Local News in Brief : Costa Mesa : Residents Concerned About Flow of Homeless
A group of Costa Mesa residents is fighting to remove social service programs such as Share Our Selves from the Rea Community Center.
During two community meetings earlier this week, residents discussed with police and city leaders their complaints about the number of homeless people attracted to the westside area because of social services offered at the Rea center. Residents distributed flyers reading “Save Our Selves From Share Our Selves.”
The meetings were held in response to an expansion project planned for the Share Our Selves Free Medical Clinic. The expansion has already been approved by the Planning Commission and is scheduled to go before the City Council on Monday.
Costa Mesa Police Officer Dennis Jefcoat told residents at a meeting Monday that the department has a program of keeping track of transients and parolees who seek the social service programs. He noted that 11% to 14% of the county’s parolees live in or regularly visit the city, but Costa Mesa residents account for only 3% of the total county population.
Jean Forbath of Share Our Selves said the clinic and program serves more than parolees.
“SOS is a nonprofit private agency that has been in Costa Mesa for 18 years,” Forbath said. “We serve the whole county, about 20,000 people a month, and they all don’t come to the Rea center.”