values; anxiety loomed as the decision by the majority of the City Council automatically advanced the proposal of the city yard to become a homeless shelter, aka, navigation center.
What wasn’t discussed was the over-concentration of services that are in the immediate area, Share Our Selves, (SOS), Hoag’s Solmar rehab center, Hoag’s low-income Wellness Center, Superior Medical Walk-In Clinic, which services the drug rehab patients from the surrounding rehabilitation homes. The multiple convenience stores, Minute King, 7-Eleven, Circle K and the 76 Gas Station that are located within 300 feet of one another in this vicinity.
Further clarification was not provided with regard to the specific hours and operation nor how the shelter would coincide with the exiting functions of the city’s yard. The city’s myopic approach apparently didn’t consider where the homeless would go during the day; perhaps, they will walk to Sunset Ridge Park and relax while enjoying an ocean view. At dusk they could go to SOS for a hot meal and retire in a comfortable and fenced in facility at the city yard.
The proposed cost is estimated at $30,000 annually per bed, with a 14-night maximum stay. When the word gets out, the unsheltered will be clamoring at these inviting doors. The city acknowledged that the facility will accommodate those with reservations only and will not welcome walk-ins, unlike the Lido House Hotel.
Let the California Department of Transportation lease property to the city of Newport Beach at a cost of $1 per month for emergency shelters that would keep the homeless from loitering around schools, residential and commercial centers, while seeking the medical and professional help that they require.
Peggy V. Palmer