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Opinion

Mailbag: Proposed shelter location could make West Newport the ‘Homeless Hub’

Superior shelter warehouse
A warehouse, foreground, could also be part of a potential homeless shelter at Newport’s public works yard on Superior Avenue.
(Courtesy of city of Newport Beach)

Could West Newport Beach soon be refereed to as the “Homeless Hub?” Recently, the City Council further kicked the “problematic can” down the road to propose that the new homeless shelter should reside at the city yard at 592 Superior Ave.

This particular area borders 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.

The Newport Beach City Council may declare a “shelter crisis,” allowing the city to fast-track the development of a homeless shelter, with a portion of the public works yard at 592 Superior Ave. being a serious option.

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, also known as a “navigation center.”

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What wasn’t discussed was the over-concentration of services that are in the immediate area: Share Our Selves (SOS), the rehab and low-income wellness centers at Hoag and the Superior walk-in clinic, as well as the multiple convenience stores and the 76 gas station that are located near 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 existing functions of the city 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 annual cost is estimated at $30,000 per bed with a 14-night maximum stay. When the word gets out, the un-sheltered 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.

Let the California Department of Transportation lease property to the city 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.

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Peggy V. Palmer

Newport Beach

Provide services to H.B.’s homeless

Let us be humane in Huntington Beach. Homelessness is a longstanding and growing issue in our city. Desperate people are prone to desperate actions.

After two failed attempts to find a viable site for a homeless shelter, the city of Huntington Beach has identified two new properties in the Oak View neighborhood — on Beach Boulevard and Crabb Lane — for possible lease.

Providing well-regulated shelter provisions for those people who’ve fallen into the despair of homelessness will lessen the desperation of our fellow human beings who have hit on such hard times. This will make our city more secure for all.

Ben Miles

Huntington Beach

Spyglass picnic strengthens community

The Spyglass Hill community of Corona del Mar held its seventh annual meet and greet family picnic recently at Spyglass Hill Park. A good number of residents with their kids and grandchildren attended along with our elected officials, including Sen. John Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa), Mayor Diane Dixon, City Council members Will O’Neill, Brad Avery and Kevin Muldoon, City Manager Grace Leung and Newport Beach Police Area 4 Cmdr. Keith Krallman.

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The fact that every year people can connect directly with each other and with their representatives at the city and state levels in a relaxed, open and family-oriented environment brings back the sense of community, belonging and oneness that has been gradually eroding at best and missing at worst from many communities across U.S.

Various activities for kids were planned and played with joy and excitement, including face paining, a watermelon contest and tug of war. Our caring and effective councilman for District 7, O’Neill, made a brief speech and awarded Therese Loutherback, chairwoman of the Spyglass Hill Picnic Committee, with an honorary title, “The Mayor of Spyglass Hill,” and gave her a specially designed sash.

Thanks to O’Neill and also our several vendor supporters. Just like in the previous years, complimentary burgers, drinks and ice cream were provided for the residents. Spyglass Hill community residents left with another joyful and memorable annual family picnic.

K.E. Mehrfar

Newport Beach

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How to get published: Email us at john.canalis@latimes.com. All correspondence must include full name, hometown and phone number (for verification purposes). The Pilot reserves the right to edit all submissions for clarity and length.


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