Homelessness, safety and roads among issues discussed at forum in Costa Mesa’s Westside


Homelessness, public safety and the state of roads and sidewalks were among the major concerns raised Monday during a community meeting in Costa Mesa’s Westside area.

The forum at Pomona Elementary School — presented by City Council members Katrina Foley and John Stephens — was the second in a series of “listening tour” events intended to give residents a chance to discuss issues relevant to their neighborhoods. Spanish translation was provided.

As with the first event in October in the Eastside, many of the more than 60 people who attended Monday said they are concerned about local homelessness and what the city is doing to tackle it.


Costa Mesa spends more than $1 million annually to take on homelessness issues, Foley said. She touted the city’s Network for Homeless Solutions, a collaborative effort among city staff, local churches, nonprofits, private organizations and volunteers to identify and provide resources to the homeless.

“We are making this a priority,” she said. “We’re trying to bring both a compassionate approach as well as enforcement, because we do not want encampments throughout the city.”

Stephens discussed his recent trips to Haven for Hope — a homeless services campus in San Antonio — and said he believes Orange County government and private-sector leaders need to work together to “look for a regional solution.”

“This is not an issue where there’s partisanship within the City Council,” he said, “and really it’s becoming such an issue that there’s not partisanship as much on a regional basis.”

Some residents at Monday’s meeting urged the city to look at repairing or installing additional sidewalks, crosswalks, bike lanes and street lighting to make it safer to walk or bike around the Westside.

Others called for increasing traffic enforcement and generally beefing up the police presence in the neighborhood.

Foley, Stephens and city staff members took notes during the forum and said additional responses to the questions and concerns will be posted on the city’s website.

Similar events are planned for other neighborhoods.

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