MOORLACH UPDATE — City CAFR Rankings – Vol. 2 — February 8, 2018

Costa Mesa City Councilmember John Stephens was with the Orange County delegation that visited and toured Haven for Hope in San Antonio last month (see MOORLACH UPDATE — Haven for Hope — January 19, 2018 and MOORLACH UPDATE — Becerra Conflict of Interest — January 20, 2018). Councilmember Stephens provides a great report on the trip and the facilities which we toured together in his Daily Pilot piece below. For a small bit of trivia, the “x” is silent in the pronunciation of the name of Bexar County.

Speaking of the city of Costa Mesa, it’s included in the next group of cities, numbers 450 to 401 out of 482, based on its per capita unrestricted net position as #444 (see MOORLACH UPDATE — City CAFR Rankings – Vol. 1 – February 7, 2018). This group also includes three other cities in my District, Newport Beach (#434), Anaheim (#426) and Huntington Beach (#422). They are mentioned in the second piece below. This group represents about 16 percent of California’s population.

A public-private homeless solution in Texas might work for Costa Mesa and O.C.

By JOHN STEPHENS

As Orange County officials evacuate the encampments near Angel Stadium, one would have to be extremely callous not to feel compassion for those whose situation is so dire that they have resorted to living in a flimsy tent on a riverbed.

I’m convinced that there is a better approach to homelessness right within our grasp. If you want to get a glimpse of one solution, then I have some advice for you.

Take a trip to San Antonio, Texas.

That’s what I did in January along with a contingent of 41 Orange County officials, including city council members (from 11 cities), nonprofit providers, healthcare and business leaders and state Sen. John Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa) to visit Haven for Hope. That facility is a sprawling and bustling campus that offers housing and transformational, life-saving services for homeless men, women and children in Bexar County, Texas.

Our group of diverse-thinking individuals who visited this remarkable place came to a consensus that is pragmatic and cuts across political lines. That is, homelessness can best be solved in Orange County with a thoughtful, integrated regional effort. Regional and integrated are the key words here.

Anaheim, Santa Ana, Fullerton, Tustin or any city, including my own Costa Mesa, should not have to go it alone. There is strength in numbers, and we need to integrate the efforts of city, county and state with nonprofits and the private sector. Let’s not forget the faith-based community, which brings the power of the Gospel and a spirit of compassion to the mission.

Now more than ever, we need champions from the private sector with deep pockets and the will to get things done, as well as high-profile, courageous elected officials.

Which brings me back to the story of Haven for Hope. City officials in San Antonio realized that homelessness was more than just a social blight, it was also damaging the local economy. They decided it was high time to fix it.

Luckily, that word reached a well-connected philanthropist Bill Greehey, Valero Energy’s CEO, who committed himself to solving the problem. Greehey put up $10.5 million of his own money and Haven for Hope was born in 2010.

Haven for Hope epitomizes the effectiveness of integration. Nearly every nonprofit in San Antonio that serves the homeless is present on the campus. That adds up to 142 partners providing over 300 services.

The results have been fantastic.

In January 2010, the point-in-time count found 738 homeless on the streets of downtown San Antonio. By January 2017, that dropped 80% to 148.

More than 3,835 people have moved from the transformational campus to permanent housing, with 90% of those not returning to homelessness.

In its first year, there were 3,300 fewer jail bookings in San Antonio. More than 50,000 people have received services since the campus opened.

Remarkably, city and county jails and emergency rooms avoided about $97 million in costs because of Haven for Hope. Each year, about 40,000 medical, dental and vision care services are administered to homeless men, women and children who would otherwise go without.

So, you may ask, who’s paying for all this?

As part of his commitment to Haven for Hope, Greehey searched for private donors outside of San Antonio to finance the project, and 61% percent of the $100.5 million it cost to build the campus came from the private sector.

That’s right, the private sector. Corporations invested in a project that is producing amazing dividends in human capital that you can’t measure on any financial statement.

Whether we work together or not, we pay. The Orange County United Way and UC Irvine’s recent cost study on homelessness shows that we spend $299 million annually addressing homelessness. Costa Mesa alone allocates about $1 million annually.

Other Orange County cities and nonprofits are doing great work. But we lack the integrated effort seen in Bexar County. Those efforts have substantially reduced the public cost of homelessness, and the OC United Way/UCI study estimates that Orange County would likewise save $42 million per year by housing our chronic homeless.

Haven for Hope is a true public-private partnership. San Antonio contributes $4 million to its $20 million annual operating budget, which in comparison is a much smaller proportion of San Antonio’s budget than Costa Mesa spends on its Network for Homeless Solutions. The balance of Haven for Hope’s budget comes from private contributions ($4 million), state government ($5.3 million) with nonprofits like the United Way and other funders contributing the remainder.

So back to our champions. Who is going to step up to fund and, just as importantly, advocate to solve the homelessness crisis that is currently damaging our communities and economy?

Orange County is a tremendously blessed and wealthy community. We have some of the world’s best beaches, parks, businesses and residential communities. There must be champions in our midst who will see this as an opportunity to create a better future not just for the homeless, but for all of us.

JOHN STEPHENS is a Costa Mesa City Council member and the chair of the Association of California Cities-Orange County’s Homeless Task Force.

450 San Fernando 24,486 ($39,587) ($1,617) 2016
449 San Gabriel 41,020 ($62,638) ($1,527) 2017
448 Montebello 63,917 ($96,385) ($1,508) 2016
447 Vallejo 118,280 ($174,091) ($1,472) 2017
446 Colton 53,879 ($78,865) ($1,464) 2017
445 Pomona 155,306 ($227,107) ($1,462) 2016
444 Costa Mesa 114,044 ($161,805) ($1,419) 2017
443 Coalinga 16,982 ($23,558) ($1,387) 2015
442 Benicia 27,695 ($37,760) ($1,363) 2016
441 West Covina 107,813 ($144,660) ($1,342) 2017
440 Redlands 69,851 ($93,361) ($1,337) 2017
439 Vacaville 98,456 ($131,084) ($1,331) 2016
438 Brea 44,214 ($57,998) ($1,312) 2016
437 Hawthorne 87,662 ($114,898) ($1,311) 2017
436 Scotts Valley 12,163 ($15,637) ($1,286) 2017
435 Long Beach 480,173 ($610,409) ($1,271) 2016
434 Newport Beach 84,915 ($107,775) ($1,269) 2017
433 Arcadia 57,374 ($72,804) ($1,269) 2017
432 Ukiah 16,314 ($20,647) ($1,266) 2016
431 Mammoth Lakes 8,002 ($9,909) ($1,238) 2016
430 Santa Cruz 65,070 ($79,331) ($1,219) 2017
429 Redondo Beach 68,907 ($83,567) ($1,213) 2017
428 Lodi 64,058 ($77,162) ($1,205) 2017
427 Sacramento 493,025 ($581,697) ($1,180) 2016
426 Anaheim 358,546 ($410,613) ($1,145) 2017
425 Sonora 4,871 ($5,545) ($1,138) 2016
424 Piedmont 11,283 ($12,835) ($1,138) 2015
423 Santa Ana 341,341 ($387,032) ($1,134) 2017
422 Huntington Beach 197,574 ($222,863) ($1,128) 2016
421 Claremont 36,225 ($40,697) ($1,123) 2017
420 San Diego 1,406,318 ($1,577,390) ($1,122) 2017
419 Riverside 326,792 ($362,146) ($1,108) 2017
418 Santa Clara 123,983 ($135,819) ($1,095) 2017
417 Alhambra 86,922 ($95,214) ($1,095) 2017
416 San Buenaventura 109,275 ($118,254) ($1,082) 2016
415 Huntington Park 59,383 ($63,625) ($1,071) 2016
414 Corte Madera 9,486 ($10,130) ($1,068) 2016
413 Montclair 39,122 ($41,621) ($1,064) 2017
412 Compton 100,050 ($105,045) ($1,050) 2013
411 El Monte 114,268 ($119,814) ($1,049) 2017
410 Monterey Park 61,606 ($63,742) ($1,035) 2017
409 Pacifica 38,124 ($39,127) ($1,026) 2016
408 Redwood City 85,601 ($86,738) ($1,013) 2017
407 Gardena 60,721 ($59,929) ($987) 2017
406 Woodland 59,616 ($58,585) ($983) 2016
405 Capitola 10,162 ($9,883) ($973) 2017
404 Gustine 5,886 ($973) ($972) 2014
403 Needles 5,044 ($4,878) ($967) 2015
402 Upland 76,790 ($74,170) ($966) 2017
401 Downey 113,832 ($109,605) ($963) 2017

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