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Hoag Hospital makes $3-million commitment toward potential homeless shelter as part of agreement with Newport Beach

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Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach will direct $300,000 annually for 10 years to nonprofit partners toward a potential area homeless shelter.
(File Photo)

Hoag Hospital will contribute $3 million over 10 years toward a potential area homeless shelter as a condition of the hospital’s development agreement with the city of Newport Beach.

In unanimously renewing the agreement Tuesday, the City Council vested Hoag’s right to develop within its 38-acre campus in West Newport for an additional decade and praised what could be part of a solution to a burgeoning regional homelessness problem.

Mayor Diane Dixon said Hoag’s promise to chip in on a possible shelter meshes with the social and medical services Hoag provides to high-need populations, including through its Melinda Hoag Smith Center for Healthy Living.

Homeless population grows at Newport Beach bus station »

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“This is very clever and innovative by Hoag, because they are dealing with homeless emergency medical situations on a daily basis,” Dixon said.

The agreement doesn’t commit the city to hosting a shelter. But Hoag will direct $300,000 annually for 10 years to potential shelter operations, with input from the City Council and Newport’s recently formed homelessness task force.

“I can’t think of a better use of development agreement funds,” Councilman Jeff Herdman said of the focus on social services.

The hospital, bordered roughly by Newport Boulevard, West Coast Highway, Superior Avenue and Hospital Road, has expanded and upgraded several times since it was built in 1952. It last updated its development agreement with the city in 1994.

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Though Hoag could develop its land without such an arrangement, the agreement strengthens its ability to do so. About 455,000 square feet remain available for building.

Sanford Smith, Hoag’s senior vice president for real estate and facilities, said the agreement lets the hospital be nimble as healthcare evolves.

“There will be a lot of changes in the next 10 years,” Smith said. “We see it transforming very rapidly.”

Hoag also committed to keeping the Center for Healthy Living open. The center, at 307 Placentia Ave. on the north end of the Hoag campus, houses a variety of nonprofit public health and social services agencies such as Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County, Girls Inc., United Way and Serving People in Need.

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